Saturday, April 16, 2011

Review: Dreamwalk by Sarah MacManus

From Goodreads: Dreamwalk is a romantic mixed beat of time travel and mythology for both teens and adults. After the death of her mother, Chloe Hawthorn is haunted by terrifying nighttime hallucinations. Determined to take control of her dreams, she uses them to find Shane Anderson, a charming and troubled musician whose online videos have been holding her in thrall. She finds him in the Dreamtime, sweating out heroin detox in a run-down rehab center. Chloe sets out to find Shane in the waking world and discovers her dreams have been taking her into the past. Horrified, Chloe realizes Shane doesn't survive his addictions. In order to save him, Chloe must master her Australian mother's legacy - the secret of walking the Dreaming through time. But what price will Chloe pay for this Dreamwalk and will she save Shane only to lose him forever?

My Rating: 2.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Dreamwalk by Sarah MacManus is a novel that starts of with a bang as demonstrated by the quote, “I had enough time to hope that I wouldn't hit anyone on the sidewalk below.” Unfortunately, my disapproval of the main character’s actions meant that I didn’t enjoy this novel in spite of its interesting premise and writing.

The protagonist of the story is Chloe, a girl whose mom died two years ago from cancer. Still emotionally fragile, Chloe suffers from nightmares which have gotten worse ever since her dad moved the two of them to New York. When her father, a psychiatrist, suggests sleeping pills to help Chloe sleep better at night, Chloe refuses, remembering how her mother got addicted to painkillers when she was battling cancer. However, after Chloe’s best friend, Trish, sends her a video of a boy named Shane playing a guitar, Chloe becomes obsessed with him. She not only starts looking at all of the videos Shane keeps posting up but also dreaming about him. It gets to the point that Chloe even starts taking sleeping pills just so she can dream about Shane!

I found it super strange that after seeing four videos of Shane, a boy she doesn’t actually know in real life, Chloe’s dreams involve making out with him. Then, Chloe wakes up furious from her third dream involving Shane because she couldn’t make herself have sex with him. A few dreams later however, Chloe is no longer a virgin. Looking at the romance, I just found it bizarre even though Shane and Chloe do talk about things in her dreams.

Since the story is narrated from Chloe’s point of view but there are journal entries of Shane interspersed through the novel, MacManus allows you to perceive things through both characters’ eyes. In Chloe’s dreams, Shane is in rehab, and his journal entries indicate that he thinks Chloe is a figment of his imagination produced by his methadone. Chloe on the other hand thinks that she’s just dreaming about Shane. In an interesting twist, what happens to the body in the Dreamtime can show up in real life, which is how Shane figures out that Chloe actually exists and Chloe realizes that she’s actually visiting Shane.  
Also, I liked the style that Dreamwalk was written in. Though it was confusing the first time how Chloe went from sitting in her room to ending up in Shane’s place of rehab, the abrupt transitions between scenes actually made the book seem kind of dreamlike.   

As well, even though I know absolutely nothing about Australian Aboriginal mythology, it’s easy to see that MacManus did quite a bit of research on it because she did a great job in explaining Australian Aboriginal beliefs about the Dreamtime. I found the idea of the Dreamtime – a place where past, present and future all merge in time so that there’s no time between any events – really fascinating.

Dreamwalk was released by YoungRebel Publications in March 2011.

Comments About the Cover: The cover of Dreamwalk probably wouldn’t make me pick up the book because it’s way too simplistic and abstract for me.

This ebook was received from the author in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Strange book but the Dreamtime seems to be an interesting feature! I also agree about the cover - definitely not alluring!

  2. Good honest review. Characters are the most important thing to me in a story. I need to be able to understand and relate too them. So I think I will be skipping this one.

  3. This has a really interesting concept which I like and would hold my attention while I was reading. Chloe's actions from the way you describe them do seem a bit bothersome though and would most likely be problematic for me as well. Thanks for such a well-thought out review Zahida!

  4. It seems like it would be a little hard to follow with dreamtime and reality merging. I know nothing about Australian Aboriginal mythology either but it sounds like a good premise.

  5. Huh? So they actually had sex together in their dreams? Well, at least that creates a new form of 'safe sex'.

    The cover doesn't make me want to pick up the book either. Dreamtime does sound interesting, but I don't know if I'd be able to support the character's actions enough to enjoy the story. Thanks for the review.

  6. So it's in between disappointing and okay, hm. I also like the premise of this book, but it does sound really strange and un-believable. I don't know if I'm ever going to pick this book.

  7. I habven't heard of this one, so thanks for the reveiw. Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog


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