Dream Life, by Lauren Mechling

Dream Life is Lauren Mechling's follow-up to 2008's Dream Girl, and it's even more enjoyably far-fetched than its predecessor. Both novels feature improbably-named 10th grader Claire Voyante, whose vintage cameo necklace (a gift from her grandmother) allows her to catch glimpses of the future in her dreams. In Dream Life, Claire's mega-rich best friend invites her to join the Blue Moon Club, a secret group of high-society girls dedicated to doing anonymous good deeds for the city—everything from repairing a famous clock to fixing a cable on the Brooklyn Bridge. When a rival club tries to expose the Blue Moon's activities, Claire and her friends kick their Nancy Drew act into high gear, determined to protect themselves from people who'd like to link the club's philanthropy to acts of political and business corruption.

Despite having a lot in common with other “rich kids in New York” novels, including loads of name-brand clothing and elaborate party sequences, Dream Life is way more entertaining than most of the books in this booming sub-genre. The heroine wears her grandmother's crazy vintage couture, not the latest from Marc Jacobs, and her social and romantic travails are spiced up by the supernatural subplot. The biggest problem I had with Mechling's book was Claire's college-age love interest, who spends most of the book stringing her along with nonsensical e-mails. Happily, Claire seems a little irritated by him, too, which gives me hope that in some future installment she'll ditch him in favor of somebody who's less self-absorbed*. He isn't awful, by any means... but a heroine this cheerfully quirky deserves somebody worthy of her vintage Oscar de la Renta cardigans, cat-eye make-up, and propensity for prophetic dreaming.

*I vote for her comic-book-loving friend Ian. Go, Team Ian!

Review based on copy provided by publisher.
Posted by: Julianka


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