Dream Girl, by Lauren Mechling

No sooner had we remarked on the originality of a young adult fantasy novel about a teenage girl with magical dreams... than we received another young adult fantasy novel about a teenage girl with magical dreams.

When Claire Voyante, the heroine of Lauren Mechling’s Dream Girl, turns fifteen, her grandmother gives her an unusual cameo necklace. Claire has always had strange, incomprehensible visions—but when she puts on her grandmother’s necklace, her life changes: her visions begin to make sense, she makes an intriguing new friend, and she uncovers a mystery endangering one of America’s richest families.

Despite their surface plot similarities, Dream Girl has little in common with Lisa McMann’s Wake. Wake offers a stripped-down take on the horror/fantasy genre, while Dream Girl spices up its fantasy elements with a tossed salad of popular teen-girl literary conceits, including quirky fashions, boy trouble, and popularity skirmishes in the schoolyard.

Happily, Dream Girl is just as much fun as Wake. The most significant problem with Mechling’s book is her love interest, a college-age skeeze who hits on Claire whenever they’re alone, even though A) she’s three years younger than he is (which is a lifetime, in teen years), and B) he already has a girlfriend. I’m hoping that this character will be eliminated in future installments, as Mechling introduces two other potential love interests, both of whom are far more appealing. Other than that one misstep, Dream Girl is top-grade teen entertainment: smart, satisfying, and action-packed.
Posted by: Julia, Last edit by: Julianka


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