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The Dreamosphere by Laura Stoddard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Book Description: What if dreams don’t disappear when we wake up? Haunted by her younger sister’s death, and her unwitting role in the incident, 11-year-old Gwenevere Stoker takes solace in the Dreamosphere—a dimension where all dreams still exist. But when someone begins destroying her dreams, Gwen must find the culprit—or risk losing all her happiness forever. Bask in the mystery and imagination of dreams in this touching, funny, mind-bending children’s tale that encompasses themes of grief, friendship, family, healing, and grand adventure!
My thoughts: Gwen is a young girl who is suffering after the death of her younger sister. A few years have passed, and she has retreated into herself. Her personality is completely altered from her natural friendly and fun loving self.
Gwen is a dreamer. She has vivid dreams that she remembers the next morning. She keeps a dream journal that she records the events in. It is something that keeps her together. She begins to notice that she isn't dreaming every night, this is strange for her. She begins to have memory lapses.
She finds out that this is happening because someone is destroying her dreams. Each dream is stored on a dream web in orbs. She and her dream friend, Tabitha, must stop the destruction of the dreams. Kids in school are also having their dreams changed. It is a mystery that must be solved before it is too late.
I liked the concept that Gwen's dreams are connected to her reality. As she begins to explore her dreams, she becomes a better person. In fact, I would say that it is saving her and her quality of life. There are some powerful themes found in this book. Gwen is going through grief and she and her family try to find a way to cope with the tragedy that has struck them. Many of the kids bully Gwen. They say she is crazy or that she killed her sister. There is a lack of empathy. I also enjoyed that we see the a little of the psychology behind the bully. It's a great lesson for kids to learn why people can be mean. Maybe they are hurting too. Again an empathy lesson.
This is a book that can capture a child's imagination. The dreams are strange at times. Laura Stoddard has illustrated her own imagination in the creativity of the dreams.
READ AN EXCERPT
"What do you think happens to your dreams after you wake up?"
Gwen shrugged distractedly, too disoriented by her sudden arrival in the remarkable setting to focus. "I dunno. They disappear?"
The unblinking gray eyes of her young companion flashed as she leaned forward. "Incorrect. Every dream you've ever had still exists. All of them. They reside in a dimension called the Dreamosphere. It's where we are right now, as a matter of fact. Each dream basically exists as its own world, or dream-orb. There are thousands and thousands of them, connected like drops of dew on a gigantic spider web. Every dream you've ever had, Gwen. They're all up here. And you can visit them any time you want."
Tabitha, the enigmatic child who shares this information, has some even more shocking news. Gwen’s dreamosphere is in danger. Someone has been hacking into it—destroying her dream orbs, erasing pieces of her past, and affecting Gwen in more ways than she realizes. Together, Gwen and Tabitha travel through the outlandish landscape of Gwen’s dream worlds to find the person responsible. What will happen to Gwen when all her dreams are gone? What critical clues lie within the pages of her dream journal? And what does Edgar Allan Poe have to do with it all?
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About the Author: Laura Stoddard was born in Idaho and spent her formative years running amok in the great outdoors. She received her bachelors degree in English Literature from Arizona State University. After being rejected from the masters program for creative writing she decided that she didn't need a masters degree to tell her she could write, so she started really dedicating her time to finishing the story she'd started months earlier, with the goal of writing a complete novel, and getting it published. The result is her debut novel, The Dreamosphere, for which her own vivid, bizarre, and incomprehensible dreams provided the inspiration. Laura is an adrenaline junkie and will try anything once--or twice--or maybe three times. She can already check whitewater rafting, going down in a shark cage, and skydiving (three times) off of her list. Oh, and getting Lasik. It was five minutes of terror. She enjoys hiking, rowing, reading classic literature, embarking on new adventures and hobbies, volunteering regularly, and spending time with family. She currently resides in Phoenix, Ariz.