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Sunday, January 27, 2019

The Dreamers Review

The Dreamers
Title:  The Dreamers
Series: a novel
Author:  Karen Thompson Walker
Where to purchase: Amazon
Print Length: 303 pages
Publication Date: January 15th 2019
Publisher: Random House
Edition:  paperback Advance Reader Copy
Genre:  Fiction, science fiction, dystopian
BOOK LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon |  

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher by winning a Goodreads giveaway. All opinions are my own.  

Synopsis:

One night in an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a first-year student stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep—and doesn’t wake up. She sleeps through the morning, into the evening. Her roommate, Mei, cannot rouse her. Neither can the paramedics who carry the girl away, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital.

Then a second girl falls asleep, and then a third, and panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. As the number of cases multiplies, classes are canceled. A quarantine is established. Mei, an outsider in the hierarchy of dorm life, finds herself thrown together with an eccentric, idealistic classmate.

A psychiatrist summoned from Los Angeles attempts to make sense of the phenomenon as it spreads. Those infected, she discovers, are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, higher than has ever been recorded before. They are dreaming heightened dreams—but of what?

Gorgeously written, The Dreamers is a breathtaking novel, startling and provocative, about the possibilities contained within a human life—in our waking days and, perhaps even more, in our dreams.

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Main Characters

  1. Mei- college student, roommate to the first victim (Kara- who died)
  2. Rebecca- college student, infected and spread the virus
  3. Sara and Libby- sisters, daughters of a college janitor
  4. Nathaniel- a professor at the college
  5. Catherine- a psychiatric disorders specialist from Los Angles
  6. Ben & Annie - new parents, neighbors to Sara & Libby 
Surprise jumps between (their eyes), no words needed. So much can be said without saying it, the efficiency of marriage. - The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker

Plot

I started and finished The Dreamers in a day, not typical for me. It was all character driven from several POVs making it feel heartbreaking and magical at the same time. A college student left a party not feeling well, when she got back to the dorm she fell asleep and never woke up. Shortly after other students living on the same floor became infected with the sleeping sickness and so the virus spread until the small town of Santa Lora was quarantined.  The story unfolds in the college, in the surrounding town, in the hospital, by an out of town visitor so readers really get to see the devastating effects of the unknown. 

Setting

small college town, Santa Lora California - present day

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Theme

reactions to a crisis- a study on human nature

What did I like about the book?

I liked the abundance of speculation about what is going on based on the characters experiences. There were media coverage, conspiracy theories, people banding together as well as others being suspicious and keeping to themselves. The fear of the unknown, youth thinking they are invincible, heartbreak over someone getting sick. So much information... as well as not really knowing how or why the disease started.
"The only way to tell some stories is with the oldest, most familiar words: this here, this is the breaking of a heart."
The many references to dreams, nightmares, reality and how its personalized and different between people experiencing the same things.

Getting to see the effects of the virus after the dreamers woke up.
"It has been decades since he felt this way about his mother, the simple need for her presence."

Beautifully written.

What did I not like about the book?

There were a lot of characters (which helped the audience see the big picture and effects of the virus) but none of them really mattered. They could've been anyone. That really made me wonder how my family would react in a similar situation.

There were really no answers. How did the virus start? How did it run its course? Did anyone develop a vaccine? 

Date Started/Finished : January 26th 2019

"Isn’t every sleepy kind of isolation? When else are we so alone?"

Recommend? maybe

If you like general fiction, or reading about human nature- yes its a good book. If you are looking for action or more dystopian, there are better options.
Rating: 4/***** based off Goodreads' ratings: 4 stars – really liked it, really enjoyable




I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Disclosure: This book was provided to me at no cost. Whether positive or negative, my blog review is my own and may differ from others opinions. This review is simply a compilation of my thoughts and opinions of this book.  If you have any questions, just post them and I'll be happy to answer as best as I can. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
**No monetary compensation was received for this review. Posts may contain affiliate or referral links. Thank you for your support!**

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