Friday, December 4, 2020

Book Review: The Dream

By Sara Steven

Ashley has loved the same boy since high school. She knew Davis Frothingham was special even before he championed her at her senior prom. She also knew he was completely out of her league.

Years later, her attraction for him is still there, but Davis? He doesn’t even remember her.

When Ashley is tasked with being the nurse for Davis’ terminally ill grandmother, she’s thrown back into his world. More than anything, she wants him to remember her, but that recollection could come at a price of its own.

Can Ashley accept that she’s good enough for Davis? And can Davis learn to love a girl from the wrong side of the tracks?
(Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

While I’ve enjoyed all of the books from Dineen’s Creek Water series, I felt like I could really relate the most to this one. Ashley had a rough time in high school, as most of us can identify with and attest to from our own experiences during those tumultuous teen years, yet it goes beyond the feelings of awkwardness and feeling as though you don’t fit in. It is traumatic and it is real, the saving grace through it being Davis, a kind soul who has always managed to make Ashley feel as though she does belong. I enjoyed the flashbacks into her past, because we get a better sense for how she feels now and why it’s so hard for her to remind Davis of who she is. 

It’s hard not to like Ashley. I wanted to champion her successes and understood how hard it was for her to break her humble roots and ties and believe that she can strive for greatness. Part of that is believing that she’s worthy of Davis, a hard habit to break. I loved Davis’s family, as I have in every single Creek Water book leading up to this one, and how welcoming they are. But my favorite character this go around would have to be Buck, Ashley’s best friend. He truly was the Duckie to her Andie, and we get to see their relationship begin and evolve and at some points, witness a potential love triangle which had me guessing on what, and really, who would be the better fit for Ashley. While it was a lot easier to distinguish in Pretty in Pink, it’s not near as easy in this scenario, considering how amazingly wonderful Buck is. He really gives Davis a run for his money!

From start to finish, I loved the whole book, but my favorite part comes towards the end, when truths surface. I had something similar happen in my own life at my ten year high school reunion, which made me relate to Ashley even more. It’s proof that while it seems nearly impossible, sometimes people really can change. I liked that paralleling scenario because it brings to light Ashley’s reservations on whether she feels she needs to change for Davis, if he needs to change for her, or whether they should accept one another as they are, no matter what. It’s hard to let go of those past hurts and preconceived notions, a fun plot line throughout the entirety of The Dream.

Even if you haven’t read the rest of the Creek Water series, The Dream works well as a standalone, but I suggest checking the other books out, too. This one fulfilled my love of the eighties, those angsty teen years of the nineties (for me, personally), with a fast forward into Ashley’s own experiences that truly made this book a dream. It was a five-star read for me!

Thanks to Whitney Dineen for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Whitney Dineen:

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