Dream Me by Kathryn Berla
Expected publication: July 11th 2017 by Amberjack Publishing
My rating: 4 out of 5
Every night Babe dreams of a boy she's never met before named Zat. But Zat is no ordinary daydream. He's actually a human from the distant future, who has travelled back in time to be with Babe in the only way that he can be--in her dreams.
But the dreams leave Babe more and more tired and pained each morning. Zat is determined to help her, even if it means never sharing dreams with her again.
This book is difficult to review. Let's get the first thing out the way. I did like this, I really did. It wasn't a heavy, full of endless description kind of book. It's more of a holiday romance with a little bit of sci-fi thrown in. Exactly what I wanted to read actually as I've been reading high fantasy of late and you always need a bit of a break from that.
So, there are, from what I can gather, 3 story arcs going on in this story. The first is Babe (cool name!) and her endless moving. She's moved from California to Sugar Dunes. Her father's a golf pro so I suppose they must move where the money is. That's usually at country clubs where the rich dwell. Babe isn't excited about the whole country club thing. She's pretty immune to it right now. She's seen more than her fair share and knows exactly what happens at these places. She's spending her summer working in the tennis shop and helping the pro run the day to day chores. Babe makes friends, she susses out who the queen-bee is of her peers, who the 'alpha dog' is (her words, not mine!) and gets involved in a reach-out program at the tennis centre. She makes friends and carries on with her summer. So far this part of the story is pretty contemporary, so I enjoyed this.
But then we have the whole sci-fi portion intertwined. Zat is a human, a more advanced human, living on a dying planet Earth--an Earth of our future. With the choice of leaving the planet with his family to search for another habitable planet, or stay and become a 'dreamer.' He chooses to stay because he's intrigued with the girl with the red hair called Babe. Apparently in this future earth they have technology for you to go back in time but the only way you can go back is to enter a chosen person's dreams.
I'll admit that this portion of the book was way too vague for my liking. The emphasis wasn't on world-building (huh) or filling in this picture, the author's writing turned more poetic and visionary rather than include solid factuals.
The third story arc is the love story. Yes, at the root is Babe and Zat both wanting to fall in love but facing a whole lot of obstacles. The first being that Zat is only in her dreams, therefore occupying her (or at least that's how I read it). They form a lovely bond but of course it can only go so far. A side-effect of having these lovely dreams is that Babe develops terrible exhausting headaches. Simply put, she must not dream of Zat if she wants to keep the headaches at bay.
Dream Me also has Babe describing her dreams with Zat as a blog, and the story includes a portion of this blog during nearly every chapter. My only gripe with this was--too much writing. While the blog advances the story it does only serve as a tell-not show purpose. My other feeling on Babe's narrative and the blog narrative was they weren't a whole lot different. If you've ever read a seventeen year olds blog they are certainly not as well written. My point is there wasn't enough difference between them and while writing a blog in a book is very 'present day' it only serves as a way to skip past events to advance the story. Oh, I'm not explaining this well...let's move on.
All in all, as I wrote earlier Dream Me is a good fill-in story that you can read in a day. The concept is interesting but I would have preferred a full on contemp with Babe and her friends, or a full on Sci-fi with Zat and Babe. The two combined together sold the whole story short IMHO. Still, great writing and beautiful descriptions. If you have a rainy day and want cheering up then this will definitely do for you....