Friday, April 3, 2015

'Dare to Dream' by Carys Jones


“The world was going to end. Of that, Maggie Trafford was certain.”

Fourteen-year-old Maggie Trafford leads a normal life. Well, as normal as being crammed in a three-bedroom house with four siblings and a single parent can be, anyway. But despite being somewhat ignored at home, Maggie excels, earning top grades, a best friend who would do anything for her, and stolen looks from a boy in Maths. 

It’s not until the dreams start that Maggie realizes “normal” is the least of her problems. Every night, she lives the same nightmare—red lightning, shattered glass, destruction. But nightmares are just that, right? No one believes her when she says it’s an omen. At least, not until the already mysterious pillars of Stonehenge start falling. 

No longer alone in her fear, Maggie and the world watch with bated breath as one after another, the historic stones tumble, like a clock counting down. But only Maggie knows what it means: when the last stone falls, destruction will reign. And when the world ends, there’s only one option left—survive.

Horrifying and raw, Dare to Dream is equal parts tragedy and hope, detailing the aftermath of apocalyptic catastrophe, the quest for survival, and the importance of belief.
Maggie is fine. Her visions are the only thing that make her interesting. She isn't an interesting character really. Smart. Bad family problems. Alright. That happens to enough people. How does that make her stand out? Visions is the only thing. But why did she have them? Hm? Maggie isn't interesting. She doesn't have a stunning personality. She doesn't have a fascinating backstory. There isn't really anything to make her stand out. I don't see anything special about her. Really. 
Dawn...a bit whiny. Her reason to be noticed could have been built upon. Maybe she wasn't noticed by anyone else. Maybe her parents didn't love her. But...she still seemed whiny. Especially when she saw the spark between Andy and Maggie. Why, Dawn? There are probably other people out there. Don't be selfish. Let Maggie get her guy. Anyways. You're fourteen. I don't think you're THAT attention seeking. You're still discovering your person. But...there could have been something there. 
Andy is a good leader. I like his bravery. He took charge. Which is great. No one was taking the reins. He had to. But he was so cruel. For a quiet guy, he had a lot of bark. He was rude. He didn't have to snap at Dawn or Maggie. And how does that show feelings for Maggie? Okay. That makes no sense. That is not how people really show feelings. Only in books. Sure, there's a highly unlikely chance of love hidden beneath nasty remarks, but that's highly improbable. 

The bond of friendship is very strong. Which is great. It's a good bond between Maggie and Dawn. They were really good friends. I could tell. Dawn believe Maggie when their people didn't. Dawn believed that Maggie wasn't telling a lie but a truth. That trust? That's important. That's very important. Friendship kept this group together. Dawn and Maggie? They helped the group get through the hard times. I saw that. They made little quips. Supported each other.  
Friendship is more important than anything. (Other than family of course.) Friendship can help you in the hardest of times. In the worst of times. 
But then we hit the romance. And I groan. What is this? You're fourteen. Try to understand your place in the world first. Andy. You've been treating the girls like crap. How does that imply feelings? At all? I don't understand. I already mentioned this,  I know. Why did we need that? I don't get it. Why did we need romance? Because there is some importance to it later on? As in the next book? Um... I don't know. (It's not like I can telepathically predict what the author wants.)
I don't get why every YA book out there has to have romance. You could be perfectly fine without it. You don't need romance. And I promise you that enough of your readers AREN'T in relationships. At all. Maybe they WERE in one. Or HOPE to be in one. But readers aren't always hooking up. 

The way the world ends is a different. It does seem oddly religious. I hope the author isn't trying to make a statement about God. That could cause a controversy. Emphasis on the world could.
But I think it's unique. Most people say it's World War III. Or a nuclear fallout. Or robots taking over the world. Or drought. Famine. And on and on. But this book...the world went down with lightning. Bam bam. And the red sky thing? Ominous. That's different. People don't think too much about random lightning bolts striking down the population. (Wow. That does sound religious. Man. I'm actually torn between saying it's God or Zeus. I'm atheist and all...) 
There are a few questions coming to mind. Why isn't the cause revealed? Why don't the pincher or something? Why aren't there messages to the survivors? this all a dream? I was beginning to have that odd feeling that this was all a dream. What I'm trying to say is that maybe Maggie walked into her dream. Maybe she fell into a coma and is dreaming up everything. Isn't theory right? I'm probably wrong. The world probably did end for her. But it's a theory. And theories are allowed. 

The plot is boring and dull. I can't be nicer about it.
They take such a long time to travel. And they have almost no provisions. They don't think about ransacking any stores. (Which I think is odd. The characters get stuff from stores to keep them alive.) Honestly, with the amount of food they ate, they probably traveled for a week or so. And it took that long to detail a trip for about a week. It can't be any longer. They would have starved every day if it was longer. (I think.) My estimate might be off. But nothing happened. They weren't attacked. They weren't harassed. It was blank space and each other. They had problems within their group. That's all, though. And they're just walking one long road. How can no one else survive? They're had to be people traveling in cars. Unless...the people were transported to somewhere else to let the 'survivors' freak. (I had this theory too.) 
Nothing really happens until the end.
And the ending is too much honestly. 

The ending is such a cliffhanger. What happens next? Will they survive? Why do all of them have visions? Hm? I don't get it. What's going on with that? 
But it seems like the plot just...glides by. Until the ending. The ending is a landslide. Everything is being toppled onto you. It's too much. Everything happened. I didn't like that. It was too much for me to handle. I also don't think it helped the plot. The plot was flatlined. was a major drop. It was a bit...scary.

Sunny with a 50% chance of rain

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