‘THE DREAM WALKER’ by Victoria Carless

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The weight of a secret can drag you under . . .

Sixteen-year-old Lucy Hart has been counting the days till she can get the hell out of Digger’s Landing – a small Queensland fishing hamlet home to fifteen families, a posse of mongrel dogs, and Parkers Corner Store (no apostrophe and nowhere near a corner).

But just like the tides, Lucy’s luck is on the turn, and as graduation nears her escape plans begin to falter; her best friend, Polly, is dropping out of school to help pay the bills, and Tom has been shipped off to boarding school, away from the flotsam of this place. And then there’s Lucy’s nightlife, which is filled with dreams that just don’t seem to belong to her at all . . .

When the fish stop biting, like they did when her mum was still around, Lucy realises she isn’t the only one with a secret.

Thanks to Hachette Australia for sending me a copy of THE DREAM WALKER to review!

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I don’t really know how I feel about this novel. The blurb is really vague so I didn’t know what to expect. Originally, I thought it was a mystery novel with contemporary features, but after reading it I think it’s actually more magical realism, but I’m still not sure. It was one of those books that I finished in a day not because I couldn’t put it down, but because I just wanted to finish it and I didn’t want to dwell on it for too long.

I thought it was going to be touching and poignant with a deep meaning. But I didn’t really feel any of that. I’m not even too sure I understood the story. Lucy is a “dream walker” so she can walk in to other people’s dreams, but not everyone’s (I think). Her mum is dead and her dad is a bit scary, she has a friend (Polly) and there’s a guy (Tom) and there’s also a small town (just like every other Australian mystery novel). I couldn’t connect to any of these features of the novel. I had no attachment to Lucy or the story.

I don’t really know if it should even be considered as YA. It read more like an adult fiction or lit fiction. The writing style was very detailed and “literary” which I actually enjoyed. It might be what I liked the most about the novel. At times, the writing was even beautiful and captivating and it made up for the lack of connection I had to the characters and the story.

It’s not that I hated this book or that I wouldn’t recommend it. Personally, I just didn’t enjoy it and it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. I think it had the potential to be beautiful story, but it just didn’t do it for me.

If you’ve read THE DREAM WALKER, let me know in the comments below. Usually when I feel this way (when I’m not really sure what to write) about a novel that I have to review, I read other people’s reviews, but there aren’t many on Goodreads. I would love to hear some other people’s thoughts on the novel.

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