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Reviewed by:
  • Dreaming Dangerous by Lauren DeStefano
  • Sarah Sahn
DeStefano, Lauren Dreaming Dangerous. Bloomsbury, 2018 [208p]
Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-68119-447-9 $16.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-1-68119-448-6 $11.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 3–6

All the children at the Brassmere Academy for the Extraordinary have strange talents—the ability to bend metal with their minds, terrific strength and speed, or, for twelve-year-old Plum and her friends Artem, Vien, and Gwendle, the ability to dream in tandem. Their talent has created a strong bond between the four friends, but lately Plum’s dreams have taken a disturbing turn—as has the waking world of Brassmere. When Artem vanishes one night after giving a dire warning in their shared dream—“They’re coming for us”—Plum, Vien, and Gwendle begin questioning the world they’ve always taken for granted and realize that fatherly headmaster Dr. Abarrane may have sinister intentions. The build-up of this creepily atmospheric novel unfolds with perfect pacing, as the friends move in and out of dreams and each of their new discoveries suggests a deeper lie about their past or a bigger threat in the present. Plum, uneasy about rocking the boat but practical, brave, and unwilling to back down from a fight once she’s committed, makes an appealing ringleader. There are hints of budding romance between Plum and Vien, but the focus of the novel is on the fiercely loyal friendship among the four friends. DeStefano drops hints of an intriguing world beyond Brassmere, but a rushed ending leaves it unexplored, at least in this volume, along with Dr. Abarrane’s true plans for his gifted students. Nonetheless, this is an engaging addition to the magical school story genre, with a reassuring warmth and optimism to its conclusion. [End Page 425]



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p. 425
Launched on MUSE
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