Title: Dare to Dream Author: Carys Jones Paperback: 358 pages Publisher: REUTS Publications (March 3, 2015) ISBN-13: 978-1942111085 Rating: 4 stars SYNOPSIS: “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. REVIEW: I’ve been looking to read more UK YA but living in the States makes it difficult to know what books I should be reading and by who. So I have to thank Carys Jones for contacting me to read and review her book. I had no idea it was out or what this book was even about. With that being said I truly enjoyed reading this. It had some flaws–such as pacing in certain parts of the book and some of the characters were a tad bit annoying. So when they died or got killed I didn’t feel sorry. In fact I was happy. I know I sound so cold-hearted but that’s how I feel when it comes to whiny and annoying characters. It’s like die already. Anyways, with those problems set aside, Dare to Dream was a pretty decent read. Maggie’s life is bleak and damn near depressing. Being in a house full of rowdy siblings and an alcoholic mother isn’t fun or the best of situation. Especially for someone so quiet and unassuming. On top of that Maggie is having horrible, premonition style nightmares about the end of the world. To make matters worse nobody believes her. Only her best friend Dawn. So we go through the motion of people thinking our protagonist is even crazy or being abused at home or cracking under the pressure of school. Fast forward through all the unnecessary warnings and trying to get people to believe her to the end of the world. Naturally, Maggie feels guilty for not trying hard enough to save her family and more people but she did managed to save her best friend Dawn and fellow classmate Andy/love interest. And this is where some of the pacing is slow and sort of boring. I think there could have been more action. Instead there was complaining and whiny and long endless walking until things picked back up and we found out what was the cause of the world ending. I’m not going to say. You have to read the book to find out. Overall, the writing and suspense kept me reading and wanting to find out what these nightmares were all about. I definitely look forward to reading more by Carys Jones. So if you’re into YA scifi this is the book for you. Dare to Dream will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end. Sidenote: I received an e-book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Carys currently lives in Shropshire, England. Not All Stars Sparkle was her first full length novel which was published in October 2010. Her second novel, Sunkissed, was released in August 2013. Carys works as a freelance writer, but when she isn’t writing she loves spending time with her dog and watching science fiction films. Not All Stars Sparkle was a a finalist for the People’s Book Prize 2013. Please refer to www.carys-jones.com for up to date information about the author. Alternatively follow Carys on Twitter; @tiny_dancer85
1)What inspired you to write Dare to Dream? A while ago I read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. If you’ve not read it, it’s quite a bleak tale about a post-apocalyptic world. You’re never really told what happened to the world, you just endure the exhausting quest for survival with the MC and his son. The challenge of writing about a destroyed world really appealed to me. But I wanted to give my own story some more context, I wanted to describe what happened to the world and experience the destruction first hand. Then I started thinking about what if someone knew the world was going to end? And what if no one would listen because they were just a fourteen year old British school girl? And from those initial thoughts Dare to Dream was developed. 2)Do you outline when writing your books or do you just sit in front of the computer and start typing whatever comes to your mind? Whenever I’m writing I always work to a pretty rigid outline. I plan out every chapter in quite a lot of detail and know how a story is going to end before I’ve even written the first sentence. That said, I sometimes get ideas along the way which I incorporate into the story but nothing ever changes dramatically from the original outline. 3)If you could hang out with any character from any book, who would it be and why? Right now I’m reading Alice in Zombieland and I wouldn’t mind hanging out with the character Cole Holland as he’s really intense yet interesting. He seems like the kind of guy who when you’re with them there is never a dull moment. Also, he’d be pretty handy to have around if any zombies did show up… 4)Do you have any writing rituals that you partake in? (ex. Favor mug, pen, chocolate etc…) I don’t really have any specific rituals but the routine is always the same. I go up in to my pink Disney themed writing room with a large glass of water, shut the door and open up my pink laptop. My dog, Rollo, always comes too and he sits in his bed in the corner while I write. My house can get kind of cold so lately I’ve been sitting under a blanket and wearing gloves to write! I tend to do my writing first thing in the morning as my mind is freshest then. 5)Last question. The 80’s are back—what hairstyle from that era would you rock? Lol! That’s a fun question. I’d have to go with a perm as I’ve always secretly fancied having one! : ) Thanks for stopping by. Please feel free to leave a comment or feedback. Sanovia Blogger Avid reader and Minion Lover <3