Eighteen-year-old Brenna Whit is entering college as a freshman and starting to meet new people, but she hides a dark secret.
Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.
To Dream Is To Die
Series: Dead Dreamer #1
Author: Sarah Lampkin
Publication Date: January 8, 2019
Publisher: The Parliament House
Page Count: 296
Genre: New Adult, Paranormal
Cover Artist: Shayne Leighton
My Rating: ★★★★
I received a copy of this book from the author, Sarah Lampkin, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my review or rating.
Content Warning: Death, Injury, Underaged Drinking/Partying, Premarital Relations, Promiscuity
The day I died was the day I started to live with the dead.
Brenna is entering her first year of college. Like every other normal teen, she’s anxious for the new stage in life–but it not for the same reasons her peers have. Brenna died for six minutes after being hit by a car. She wasn’t supposed to come back, but the rescue team was able to save her. Since then, Brenna has never been the same. Following the accident, she lost the ability to dream, and instead, enters the Fade where spirits of those who have passed occupy. This ability has changed her reality completely, as she can see past the veil and into the realm where spirits, fae, and demons reside.
But this ability poses its own problems. Brenna discovers that she is not the only one able to pierce the veil, and a buried history of Dead Dreamers, Dream Walkers, and Watchers is discovered. Brenna stumbles across Damon, a Dream Walker, who can see spirits during one of her nightly escapades outside her body. Brenna doesn’t exactly like Damon, but the two become acquaintances throughout the year via Aeria. As the three become closer, events ensue that uncover a secret that has something to do with their college that centers around Brenna’s Dead Dreaming ability–something hidden, something dark.
To Dream Is To Die is a book rich with creativity, character building, and makes the reader yearn for more. While the main character Brenna can come off as being standoffish and snarky, I didn’t mind her character one bit. If anything, I could empathize with her. Having gone through such a horrific experience, and to be brought back to life–with obvious repercussions–I completely understand why she keeps to herself, and isn’t easy to get to know. Most people would see her as “crazy” if she were to reveal her encounter with the Fade.
Equally, Damon is just as “unlikeable” as Brenna. He and Brenna immediately butt heads, and only maintain an acquaintance throughout the entirety of To Dream Is To Die. I found this aspect so interesting, as characters always tend to to be buddy-buddy in the end. The tension between Brenna and Damon is palpable, and in my opinion, enjoyable, as it mimics reality in a sense that people don’t always get along, yet, can live in the same world as one another. I think that Ms. Lampkin has a talent at capturing her character’s true personalities and thoughts, and makes them effective no matter their role in the overall plot.
The only aspect I didn’t like was how Brenna simply followed Aeria in her dislike for Erica. I felt that they both held something against Erica for no reason. Yes, Erica definitely has her flaws as a character (wanting to play the field being one of them). But even with that, I felt that the way they treated her, when she clearly wanted a friendship with (at least) Brenna, was unfounded.
Another small notation, which I’m certain will be focused more upon in the sequel, To Wake the Dead is the want for more detail and backstory. I find the concept in this story so interesting, and I just want to know everything about the Fade, the different “abilities,” and such.
”So, how did you like your first year of college? With the exception of that little incident.”
Ironically, it made my mood drop even more. But instead of letting him know that, I put on a fake smile. “It was all right. Can’t wait to come back next year.”
I’m really looking forward to reading To Wake the Dead to see how everything plays out with the college, Brenna’s hostile soul, and how everything will intertwin.
Sexual content: There is a lot of talk in passing about people getting together, but nothing explicit.
Violence: Moderate, including scenes of injury and discussion of death.
My Rating: ★★★★
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