Review: Dream Girl

Dream Girl by Lauren Mechling

Tonight should be the first night of my honeymoon, but instead I’m at home reading and blogging about books.  This time tomorrow I should be much more happily installed in our pretty little beach house.  While not enough to ruin my trip, it’s enough to ruin the fun buzz of anticipation I’ve been building up ever since we started planning it.  I just have to remember that by this time tomorrow, Hurricane Hanna will be a distant memory.

And on to the book!

Claire has a French father who teaches French at NYU and a mother who is a ghostwriter and gossip magazine astrologist.  She lives in the faculty housing where I went to Marie’s party the other night and “accidentally” gets accepted into Stuyvesant, though the name of the super-competitive public school has been changed.  Her parents take her out of her alternative, expensive school and plop her into unfriendly and alien territory.  The only person she meets who isn’t too obsessed with extra-curriculars to hang out after school is another new girl, Becca, who is preternaturally poised and self-assured.  She’s also secretly the heiress to the Heinz fortune, though again the name has been changed.  Most of the plot and set-up is standard bubble-gum realistic fiction fare.  There are even trips to Bendels and Aspen, though the rich kids in the book aren’t jaded or bratty.  There’s a romantic interest (I think we’re supposed to like him, but he does come off as a bit scummy) who’s got a gorgeous and bitchy girlfriend, and there’s an evil ex-best friend who’s turned into the school mean girl.

But the twist is that Claire, Claire Voyant, has been having these crazy dreams about things that start popping up in her real life.  She learns that the women in her family tend to be “gifted” and that she can use this power to help the people around her and influence the course of her own life.

What any of this has to do with the cover art, I’m not sure.  Other than the model looking kind of ducky, as Claire is described as being.  I don’t know that I enjoyed the book that much, but would definitely recommend it to younger teen girls without reservation.  It’s take on New York is very good.  And some of the characters were interesting.  But all the pieces and characters and plots didn’t fit together smoothly enough.  It seems like the first in a series, and maybe I did enjoy it enough to read the next.  Though I’d probably be happier rereading Kiki Strike, I can absolutely imagine a 13-year-old girl loving this book and wanting to be Claire.

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2 responses to “Review: Dream Girl

  1. Was your clairvoyant reference short because it was not particularly central to the story or something you were not enamored with?

  2. @Sandi: My comments on it are short because it wasn’t a facet of the story I found very compelling, though it was central. The dream sequences themselves were boring (it’s very hard not to make dream sequences boring) and I felt like nothing was accomplished that couldn’t have been with better storytelling/girl-detective skills.

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