Dreamfall by Amy Plum
Summary:Cata Cordova suffers from such debilitating insomnia that she agreed to take part in an experimental new procedure. She thought things couldn’t get any worse...but she was terribly wrong.
Soon after the experiment begins, there’s a malfunction with the lab equipment, and Cata and six other teen patients are plunged into a shared dreamworld with no memory of how they got there. Even worse, they come to the chilling realization that they are trapped in a place where their worst nightmares have come to life. Hunted by creatures from their darkest imaginations and tormented by secrets they’d rather keep buried, Cata and the others will be forced to band together to face their biggest fears.
Dreamfall is an original and unique story that is relatively difficult to get into in terms of keeping track of the cast of characters, but once you begin reading it’s captivating and impossible to put down.
Dreamfall follows seven teenagers who have signed up for an experimental procedure to help cure their insomnia. But when a small earthquake destroys the lab equipment, the teenagers are catapulted into a shared dream world where their worst nightmares come to life.
What’s interesting about Dreamfall is that it is partly told through the perspective of Jamie, a Yale premed student documenting the experiment for her thesis. This was an interesting stylistic choice as it gave us the opportunity to notice what was happening outside the dreamworld. The story is also comprised of two other perspectives – two of the teens in the experiment.
The flaw of the story is that, at the beginning, it’s a bit difficult to keep track of each of the seven teens in the experiment. It takes a little while to adjust to and keep track of all the characters.
Additionally, some of the characterization fell a bit flat. Besides having very intriguing backstories, there really wasn’t much personality or depth to the seven teens involved in the experiment. Take away the backstories and it would almost feel like they were all the same person. This probably helps explain why it is so hard to keep track of them in the beginning.
In the end, while not perfect, this is a book that is unlike anything else in young adult literature. It is pack filled of twists and turns and a unique concept. It’s almost reminiscent of a Twilight Zone episode and the movie Inception.