Reviewed by Breanna F. for TeensReadToo.com
Claire Voyante (yes, that is her real name) has had strange visions ever since she was little. She's never been able to do anything with them, but that all changes on her fifteenth birthday when her grandmother, Kiki, gives her a beautiful cameo made out of onyx and ivory on a gold chain. Pretty soon she starts having these strange black and white dreams.
While these dreams start occurring, Claire is in a new school and has made a fabulous new friend, Becca. Becca happens to be part of a very rich family and she has a very attractive brother named Andy, but he has a beautiful, stuck-up girlfriend. When Claire starts having her dreams, she's afraid that they might have something to do with a family that has always had it out for Becca's family, and she's worried that they might be in danger.
With her powerful cameo Claire might actually be able to solve this mystery! At least that's what she hopes.
DREAM GIRL was a really cute book. It was even a great sort of mystery. I actually wasn't even sure how the book was going to end, but I did like the ending. Ms. Mechling gives her characters such strong and humorous voices. Claire and Kiki were my favorite characters. I love how they acted together. And I also thought the flirting between Andy and Claire was totally adorable.
Basically, this is just a really fun and light read. And isn't the cover adorable? I fell in love with it instantly!
DREAM GIRL is an utterly delightful, entertaining, and real book, featuring sharp writing and amazing characters. I couldn't put it down, and, considering how this is not my usual genre fare for reading, that's saying something.
Lauren Mechling's writing is pitch-perfect for the likable Claire. Claire has a tongue-in-cheek way of approaching and viewing the world, going along with all the eccentricities around her while simultaneously making her genuine mark on others. She sounds like a real 15-year-old, not a grown up trying to hard to capture a 15-year-old's voice or a 15-year-old whom you want to whack in the head for being insufferably annoying.
But Claire is not the only strong character in this book. With the possible exception of the mean-girl posse at school, there is not one character in DREAM GIRL that feels like a stereotype. They are, incredibly, all charming and interesting. The dialogue is excellent; in fact, if you're an appreciator of all-too-rare good writing in chick lit, as I am, you won't be able to stop smiling through this book, chuckling at all the subtle witticisms and nodding your head at the realistic portrayal of people.
The psychic mystery element of DREAM GIRL works if you suspend your disbelief that a girl's dreams can help her solve a sinister international crime. I liked how this novel is character-driven, not plot-dependent. Claire's prophetic dreams do not overshadow her daytime life; instead, the mystical element of the story adds just a touch of the fantastical to this otherwise contemporary novel.
Overall, those looking for good writing and light reads will enjoy DREAM GIRL. Hardcore mystery fans may find Claire's sleuthing abilities a bit too lighthearted for their tastes, but for those of us less well-versed in the genre, DREAM GIRL is a promising read. I can't wait to see what Claire will do next in future books!