Reviewed by Karin Perry for TeensReadToo.com
Jori has detention. Punching your ex-best friend in the face will do that. Sitting in the classroom, Jori reflects on her life. In her opinion, Marisa, the ex-best friend, deserves a lot more than a punch in the face for the way she has turned on her. Not only has Jori lost her father in a terrible car accident that left her horribly scarred on her face and arm, but now her sister has disappeared. To make matters worse, Marisa decides to drop her as a friend and call her a freak in the halls where everyone can hear. This is what led to her detention sentence.
One evening when walking home from detention, Jori starts to follow a dog that leads her through some scary alleys, but eventually to a beautiful, cozy cottage. Once she reaches the front door she is startled by the peep hole. Strangely, it talks to her. Freaking out, she runs away, breathing a sigh of relief once she makes it home; until she realizes that she left her backpack lying on the ground close to the cottage.
The next day Jori dreads the end of detention, knowing she is going to have to go back to find her backpack. Luckily Newt, also stuck in detention, offers to walk her home since it gets dark so early in the evening. Not wanting to go to the cottage alone, she accepts his offer. Once they get there, they are sucked into a world of unimaginable consequences.
Mr. DePris is the owner of the cottage and inside he presents a very welcoming environment, offering snacks and a warm place by the fire. Mr. DePris offers to tell them a story and takes some glittery powder out of his pocket and blows it toward the flames. Once it is in the air, Jori and Newt become overcome by fatigue and drift into sleep to dream. Mr. DePris is able to watch their dreams and seems very excited by what he is seeing.
Jori, not completely asleep, sees Mr. DePris and is uncomfortable enough to rouse herself awake. She forces him to wake Newt up so they can leave. The problem is, Newt doesn't want to leave. He was enjoying his dream of being a warrior, fighting with William Wallace. Before Jori and Newt can get out of the cottage, Mr. DePris invites them back the next day to see a treasure. Newt is very excited to return, but Jori feels uneasy.
Returning to the cottage turns out to be the most dangerous thing they could have done. Once inside, Mr. DePris takes everyone to the second floor to see a beautiful tapestry that hangs on the wall. This tapestry is very special. The intricate designs move. It turns out that Mr. DePris has a spider that can take the dreams of the people he brings to see it and weave them into the tapestry after he puts them to sleep with the glittery dust. After their dream has been woven into the tapestry, the dreamer goes into the tapestry as well and remains there until they dry up and die. Jori realizes the dangers of this and, using the help of an unlikely ally, gets into the tapestry to save Newt and hopefully bring her sister home.
DREAM SPINNER is an interesting and unique fantasy that leads one lonely girl through the process of healing physical and emotional scars while finding her strengths and learning to rely on them to survive and rescue those she cares about.