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  • Fantastical

    With Screamcatcher, Christy Breedlove takes an item we've all at least heard of and explores a new thought - Where do all those bad dreams go, and how much can one dream catcher hold before it can't take anymore? I don't pretend to be an expert in Native American lore. In fact, I wouldn't even consider myself well-versed, but that's the beauty of this one. I didn't have to know all the lore to completely devour this fantastical story where Jory and friends are thrust into a world made of nightmares, a world of no color where the worst of the worst will test them to the breaking point. The story moves at breakneck speed from the time these teenagers enter the nightmare world, and it doesn't let up. I would be hard put to pick a specific genre for this one because the author runs the gamut with that. It's most certainly a fantasy, but we also get action, adventure, and even a bit of sweet romance. It also reminds me of dystopian fiction, and some coming of age for these young adults as they learn to defend themselves in the worst of circumstances. As far as a target age group, I would consider Screamcatcher's target audience to be older teen to young adult, but I'm well past both of those and I found this one almost impossible to put down once I started. Any fantasy requires some world building, and Breedlove does it with style. We're drawn into this nightmare realm and the author paints vivid pictures with her words. Not only could I visualize this terrifying world, but it's given to me organically throughout the story. In addition to the setting, every new nightmare is well-written and gripping. The only drawback for me came in the form of character development. That's not to say that the characters aren't well-drawn, they certainly are in that we get a good look at how each deals with their circumstances and it's not hard to feel Choice's love for Jory. That said, I would've liked a bit more into Jory, especially. Obviously, she's dealing with plenty of inner turmoil, and she's forced to dig deep into her heritage if there's to be any hope of escape. But, I wanted more of what was going on inside her head as she came to grips with this new reality, more of the things that shaped her into the person she is. Here, I have to add that more of Choice would've also been a big plus for me, but that wasn't a deal-breaker. He comes across as pretty much and open book, and it's not hard to figure out his motives for anything. In the end, I was thoroughly gripped by the world Christy Breedlove has created. Screamcatcher starts with a gorgeous cover, and its inside is filled with originality and an edge of your seat tale that kept this reader turning pages well into the night.

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  • An interesting read with unique elements

    In a never before plot, our main characters get stuck in a living nightmare through an ancient dreamcatcher. Jory has recurring nightmares about her parent’s death and no matter what she does or what her grandfather does to stop these bad dreams, nothing seems to be working. The book is entangled with Indian lore so when Jory’s friend Choice wants to give this old family heirloom (a dreamcatcher) a chance, there’s no point in avoiding it. But things go south when Jory and her friends go to sleep in Jory’s house but wake up in a hellish world. Plot: I loved the plot. It was so unique and fast-paced. After every chapter, I was waiting for new twists and turns, just expecting to read what new amazing instance the author’s imagination could conjure up this time. I especially liked the second half of the book. It was definitely more action-packed than the first half. Characters: There is just some wrong vibe I got from Choice. Every time I would read about him, I’d find more and more reasons not to like him. But Jory turned out to be the most likeable character in the book despite everything. I liked the presence of her grandfather in the book as well. Writing: The writing was the most interesting part of the book and though I liked the world-building and the characters as well, the book would have been nothing without great writing. The dialogues were well-managed and the prose described the emotions of the characters perfectly. Plus, this book was quite easy to read and I could picture all the scenes as if they were playing out like a movie. Climax: Ah, the endings are often something that lead to disappointment. And even in this book, it was somehow the same case. I found the ending to be a little predictable and though there is nothing particularly wrong with that, I just really think there was scope for a major mind-blowing twist at the end.

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