- A bookmark swag pack, winner’s choice of any Clean Teen Publishing eBook, and a $15 Amazon gift card.
Trapped on an island for years could make anyone crazy. Imagine being a young teenage boy, stranded on an island with only your stepsister for semi-normal company. Add in the fact that the island’s inhabitants are widely that of cannibals as well and you have yourself one heck of a nightmare. It is only natural that one would seek the solace of a dream, any dream, in order to survive.
For Dex, this is the best solution to the absolute worst case scenario. Each night for the last 3 years, Dex has lulled himself to sleep in this dungeon of danger with one dream, the dream of the girl who got away. Ava was the girl that had captivated his attention and by extension his heart at the mere age of nine. However he was never able to hold on to her and their brief encounter was all he had left of her. That is until an interesting twist of fate seems to have possibly delivered some stroke of luck to poor Dex at the moment he had seemingly lost all hope.
In the distance, Dex believes he sees a figure gliding along in the water. After discovering that this was not a figment of his imagination, he is able to rescue the girl who was adrift in the surf, and brings her back to consciousness before any of the more unseemly residents of the island had their chance to get to her. When he is searching her person, and eventually discovers her things along the shore to discover her identity, he is all but floored at his discovery. The girl whom he had just rescued shared the same name with his dream girl. She also had the same features as he imagined she would as a grown up and she is also the same age. Could this be the Ava of his dreams? This story explores these ideas, juxtaposing what is, and what is imagined with great fluidity and dexterity.
This is the first work that I have read by Shannon Maynard and I was immediately intrigued by the premise. I really liked the idea of a love gone by, even at such a young age, and then rediscovered. I am a romantic sap as a reader, so I am instantly drawn in by anything with a romantic thread to it. However I was even more excited by the horrendous circumstances surrounding this thread, which weaved and incomparable tapestry of storytelling that I very much enjoyed. The relationship the Dex yearns for and the relationship that unfolds within the beautifully unrealistic reality of this universe is colored with so many different shades and undertones. Dex covers his true feelings well and with great charisma with his endearing sense of humor and self-confidence. The way he is able to slightly manipulate Ava in her times of frustration are incredibly realistic and humorous. I very much enjoyed his character and the way his demeanor shaped the entire book. Ava is also an interesting character but I was far more captivated by Dex. His character was much more akin to the unique aspects of the book on the whole. The originality of the work is its greatest strength.
The book itself began at a rather slow pace and I had some difficulty finding motivation to continue on with it, but once I broke past that crest, it was well worth it. Overall I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. The plot was well worth the read and I would recommend this book to those who enjoy and adventurous read with a unique plot drive.
How does music influence your writing? This is a tough question. I don’t listen to music while I
write. I’m easily distracted and I actually write late at night when it’s quiet. If I listened to
music while writing I might end up with something crazy for a finished project. I’ll blame it on
the fact that I love to sing when I’m listening to music-in the shower, car, while getting ready,
or cleaning house. I am great at multitasking but listening to music, singing, AND writing
would be way too complex for me. I will say that when I’m not jamming out to pop and hip
hop I like songs with romantic elements, and there have been music videos that have fueled
my imagination for romantic settings in my book.