Title: Dream Smashers
Author: Angela Carlie
Publisher: DarkSide Publishing
Publication Date: April 4, 2011
Source: Received copy from author in exchange for an honest review
Sixteen-year-old Autumn has spent her entire life worrying about others. Her ailing grandma, meth-addicted mom, and a best friend who is always in trouble. She’s spent the last few years attempting to worry less, to be carefree, without success.
Enter Evan, whose radiant attitude is an Autumn magnet. With Evan at her side, Autumn’s able to let some of her worries go as they trudge through life’s difficulties and fall for each other in the process.
A girl who no longer wants to care and a boy who cares enough for the both of them, Dream Smashers is a love story, but most of all, it’s about letting go.
Dream Smashers is a truly solid debut novel from Angela Carlie. I was so incredibly impressed with the writing style and dialogue throughout the book and it made it a joy to read, even while tackling a difficult topic that is not easy to discuss.
Growing up with an MIA mom who is constantly high on whatever she can get her hands on, Autumn is surprisingly level-headed and “normal.” You feel her pain as she is rejected and humiliated time and time again by her junkie mom, Jacinda, and is consoled by her grandma, best friend, and Evan. Without those people in her life, I’m not sure Autumn (or anyone else for that matter) could handle what she had to go through.
All of the characters in the story were well developed and played an integral part throughout the book. Each had a significant role in Autumn’s life and I can’t imagine the story being as well-written as it was with even one of those characters left out. I enjoyed the back-and-forth narrative style the author used between characters, but at times it wasn’t clear as to who was speaking until about a page into the chapter. It usually became pretty obvious after that first page as the voices of Jacinda and Autumn were extremely distinct and different (Jacinda has quite the potty mouth).
I can’t even explain to you my feelings toward Autumn’s mom, Jacinda. She is definitely one of the most heartless, selfish characters I have ever read and Angela Carlie did a phenomenal job of making her the terrible person she is. Although Autumn is the main character, the book could not have existed without the vile and cruel Jacinda.
All in all, Dream Smashers is a stunningly raw, emotional read that will touch your heart and leave you thinking about it for days to come.
Angela has been gracious enough to provide an ebook copy of Dream Smashers via Smashwords to one lucky winner. Just fill out the super-short form below and a winner will be announced May 5. Normal contest rules apply. Good luck!