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Monday, December 26, 2011

Moondreams by Dean Johnson - a book review by Daniel Neff

Who is sitting under the same moon across the sea dreaming of you?

Moondreams would technically be classified as youth/young adult fiction, but don't let that mislead you. The characters, who grow from middle schoolers to college-age young adults, experience struggles and triumphs that we all can identify with. I am pushing 50, and I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Early in the book, the reader gets a lot of background on the characters, with jumps in time keeping him on his toes. During this opening section, the characters are well developed: we get to know them and grow fond of them, which makes their experiences later in the book all the more meaningful to us.
Kirah, the main female character and her friends Marti, Sarah, and Jill form a close click of friends whose lives are followed throughout the story. Ramon, a very interesting character, is a male friend of this group. He seems to meander in and out of their lives, complicating them as he does.
Bryan, the male lead to Kirah, is a young man we can all identify with. Through a well-presented background, we come to understand his hopes and dreams, as well as his fears. Bryan's past escapades with his friends, Shane, Dan, and Joe, provide us a window into his soul through his experiences, as well as laying the groundwork for his personality as it develops later in the story.
Many of the anecdotes presented in the story are real, riveting, and entertaining. I would go into detail, but I'm afraid I would give away too much and rob you of the joy of discovering them for yourselves. There are so many things like that about this book: beautiful lines, artfully painted scenes, poignant moments – but you'll have to get a copy and find them yourself.
Anyone who is going through their teens/early twenties, or anyone who has lived through that period of their life and would enjoy a trip down memory lane, will enjoy this book. The scary, but exciting adventure that is youthful romance is presented in a way that makes you want to experience it all over again. I was excited and anxious at the same time, as Dean masterfully evoked, not just the memories, but the emotional anxiety I experienced during romantic relationships at that age. Does she like me, too? Will she say yes if I ask her out, or will she stomp on my heart? We're dating and I really like her, but does she feel the same way? I experienced those gut-wrenching feelings in vivid detail all over again. It was great! Thanks a lot, Dean.
The title, Moondreams, is a perfect title for this book. I won't say why, that is for you to figure out.
I honestly have only one negative thing to say. I am sad that I finished this book, because I was enjoying reading it immensely. I can read it again, but you never again get to experience the wonder and revelation from the first time through.
I would buy this ebook if it were $9.99 or $14.99, but at $2.99, are you kidding me? Come on, you pay more than that for a latte`.

Daniel Neff - Author

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