I have horribly vivid dreams that take a long time to shake off when I wake up. I spent a day being mad at my most innocent husband because I dreamed he had a secret phone and a secret girlfriend. A few days ago, I woke up in my perfectly dry house and started to call in sick to work to deal with the roof collapse I dreamed up. I have actually looked through my home for babies I was responsible for only in the land of Nod. My mind makes vivid and believable stories, so I didn’t have any problem sympathizing with this character’s inability to tell dreams from reality, especially since her dream world is a nuclear apocalypse that I found pretty interesting.
Madeline has always had seizures, but now her seizures include vivid dreams of an alternate reality where nuclear war has turned everything she knows into a dark and threatening place. The one constant is her best friend, Brandon, an ally in life and dreams. When her decisions in the dream world threaten her relationship with Brandon in both worlds, Madline must decide which world is the one she wants to make her reality. This book doesn’t hesitate — it allows readers to jump into the story immediately. Further, readers will have no trouble differentiating between Madeline’s worlds, something that can be tricky in alternate universe books. Madeline is a character with enough universal qualities that it is easy to slip into her shoes and escape into her adventure for a while. Minor characters are distinct if a bit bland, and it was interesting to see how different they were from their counterparts in the real world. A few things will annoy some readers. There is a love triangle complicated by the fact that the romantic interests are brothers and they are in both worlds. The book also ends with a frustrating cliffhanger and little satisfactory resolution to several conflicts. Despite these annoyances, this is a compelling read.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.