Dream On by Angie Hockman
Contemporary Romance, 16+
I want to thank Netgalley and Simon&Schuster for the chance to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Cass Walker was on her way home from taking the bar exam when she was in a car accident that put her in a coma. She wakes up with memories of her boyfriend, Devin, but quickly finds out that Devin doesn’t exist. According to her mother and best friend, Cass has never dated anyone named Devin. Heartbroken, she moves on and heals from her accident until a year later when she runs into…Devin. In real life.
This contemporary romance has some interesting themes. The theme of a career as identity is bigger than I thought it would be. Cass is a lawyer, finally getting her chance at joining a firm after her accident set her back by a year. However, it’s clear from the beginning of the novel that even though she’s very good at her job and excels according to her superiors, she doesn’t enjoy it. It takes a lot to move away from any job, but especially one that you’ve been putting all your time and energy into for years and years.
Fated love is dealt with in this novel as well, though with a refreshing twist. As Devin and Cass begin hanging out more, they talk about whether Cass dreaming about him means that they’re fated to be together. Everyone is buying into it since there doesn’t seem to be another explanation. Even after reading the actual explanation, I can tell you that fate is definitely playing its part here.
The romance itself was a bit underwhelming, though it had very cute moments. Cass is struggling through a lot of emotions between the stress of her job and finding out Devin is real after a year of grieving his existence in her coma dreams. There are a few moments where it feels like Devin is taking advantage of that and trying to move into her life very quickly. I got bad vibes from him from the very beginning, but I kept hoping that he would get better. The ending was satisfactory, but it felt like an awkward way to get there (it was an awkward situation though, so I wasn’t surprised).
Cass was the one who made it awkward. She felt that she owed something to Devin for dreaming about him and even when she began to doubt their compatibility, she felt she should continue to date him because it was “fated”. It was frustrating to read since it would have been so easy for her to allow everyone in the situation to move on and be happier sooner. That said, I enjoyed the tension it created, and the romance was better because of it.
Just to note, this novel doesn’t include much more than kissing until the epilogue, which surprised me in its explicitness. So, if you don’t want to read about any of that, you can skip the epilogue (or the second half of the epilogue if you want to see what else happens). I didn’t feel like the spicy scene at the end was necessary because everything else had been wrapped up.
There’s nothing wrong with this novel. Most of the complaints I have are because of personal preference, so I’m figuring out what I do and don’t like in a contemporary romance, as well as how to tell which books those tropes are going to occur in. I recommend picking this book up if the premise sounds intriguing to you since it’s fluffy and fun while still being deep in its emotions and themes.
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