Review: Dream World by S. J. Hitchcock
Today on Out of Control Characters, I'll review fellow Freaky Fiction author, S.J. Hitchcock's Dream World.
Sarah Hitchcock was born in Norfolk, in a small town called Kings Lynn. She always was a keen reader, and one day decided to attempt to write her own, and never looked back. Today she has many novels in various stages of editing and re-writing. Her current WIP, is in the final stages of editing, and will be out later this year as an ebook.
After finishing high school and then training to work with children, Sarah started her first job. She currently works as a pre-school teacher.
Sarah has four children, and three dogs, and a partner who has had to put up with her rambling on about all her WIP’s.
Debbie who witnesses the death of her mother, and uses her dreams as a way to escape the real world. Where she feels safe and loved, in Joshua Lawson’s arms, the guy from her favourite TV show Victor, and from her favourite poster above her bed.
Karen is ignored by all her family, she really just wants to be loved by them, and takes out her anger on her former best friend, Debbie and anyone who gets in her way.
Lastly, Mark whose shipped off to the UK to live, while his parents are on tour for the next year. And Mark has always lived in the shadow of his cousin.
Three teenagers come together as each deals with issues in their lives. Debbie witnesses a drunk driver killing her mother and finds comfort not from the usual sources, but from dreams about her favorite teen pop idol. Karen, Debbie's former best friend, is lonely. She feels as if her family doesn't love her, and acts out by being the mean girl. Mark has a cousin and parents who are famous, but aren't there for him. Moved to the United Kingdom so his parents can complete their current tour, he sees a pretty girl in a market and falls for her, only to discover later that this girl is Debbie. Karen, however, has other plans for Mark, and he has to extract himself from her clutches to begin a relationship with a girl he can't keep his eyes off.
The issues addressed in this novel are harsh in some ways, funny in others, and poignant. As Debbie struggles with her grief, and a feeling that she was responsible for her mother's death, the dreams of her crush become confused. She's no longer certain who she loves. Karen evolves from a shallow girl bent on dating every boy in school – but only if they're worthy of her time – into a confused, neglected teen in a house where money is the measure of success, but she eventually begins to see her friends only hang around because of her family's wealth, and the real friends are those who no longer care about her. Mark stands out as he loves one of these girl's and despises the other. He's the typical teenage boy, expect for his fear of everyone at his new school finding out his parents are rock stars.
S.J. Hitchcock has taken on the difficult task of creating a novel for teens where each of the viewpoints is in first person. Each storyline is compelling, where the reader can feel for the characters, although it takes time with Karen, who is the ultimate mean girl. There are some parts where it's confusing to figure out just who we're seeing, however Hitchcock manages the storyline well.
Grief, loneliness, and growing up too fast combine with all the normal teen issues to make this a fabulous book for all teens, and their parents. I highly recommend Dream World.