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Saturday, December 3, 2022

Book Review: Dreamland by Nicholas Sparks

BOOK review
Started on: 22 September 2022
Finished on: 30 September 2022
Title: Dreamland
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 367 pages / 359 pages (e-book)
Year of Publication: 2022
Price: Rp 265,000 (Link: Periplus)
Rating: 3/5

Colby Mills had to give up on his dream of having a music career when a tragedy struck his family. Now the head of a small family farm in North Carolina, he spontaneously accepted a gig playing at a bar in St. Pete's beach, Florida, seeking a break from his usual farming routines. When he met Morgan Lee, his world turned upside-down, making him wonder whether the responsibilities he has shouldered need to dictate his life forever. Within a few days, their relationship grew deeper as they connected through their love of music and songwriting. While they are falling in love, Beverly is on a heart-pounding journey of another kind. Running away from an abusive husband with her six-year-old son, she's trying to start a new life in a small town far off the beaten track. In the course of a single week, fate will draw all three of them together in a web of life-altering connections, forcing each to wonder whether the dream of a better life can ever survive the weight of the past.
"As I slid behind the wheel, I recalled what Paige had once said about love and pain being two sides of the same coin and finally understood exactly what she meant."
As someone who's read almost all of Nicholas Sparks's books, I'm always looking forward to his new release. I have the same excitement towards this book and started reading immediately even though I have no idea what it's going to be about. Unfortunately, despite enjoying Nicholas Sparks's writing style from start to finish, this book is not my favorite. 
The story is written alternately between the POV of the main characters: Colby and Beverly. Colby's chapters shared the days that he spent in Florida, playing a few gigs at a local bar when he gets a rare break from his usual routine as a farmer. During his stay, Colby meets Morgan, who's also visiting from out of town. The two of them shared a bond for their love of music and spent a lot of time together. It doesn't take long for Colby and Morgan to feel attracted and grow deeper feelings towards one another. Reading their interactions was great and all that, but sadly, I don't care much about their relationship or find their characters interesting 🤷‍♀️. Somehow I feel Colby's chapters are bland and lacking conflict—at least in the first half of the book, which quickly made me lose interest.

On the other hand, Beverly's chapters are a lot more intriguing and her story is what made me want to keep reading until the end. In her storyline, Beverly is currently running away from her abusive husband with her six-year-old son, Tommie; trying to start a new life in a small town where she hopes they can't be found. I love her chapters because the tension is really high and the story is so gripping right from the start. We also get to dive into Beverly's anxious thoughts and her unfounded fear—which made me feel worried about her. At some point, I started to question Beverly's character and I wonder if she's an unreliable narrator because of her constant paranoia. However, of course I won't spoil the final reveal behind Beverly's story because that's actually the engrossing part of this book. Can't say that I was super blown away by the plot twist, but that part of the story is the reason why I ended up giving this book 3/5 stars despite the boring parts.

As I was reading this book, I felt constantly confused because at the beginning I couldn't see the correlation between these two storylines. Now that I've finished it, of course I understand how the two threads are connected and affected one another. However, I personally think that the wait is too long and I struggled to get through the bland parts of the story. Furthermore, the ending was not as satisfying as I hoped it would be—it might be because I don't really care about Colby and Morgan to begin with 🤔. I wish the author explored Beverly's character a little bit more because I find that aspect was a lot more fascinating to read. Overall, this book was just okay for me—not great, but also not the worst book that I've read. I enjoyed it pretty well while it lasted, but it's a story that is easily forgettable and didn't leave a lasting impression. Hopefully, I will get to enjoy Nicholas Sparks's future works better than this one 😊.

by.stefaniesugia♥ .

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