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Dream Smashers

3.49  ·  Rating Details  ·  188 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews
Sixteen-year-old Autumn has spent her entire life worrying about others. Her ailing grandma, meth-addicted mom, and a best friend who is always in trouble. She's spent the last few years attempting to worry less, to be carefree, without success.

Enter Evan, whose radiant attitude is an Autumn magnet. With Evan at her side, Autumn's able to let some of her worries go as they
Paperback, 244 pages
Published April 4th 2011 by DarkSide Publishing (first published March 24th 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,166)
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Addison Moore
May 22, 2011 Addison Moore rated it it was amazing
Dream Smashers is an awesome debut novel, far more raw and gritty than your average YA read. I tend to gravitate towards raw and gritty because it depicts the nature of the world around us with a much more accurate lens. The author has clearly demonstrated a talent for describing a gripping reality that many people face today in an engaging manner. To read of Autumn’s life is difficult, but so gripping I could not put the book down for very long. The novel was very well balanced with Evan’s char ...more
Ginger at
Apr 04, 2011 Ginger at rated it really liked it
Autumn Spring Winters was given this outlandish name by the mother who abandoned her & chose drugs & alcohol, instead of her own flesh & blood. Imagine a teenage girl who only knows her mother by the wretched ghost who floats in & out of her life, only when she needs money for drugs. Autumn was handed over to her grandmother at a young age & was given a second chance to be brought up in a "normal" household. Autumn's life is anything, but normal. Her disinterest in school is ...more
Savannah (Books With Bite)
Jun 20, 2011 Savannah (Books With Bite) rated it it was amazing
Ms. Carlie, you can write one wicked book! This book had so much great elements in it that is had me in love with it. I really enjoyed the storyline and the characters.

First off, the storyline. Let me be the first to tell you how much it rocked! It blew my socks off. I loved the feeling of reading this book. It has so much realistic feel to it that you didn't want to finish it. You just wanted to savor every bit that you are reading. The way Ms. Carlie wrote this book it makes the reader feel co
Mar 22, 2016 Gary rated it it was amazing
Angela Carlie's writing voice shines clearly in Dream Smashers through the narrative of Autumn, who speaks not only for present-day teens but also for all of us who have felt alone, betrayed, and fighting forces much greater than ourselves. Despite the title, the author holds out hope for the reader, and does not disappoint. You'll love Autumn - and Dream Smashers.
Karly Kirkpatrick
Apr 28, 2011 Karly Kirkpatrick rated it it was amazing
This is a stunning book and Angela Carlie writes beautifully. I loved the descriptions she gave to such real topics. It's like poetry. The book deals with real issues that I feel many teens can relate to.
Apr 04, 2011 Jenny rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2011
Dream Smashers was a very difficult read for me. Not because I didn't understand or like it but because it deals with some very tough topics in a very bold, real way. At times elegant, at times thoroughly visceral, the story dives right into meth addiction from the point of view of the addict as well as those around them including family.

The narrator is Autumn whose mother is as toxic as they come, addicted to meth and angry about her past choices and mistakes. Autumn's voice is snarky and funny
Missy (Two Readers Reviews)
Apr 08, 2011 Missy (Two Readers Reviews) rated it really liked it
This was an incredibly powerful read. I haven't read a lot of books that went as into depth with families dealing with drug addiction.

Autumn's mother left her with her grandparents when she was young. In her 16 years these are the only parents she has ever know. Jacinda, her biological mother, is someone who just comes around from time to time causing trouble and breaking her Grams heart. I was immediately entranced in the story and the life of this 16 year old who has nothing, but a life full
Erin Danzer
Apr 22, 2011 Erin Danzer rated it it was amazing
Joy. Laughter. Despair. Heartbreak. Hope.

That's the gamut of emotions I went through while reading this book. Tears flowed freely (the scene at Share House was heartbreaking). The book was written so fluidly, so powerfully that I couldn't put it down until I read the last word. I didn't know the first thing about being around someone crashing off drugs; I do now. I know what it's like to fall in love, to need to protect the ones you love, and to reach the point where faith is the only answer. Tr
Apr 04, 2011 Kim rated it really liked it
Dream Smashers is the debut novel of author Angela Carlie, and it was a novel that was just about impossible to put down once I began. This novel was much darker and much grittier than most young adult novels, very raw. While a coming of age story, it is also the story of a young girl struggling to be more than what life has given her as an example. Autumn's meth-addicted mother is a central figure in the story, having abandoned and emotionally abused Autumn since she was a little girl. Autumn s ...more
Christy (TheReaderBee)
Dream Smashers was a hard book to read, emotionally. I haven’t read many books that have dealt with addiction and its consequences, so this was also an eye opener for me. I’m really glad I read the book.

Most of the characters were likeable, and also complex. The main character, Autumn, is a very strong young lady. The girl has been through a lot, but she can take care of herself, along with the help of her grandmother who raised her. Her mother, Jacinda, was a meth addicted mess. It was painful
Sep 05, 2013 Cole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was an excellent description of a young woman struggling to cope with the life she had been dealt. There is some language and somewhat graphic descriptions in the story; these are the nature of an honest tale—none of the language or graphic situations seemed to have been added superfluously. I was surprised to see the target audience for this work was young adult, and that the author seems to have chosen that as her favorite genre for her other works. It’s too bad, because here—in this ...more
Jun 15, 2011 Kristen rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book, but mostly, I'm just glad it's over.

I won this book on FirstReads here on goodreads. The author signed the book and even added a little handwritten note, which was a really nice & thoughtful touch.


I wasn't really impressed with this book. It's not that I think Ms. Carlie is a bad writer -- I don't. I think she tried too hard to sound like a teenager and the effect was wrong. Instead of sounding natural, it was just awkward and took you out of the story.

She u
Revati Ragini
Jul 20, 2011 Revati Ragini rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anne Pfeffer
Nov 16, 2011 Anne Pfeffer rated it it was amazing
I flat-out adored this book. So beautifully written... every sentence was a pleasure to read. Angela Carlie creates vivid characters who you care about and root for. I loved Autumn, her courage and her spirit. Her little self-improvement program touched my heart. And Evan was so wonderful; I loved seeing those two get together.

Carlie switches points of view between three characters: Autumn, her boyfriend Evan, and her mother Jacinda. They are three very different people, but Carlie captures the
G.P. Ching
May 02, 2011 G.P. Ching rated it it was amazing
Shelves: indelibles
Fans of Laurie Halse Anderson's Wintergirls and Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor will love Dream Smashers, the story of a young girl overcoming her circumstances as the daughter of a meth addict. But this story moves well beyond your typical contemporary issue title. What really turned the pages for me was the romance between Evan and Autumn- a realistic and sweet romance. The relationship was very well written and Carlie doesn't pull any punches when it comes to staying in the voice of the c ...more
Stacey Benefiel
Apr 05, 2011 Stacey Benefiel rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Contemporary YA
I thought this was a wonderful contemporary YA novel. It deals with several difficult subjects - drug addiction, faith, death - in a eloquent manner. The main character really struck a chord with me as well as the setting - this book takes place close to where I live. Not to sound silly, but the author's descriptions of Pacific Northwest weather are some of the best I've read. It's not a lighthearted read, but there are plenty of funny, real moments - especially between Autumn and Rainy.
Oct 10, 2011 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: have-on-nook
Dream smashers wasn't really what I was expecting, as far as the big Christian theme of the book. I don't care to mix religious beliefs (or political for that matter) with my means of escapism. And once I feel the author becomes preachy I tend to tune out. The characters felt a bit flat to me and I had a hard time getting invested in their lives. MC's love interest was too perfect and I wasn't drawn in by their romance.
Apr 30, 2011 Lisa rated it it was amazing
This book was exciting, Autumn faced so many ups and downs because of her mother. It seemed every time she was at her happiest her mother would find her.All of that changed when she found Evan the one light that shined for her.
Allie Burke
Dec 01, 2014 Allie Burke rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Carlie's gift/skills/love/passion for writing is clear from Dream Smashers' first words. The novel opens up beautifully into meticulously edited pages. I was interested to read from the other side of the addict, and Carlie presented Autumn's side of the story flawlessly.

I'm pretty sure I would hate Jacinta even if she was sober, and I think Carlie did an excellent job of portraying that.

Autumn starts out as this, self-absorbed teenager, and, with Evan, Rainy, and Grams at her side, blossoms into
Ana (Owl Always Be Reading)
May 04, 2011 Ana (Owl Always Be Reading) rated it really liked it
“Dream Smasher” is a very strong and emotional story about a young girl named, Autumn Winters. Her mother has been addicted to drugs pretty much all her life. Autumn’s grandmother has had to take care of her after child services took her away from her drug addicted mother. Now Autumn is a teenager and is not only having to deal with normal teenage problems, but problems that no teenager should ever have to deal with. Ms. Carlie does an incredible job describing Autumn’s drug addicted mother, Ja ...more
Apr 25, 2011 Ivy rated it really liked it
Dream Smashers explores a very serious topic of Methamphetamine (Meth). It also informs me of how people act when they do drugs, like meth. Dream Smashers is not only informative, but also a great read!

I decided to read and review Dream Smashers because it talks about meth and is a Young Adult novel. I wanted to know more about meth and how it played out in this novel.

I really like the character Autumn. I feel like she has so much to deal with, such as her mother, the meth addict. Someone as you
Aug 03, 2011 NightlyReading rated it really liked it
The Storyline……

I was intrigued with this storyline. After, personally having an addict in the family, I was curious to see where this book would lead to. It is a beautiful story about trying to rise above worrying about things you cannot change and try to live your life as carefree as possible.

The Romance….

This is a great young adult story. The romance itself was not full of sexual content, just kissing and holding hands. Maybe a hug or two here and there. I loved the fact that Evan was able to
Jan 03, 2015 Autumn rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
This book was okay. There was so much drama. Autumn's mom was annoying. I understand that that was kind of her purpose but the chapters from her point of view were just painful to read. I understand they were written in the way she would talk and think but the grammar was just so awful I had to re-read some parts to understand what was going on. I read reviews that Evan was really religious and that his character was annoying in flinging around his religion. At points I think this was true but n ...more
Nov 03, 2013 Books rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn’t read the summary of what this book is about, so going into it, I thought it was going to be something of a paranormal nature. Surprisingly, it wasn’t what I expected at all, but at the end of the day it was such an unexpectedly beautiful and heartwarming story, I wasn’t sad at all about it not being anything paranormal.

“Dream Smashers” tells an uplifting story of a teen having to deal with a drug-addict mother and life in a neighborhood where drugs are rife. The author doesn’t cut any
A Book Vacation
Dec 09, 2012 A Book Vacation rated it really liked it
To see my full review:

This is a novel I’ve heard so much about for such a long time, so I finally picked up a copy. And boy, was it good! Sixteen-year-old Autumn has had a difficult life, so it’s not surprising that she has some major trust issues. Her mother is addicted to meth and is less than stable, or caring, for that matter, and her harsh words towards her daughter and her mother leave invisible scars all across Autumn’s soul. But Evan, as ever persi
Sarah Snyder
May 29, 2011 Sarah Snyder rated it liked it
Dream Smashers is a daring and intelligent contemporary young adult story that features an interesting and likeable heroine.

Autumn Winters is a bit of a mess, but what sixteen year old isn't? Autumn has spent her life trying to keep things together - she has been thrown a lot of curves balls and she struggles to stay on top. You see, her mother is a meth addict and Autumn wants nothing to do with her destructive life. This creates an interesting dynamic in Autumn, because she wants to be a good
Oct 05, 2012 Radiant rated it liked it
I got this book very randomly and i have to say it was different!It was a book with simple concept - Faith,it sure was good and emotional too..helps us connect with life and hope.

Autumn is a 16 year old who wants her life to be normal as normal she can get with a drug addicted mother who wants to make her life hell,a perky friend who can be annoying and a grandmother who tries to console her.

Evan is a very strong character who believes in Faith and Him and sees good in every person,when he meets
Once Upon a Twilight
May 04, 2011 Once Upon a Twilight rated it really liked it
Very strong and emotional story about a young girl named, Autumn Winters. Her mother has been addicted to drugs pretty much all her life. Autumn’s grandmother has had to take care of her after child services took her away from her drug addicted mother. Now Autumn is a teenager and is not only having to deal with normal teenage problems, but problems that no teenager should ever have to deal with. Ms. Carlie does an incredible job describing Autumn’s drug addicted mother, Jacinda, who by the way ...more
Jenn marked it as to-read
Aug 26, 2016
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Angela Carlie writes young adult fiction. When she's not writing, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, reading and traveling.

She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband and son.
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“He enters my space, gives me a brief, sincere hug, then steps back, tripping on the curb. His face beams red - handsome and sweet.” 5 likes
“There's a feeling, Evan's read about in books, when two separate souls collide that were never meant to be apart, but are. When nothing and everything matters and all the protagonist sees is the beauty of creation - love - right in front of his face. He always thought it was just fiction. He thought wrong” 5 likes
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