Johnp's Reviews > Dreamland Social Club

Dreamland Social Club by Tara Altebrando
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's review
Feb 17, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: 2012, drama, female-lead, relationships
Read from February 17 to 19, 2012

Jane and her brother Marcus have just inherited their grandfather’s house on Coney Island. They move there with their father, a roller-coaster designer, in the hopes that he can find someone to buy his newest ideas. The two teens know nothing of their grandfather, called Preemie, but she sure finds out. He has stockpiled all sorts of artifacts about Coney Island in their new house. Some interesting, most disturbing.

As Jane and Marcus begin their school year, several of the student body are children of former carnival side-show performers. We meet a Legs, 7-foot giant, Leo, a tattooed boy and a Babette, goth dwarf (to name just a few). Jane begins to fall for Leo, and realizes there is way more than meets the eye with this boy.

An interesting tale that has a LOT of story lines (romance, revenge, coming of age, mystery), together with a sober look at the spectacle that used to be the glory of Coney Island. The language and descriptions are rich, and the sub plot of Jane trying to understand clues left behind by her now-dead mother is interesting.

I think the third-person narrative was hard at times to deal with - and I think teens will have a hard time relating to the importance of how iconic Coney Island once was. All in all, a decent book that might have gone on just a bit too long.

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