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The Girl Who Could Not Dream

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  1,463 ratings  ·  290 reviews
Sophie loves the hidden shop below her parents' bookstore, where dreams are secretly bought and sold. When the dream shop is robbed and her parents go missing, Sophie must unravel the truth to save them. Together with her best friend—a wisecracking and fanatically loyal monster named Monster—she must decide whom to trust with her family’s carefully guarded secrets. Who wil ...more
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published November 3rd 2015 by Clarion Books
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Rachel ooo. i had the hardback one because we borrowed from the library and got that one, but looking at the other cover, the paperback one is incredible. i'…moreooo. i had the hardback one because we borrowed from the library and got that one, but looking at the other cover, the paperback one is incredible. i'd say i like that one better(less)
Bryon Cahill As of now, it is a standalone with a satisfying conclusion. But the ending leaves the door open to sequels.

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Average rating 4.18  · 
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Full review, originally posted on


Monsters, glittery flying ponies, ninja bunnies and other fantastical creatures inhabit the pages of The Girl Who Could Not Dream, Sarah Beth Durst’s enchanting new middle grade fantasy adventure novel. Sophie’s parents own a secretive dream shop, where you can buy bottled dreams or ― if you prefer more frightening adventures ― nightmares. (It’s like reading a Stephen King novel, only more immersive.) Her family uses woven dreamcatchers
Glittery unicorns pooping rainbows. Pink ninja rabbits. Wise-cracking, monster sidekicks. Dastardly villains. Tell me seriously: how could this book be anything but pure GOLD??!!

But if you’re still not sold, (did you read the part about the RAINBOW POOPING UNICORNS??? C’mon now...) a bit of background: Sophie’s parents run a secret underground shop where dreams, caught in dream catchers, are distilled, bottled, and sold. However, Sophie herself cannot dream. Upon consumption of a dream, what Sop
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade, own
Ugh, so good. This is one of those, "Why didn't I think of that idea?!" books.

As usual, Durst gives us the perfect mix of whimsy and creepy, with a healthy dash of humor mixed in. Sophie and her pet, Monster, were just so delightful, and I loved her parents as well. It's so nice to see real parents, with both quirky personalities and realistic parenting instincts, in a middle grade book. The concept is fun, and well executed, the characters were fabulous, and there were pink ninja bunnies. Ninj
Aug 05, 2015 rated it really liked it

The Girl Who Could Not Dream is a fun and magical fantasy adventure that has a hint of The BFG meets The Neverending Story.

I found it both funny and touching at times, and even had tears welling up at one point.

I loved the bookshop that served up homemade cupcakes, and had a hidden shop in the basement that sold dreams. I also loved the fun characters Monster and Glitterhoof.

Monster reminded me of when I asked Father Christmas for one of those huge ‘My Pet Monster’ cuddly toys one year. I had t
Rashika (is tired)
***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

This book is the cutest thing ever and I knew I would love it as soon as I read the title of the book. I mean a book about a Girl Who Could Not Dream? COUNT ME IN. By the time I got around to reading the blurb of the book, I learned that there was a dream shop in the book; a place where one could buy or sell dreams. I practically fell of my chair because I was flailing too hard.

Sophie is such a fun character to read about. She is awkwar
Bill Tillman
This is one awesome mid-grade book. Sophie is a girl without dreams, except for one time she sunk into the basement under the bookshop and drank a dream! The result was "Monster" an almost 50 pound cat with three rows of shark like teeth, and six tentacles on his black furry back. You will love Monster who pretends to be a college professor with attitude. Out two hero's are matched against the evil Mr. Nightmare and it's a battle for the rest of the story. Warning this is a page Turner that's ha ...more
May 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mg-adventures
I want to start this review off by expressing my overall appreciation for Sarah Beth Durst. As a big fan of twisted fairy tales, everything I’ve read by her to date has bought me a lot of joy and I haven’t hesitated to recommend it to anyone and everyone.
That… wont be happening with The Girl Who Could Not Dream.

The book is just as fresh and fun as her earlier stories. I love the characters - I would have died for a best friend like Monster when I was a kid. I love (most of) the concept – an un
Oct 18, 2016 added it
Shelves: fantasy
Originally posted at Log Cabin Library

Sophie and her parents live inside a bookstore where they sell books and bottled dreams. Dreams and nightmares that Sophie and her family collect in dreamcatchers they make. Sophie shares her dreamcatchers with Madison, Lucy, and new boy Nathan, to collect their nightmares. The dreamcatchers then are converted into a liquid dream or nightmare which people in the store can buy. Sophie is unique because she is unable to have a dream or nightmare, but she has
Jul 16, 2014 rated it liked it
I received an ebook copy of this book through netgalley in exchange for an honest review

The girl who could not dream is a cute middle grade book. It has bottled dreams, a cute furry monster and cupcakes. I mean, being a middle grade book it is quite simple but it works. If you're ten years old you're going to love it and well, if you're older you're going to smile at this cuteness. Monster is so so so adorable.

Overall this one was adorable and quite enjoyable. A quick, funny read, with an aweso
Belles Middle Grade Library
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a beautiful cover!😍😍 Such a beautiful story! I just finished this, & it got a book hug right after I finished. I have many of Sarah Beth Durst’s books, but this is the 1st one I’ve read-I’m so impressed, & I can’t wait to read more by her. This book shows Sophie overcoming so many of her fears-most of them by simply being SEEN. She’s so used to laying low, & flying under the radar. Not being noticed. Having no friends, but her Monster. This book shows how important friendships(human ones lo ...more
This was fun! An adventurous and fantastical story with great humour. Monster is simply the best! :)

Around the Year Challenge 2018: A book from the first 10 books added to your To Be Read list.
Buzzword Readathon_ Round 1: buzzword_girl
Dec 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not sure why I didn't love this. It's got originality, appealing characters, and plenty of heart. It's coherent, exciting, funny, and well-written. The kid is not an orphan, in fact is beloved by a loving couple with a sense of humor and with a reasonable amount of courage and competence. Maybe it's just that it has too much focus on adventure *for me* and is too ready to be made into a movie *for me*.

I think it would be perfect for most kids in its intended audience. I do recommend it to you,
From the time I first heard of this until I finished, I was under the impression it was by Sarah Addison Allen. I might have STILL thought it was, if it weren't for my Kindle's "other books by this author" pop up. My brain's shorthand--three named Sarah? Must be Sarah Addison Allen!--often is an asset, but sometimes it gets me in trouble!

This also sounded like the kind of premise Allen might write, but it makes sense for Durst, too!

Annnnnyway, to talk about the actual book, mostly I didn't get a
Apr 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Imaginative and wonderful - I loved reading this! Sophie is everything you want in a main character and I dare you not to fall in love with her best friend (a six-tentacled monster... named Monster). I only wish it was a tiiiny bit less scary so I could rec it to a broader range of kids!
Kandace Brown
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My daughter & I enjoyed this book. I found the start to drag out a bit but once the adventure started we were always wanting to read & kept guessing our theories on what might be next to happen.
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of fantasy quest stories
I picked this up because I lost the ability to remember my dreams after a couple of TIAs. Before that, going to sleep was like going to the movies; I had the most extraordinary, vivid, detailed dreams, many of which I can remember in detail 20 years later. Then came the TIAs, and now I may remember that I have dreamed, but not what. Or maybe just a scrap, more agonising than nothing at all. None of those around me understand why I would give major body parts to get that capability back.

Fi's Journey
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy Middle Grade Readers
"We exist within the dream, like characters exist inside a book. The dream doesn't change, unless it's dreamed again. Like a book rewritten."

I loved that it is original. It has an interesting concept about Dreams. I found it fascinating that there is a way to catch dreams (via a Dream Catcher) and then a procedure to getting the dream and putting it into a bottle.

The characters were likable for the most part. I think this book was more about the plot and its theme about Dreams. I'm not sayi
Amy Neftzger
Oct 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A highly imaginative look at dreams, the importance of childhood friends, and learning to deal with fear. Although Sophie in unable to dream on her own, when she ingests the dreams of others the things int eh dream become real. This is a great way to explore the line between reality and dreams and the importance of each. Durst write some great characters, including a lovable monster, a vain Unicorn/ Pegasus, and a sinister villain called "Mr. Nightmare."

The story moves at a good pace and takes t
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
When Sarah Beth Durst is on, she’s really on – her fertile imagination has given us yet another brilliant fantasy, this time for the middle grade crowd. She takes a premise that is deceptively simple – what if dreams were tangible? – and runs with it, creating an elaborate world that this book only scratches the surface of. Sequel, please?

The book is funny, it’s heart-warming, it gets surprisingly dark in places… in short, it’s everything a reader can ask for. Lastly, someone please get me a Mon
Addy S.
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book will always be one of my favorites.
The cover was not only BEAUTIFUL, but the idea of the story was also really great.

There is no romance at all, but the book was still really good.

TONS of danger and adventure!!!

Great job, Sarah Beth Durst!!!
Dec 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I want me my own Monster! Truly adorable!
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastiv book literally describing my dreams when I was little. I love the plot-line and concept! Definetly recommend to almost all readers!
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My daughter and I read this aloud together. We finished it today, and then had to go out into the world completely wrung out - we laughed, we cried, we absolutely loved this book. Sophie and Monster are the sweetest duo, and we now have to read everything Sarah Beth Durst has published.

The book covers kid fears, loneliness, grief, loss, bravery, resourcefulness, and the challenges of feeling like the "weird kid" and making friends in middle school. It is scary at times, but with humor and heart
Faith M:)
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sooo much fun! Didn’t take too long to read, but you still get absorbed into the story:)

I️ love how Sarah Beth Durst was so creative with all the monsters! (Love the bunnies lol 😂😂😂 )

This book has action, and plot twists you didn’t see coming!!!

Some parts were kinda weird/confusing, but overall a GREAT book!!! Would read again!! 👍🏻
I won a audiobook copy through Goodreads Firstreads! (Though to be fair, I did read the majority of this from a hardbound copy.)

"Frolic through the forest and think pugnacious thoughts."

Sophie can't dream. But what Sophie can do, which is infinitely more unique than not dreaming, is bring other people's dreams to life. She brought her best friend, Monster, from a dream accidentally when she was six. Monster is an adorable and snarky and well-educated six-tentacled monster-housecat and quote
Becky B
Sophie can't dream. Well, not on her own. If she drinks one of the dreams her parents collect and distill from dreamcatchers to be sold, then she dreams. But as she accidentally discovers one day when she sneaks a dream, she can bring things out of dreams into real life. Thankfully, Monster, the monster she brought out of a dream is mostly friendly, her fierce protector, and quickly her best friend. But for everyone's safety, and to avoid drawing the attention of the Night Watchmen, she obeys he ...more
Jul 06, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The story was okay, and had some interesting sci-fi aspects, but I would never give this book to a child.

I'm not one of those people who believes that children's stories need to have a moral lesson, but I'm also sensitive about sending bad messages to children. This story has a very bad lesson about consent.

The protagonist's parents run a "dream shop", where they buy and sell dreams, without the knowledge or consent of the dreamer. The idea of consent was broached a few times during the story. W
Reading is my Escape
The dreamer controls the dream.

Imagine having a friendly monster as your best friend and protector. Sophie's parents own a dream shop in the basement of their bookstore where they secretly sell liquid dreams. Sophie's best (and only) friend is a cupcake-loving monster named Monster, who she once pulled out of a dream. Monster is a bit sarcastic and a lot overprotective, but he would do anything for Sophie. Then, Mr. Nightmare arrives, the shop is robbed, and Sophie's parents go missing. With th
Erin Lee
I received this book as an audiobook from the publisher as a Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I am crazy about this book. It has everything a kid could want: unicorns, scary monsters, clouds and rainbows, books, dreamcatchers, bacon, cupcakes...

I mean, Monster quoting Eleanor Roosevelt and Groucho Marx? Yes, please!

This book is cute without being too precious, a little scary without being too terrifying, and excellently well-written. The storyline was so creative I co
Kaethe Douglas
Dreams are weird, but how much weirder would it be not to dream? Ever? Something bad has happened, and now Sophie has to try to rescue her parents and make everything right again with the help of a snarky little monster and the first friends she's ever made.

Fun, a little creepy without being too creepy, a strong adventure story. With an absolutely fabulous monster. An excellent choice for fans of Monsters, Inc.

Library copy
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. YA Monsters and Bottled Dreams. [s] 5 27 May 14, 2020 06:15AM  

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Sarah Beth Durst is the award-winning author of over twenty fantasy books for kids, teens, and adults, including Spark, Drink Slay Love, and The Queens of Renthia series. She won an ALA Alex Award and a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award and has been a finalist for SFWA's Andre Norton Award three times. She is a graduate of Princeton University and lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband, her child ...more

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