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The Girl Who Could Not Dream

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  1,058 ratings  ·  244 reviews
"A perfect combination of adventure, humor, and pure imagination!" —Jessica Day George, New York Times best-selling author of Tuesdays at the Castle
"Funny, scary, and endlessly inventive.” —Bruce Coville, author of Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher
Sophie loves the hidden shop below her parents' bookstore, where dreams are secretly bought and sold. When the dream shop i
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published November 3rd 2015 by Clarion Books
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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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4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,058 ratings  ·  244 reviews

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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  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, own, middle-grade
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  ·  review of another edition

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 awkward
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
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
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
Lucinda's Library
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
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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!
Amy Neftzger
Oct 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Dec 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
I want me my own Monster! Truly adorable!
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 the
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
Sooo much fun! Didn’t take too long to read, but you still get absorbed into the story:)

I 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!! 👍🏻
Addy S.
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!!!
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
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, wishlist
THIS WAS AMAZING!! I loved it SO much!! This is one of my BIGGEST favorites! So far. . .
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the best books I have ever read in my LIFE!!!
CUTEST BOOK EVER!!!!!!!!!! I loved the story. I loved the characters. I LOVED MONSTER!!! What an excellent book!!! Not only that...I loved the message!
mary kosmoski
Definitely not my favorite! Even in a fantasy novel I want to be able to believe that somewhere in the universe this might be occurring. This on....I hope not!
Dennis Fischman
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A charming book. It takes the "kid saves parents" and "outcast becomes hero" themes of a lot of classic fiction and combines them with a clever premise and a wisecracking monster you'll love.
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Appropriate for: age 10+

I really liked this book. The main characters were very likable. The author tries to show that sometimes people feel things we can't see on the surface and I think this is important for kids to understand. I went through what the main character did, not having many friends but animals, so i felt kinship with her. It's a bit scary with monsters, but if your younger child is brave then give it a try.
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Girl Who Could Not Dream by Sarah Beth Durst was a wonderful book to read.
The action, the magic, the monsters were all the book needed to keep it's reader's eyes glued to the pages. The story is about a girl named Sophie who cannot dream, along with her best monster friend (who's name is literally Monster), and a few new friends Sophie sets out on a quest to find her missing parents. Though the book had a few darker parts in it's plot I believe that the books purpose was to entertain the r
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 quotes S
Sven Robertson
Dec 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first decided on this book from the cover alone, thinking it might be something my daughter would like. As soon as I started reading, I realized she is a bit too young to appreciate it (she is five). I start with this information to point out that I, a grown man, read THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM (a book for a middle school audience) from cover to cover. I like fantasy books, and I read a few pages and got a bit into it. I thought, “Eh, it’ll be an easy read.”

The author does an awesome job at
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Sarah Beth Durst is the award-winning author of nineteen fantasy books for kids, teens, and adults, including The Girl Who Could Not Dream, 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, where she spent four years studying Englis ...more
“Did he really just poop a rainbow? Seriously, did that just happen? Because I saw it happen.” 4 likes
“All her life, Sophie had been taught that books are precious. Each one holds people and worlds. Each one is a piece of someone's heart and mind that they chose to share. They were shared dreams.” 3 likes
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