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In Restless Dreams

(The Phantasmer Cycle #1)

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  74 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Sylvia is a normal girl with huge, normal problems–her mother’s attempted suicide; trying to make friends in a rich prep school where she doesn’t belong; whether or not to trust the cute boy with the dangerous eyes. She thinks that’s more than she can handle, but she tests the limits of her endurance when she learns that she is the long-awaited Phantasmer, a human who can ...more
Paperback, 295 pages
Published September 7th 2016 by Wandering Roots Press
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Average rating 3.57  · 
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Ꮗ€♫◗☿ ❤️ ❤️
A fantastic surprise!

I like the kind of paranormal/fantasy where the girl is a regular human girl from the current time, living in our normal world, then she somehow gets pulled into this supernatural situation and has to come to terms with it. That is exactly how this book is and I really enjoyed it. This story was about a girl named Sylvia who lives in a small town in Nevada and she leaves early from a party after her boyfriend breaks up with her so he can dance with another girl. Sylvia gets
h o l l i s
If you read A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES and wanted the same magical discovery of Fae, not to mention the exploration of a fantasy world that abuts our own, but wanted content that actually stayed YA? This might just be the book for you — or the book you should buy for your teens and/or young people.

This book opens up with very traditional YA elements, like starting at a new highschool, navigating rocky social waters, and all that drama that ensues with both, then some not-so-traditional (and a
Alexandria ☾
Thanks to NetGalley for sending me a free arc of this to read and review.

"So do it. Don't forget," I say, and I take his hand.
"If we didn't forget, we could never truly change," he tells me. "It is how it must be."

Rating: 2 Stars ⭐⭐

I guess I should start this review off with a disclaimer: I am not the targeted demographic for this book. However, I don't see that as a valid excuse for why this book was so bad at some parts. Just because young adult is not my demographic, doesn't mean I don't
I had a slightly difficult time rating this book. On one hand I read through this in 2 days and didn't want to stop but on the other hand the characters, their actions, and the social scene were just too over the top to embrace. I've never been a huge fan of novels that overdo the stereotypes of society either.

In this story Sylvia is thrust from the simple life in Nevada to the rich and mighty high school world of Upper New York. Through her own bad decisions she creates issues and scenes that
Sheila Goicea
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, The Parliament House, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating or review.'



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Hmm.....I'm not sure how to rate this novel! 2 stars for the first half 4 for the second = 3?
I first heard about it in Canada Reads.
The take on Faerie is very creative and the last 1/4 of the book that actually takes place in Faerie was delightfully surreal. I wish more of the novel could have taken place there. Unfortunately the first half that takes place in New York City depicting rich kids in a private school and stereotypical bullies got somewhat tedious. However when the book finished I w
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In a genre filled with cookie-cutter copies of the same old formulaic stories, In Restless Dreams is a refreshingly original gem. Sylvia, our protagonist, is an amazing relief from the seemingly endless procession of fainting, wide-eyed waifs that populate the young adult fantasy genre. She's honest, tough and possesses actual flaws that she's aware of, though that doesn't always stop them from hindering her (most of us can relate, I think).
It's a true pleasure to experience Sylvia's journey fro
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Find more of my reviews at my blog Books and Stars.

**I received a free ecopy in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.**

This is truly a gem of a story, fast-paced with a fantastic protagonist!

Sylvia Hartford has her life turned completely upside-down when she finds her mother passed out in the kitchen. Next thing she knows, she and her younger brother are swept from their small town in Nevada to New York to live with their super rich father while their mother
The Mother Cover Lover
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rating: 3.75/4 Stars

Wren Handman’s ridiculous fluidity with writing is the whipping on top of hot cocoa. It takes a gifted writer to pull me into a 2 a.m. reading bender without realizing the time, and Wren Handman is that kind of writer. Yes, even for the dark love reading girl, this YA Contemporary Fantasy tugged my Mother Cover Lover train into the story without question.

By the first page, I’m dropped into the plight of the character and the life struggles/swings don’t stop coming. In fact, t
Jessica (Read book. Repeat)
You can find this review and all of my others over at

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, The Parliament House, and the author via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Actual rating of 2.75

Sylvia is having a terrible night, she never thought that her new boyfriend would dump her at a huge party, just so he could go and grind on another girl. What Sylvia doesn't realise is, this will be the LEAST of her problems. After her mother's attempte
Wren Handman
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-novels
I had the idea for this book many years ago. My goal was to write something that was an accurate representation of the original stories of all the mythical creatures we see in fiction today. Did you know that until Hollywood, werewolves were never half-man and half-wolf? Did you know that until recently, vampires could go out during the day?

When I researched fairy stories to write this novel, I discovered that many of the tropes of today are recent inventions. The Fairy courts being divided into
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To me, this is the most unique story about fairies and humans. I’ve never read anything like this before. A world of fairyland mix with the human world, taking place in the modern day era, and a girl who can change the fairyland just by using her mind...

One word: POWERFUL

This book follows the journey of a girl named Sylvia who just moved to New York City and is a new student at her new school, and one night she encountered a stranger who is actually from the fairyland and that’s when strange thi
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for allowing me to review this book.

I am glad this is the first in a series! I feel like there is so much to cover, and we barely scratched the surface of it! Sylvia's life is greatly changed when her mother attempts suicide, forcing the family to move to NYC so her dad can be the primary parent while her mom is in therapy. Strange things begin happening almost as soon as Sylvia gets to the city, and the introduction of 2 strangers at a party sets her li
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received this as an eARC and audiobook to read for free in exchange for my honest review. Thank you to The Parliament House for giving me access.

This was more of a 3.5 rating for me.

The overall story was very interesting and I actually want more of it. The fantasy/fae aspect just didn't seem to fit in to me. It felt thrown in and irrelevant.
I fell in love with the cover and I think that this is a well written story with a cast of fleshed out characters.
Unfortunately I didn't connect to the plot and the book fell flat.
Not my cup of tea.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Jan 29, 2020 rated it liked it
There are 2 parts in this book. The first one focused on Sylvia life and the other one tells about fairy land which make me quite confused at first. But then both world are connected to Sylvia. She had to do something which was a big responsibility for her to change/save the fairy land and she has to believe her power for it to happen.

There is a little romance in this book between Sylvia, Royan and the stranger. At first I wanted her to end up with the perfect one but once I understand the other
Kali Morrison
Sep 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a great take on Fairy, one of the most creative I've seen yet, but what I really loved was the engaging protagonist. So often YA female leads (especially in anything paranormal) feel very bland, or like a collection of traits designed to charm the audience. Not so with Sylvia -- she does some genuinely surprising things that really fit with her character, and feels passionate in a way that's not contrived. She fights, she gets mad, she is protective of her family and she checks out cute ...more
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book!! I've read quiet a few fae novels, especially within the past few years, and this has such a new spin to fairies and their world! I really enjoyed that Sylvia was independent and made her own choices with things rather than being dragged along for everything.
I'm not big on love triangles so I was a little worried that it was going to be annoying having her debate between two guys, but it was done in a way that was more her choice to help the Unseelie vs helping the Se
Julia Roncesvalles
Oct 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was such a unique take on faerie lore! I loved the action, conflict, and sense of suspense and urgency the story built to. The characters are well developed and believable. The protagonist is strong and creative and I enjoyed reading about her struggles with family, classmates, and school life, as well as her supernatural experiences. Looking forward to reading more!
In Restless Dreams (The Phantasmer Cycle Book 1)

ARC provided by NetGalley and The Parliament House. All opinions are mine and freely given.

Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

"Relief is a memory you will forget."

02-11: 'In Restless Dreams (The Phantasmer Cycle Book 1)' by Wren Handman is one of those seemingly innocuous titles that slowly shows itself as much, much more than it appears to be.

The pitch is this.. the main character, Sylvia, is a teenage girl whose mother's attempted suicide lands her in the big city. She and her br
Thank you to Parliament House Press for sending me an e-ARC copy of this novel through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Spoilers present from this point forward.

There is a lot to like about In Restless Dreams, so I’m going to share my positive impressions first, before I dive into the aspects of this novel that I did not like. The basic premise is one that is very attractive to me. Girl finds her way to Fairyland, discovers she is the chosen one and has the chance to help make the wor
Tonja Drecker
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fans of Fairy, the Unseelie and Seelie Courts, and those who love a bit of unsure romance will enjoy this one.

Sylvia is a very usual high school student with a normal life in a small town out West. That is, until her mother tries to commit suicide. While her mother undergoes very necessary therapy, Sylvia and her younger brother move to their father in New York, who happens to be one of the richest and most well-known men in the city. The culture shock isn't an easy one to master as Sylvia is su
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
ARC from NetGalley

4 stars for being a page-turner.

This book was full of vivid imagery. The kind of writing that thrusts you into it, not so much the sights as it was tactile. The beginning, the painful beginning, was very well done. You feel Sylvia's confusion and hurt. You live it. This is a YA paranormal fantasy situation where you are reading first person from a girl in the real world, oh so modern and very much here and now, and then the fantasy elements seep into the mix. I felt that this b
Feb 18, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Restless Dreams is about a girl, Slyvia, who moves with her brother to her dad’s house in New York after an incident with her mom. There she joins a new school and adjusts to living in a new place. When she goes to her first party there, she comes across a man she named The Stranger. While conversing with The Stranger, another man appears who she names The Knight. Slyvia believes this is all a trick of the drugs she had been tricked into taking. That is, until she realizes it isn’t, that she ...more
Jessica KC
Jan 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-fantasy, ya, fae, arc, series

Thank you to NetGalley for a free copy of this book for an honest review.

I thought this would be a really generic Fae YA novel but I found it to be enjoyable and even a little unique in some aspects. It was a super quick read, I read it in a whole evening.

The characters are engaging, some even wonderful, and the descriptions are really lovely. I was pleasantly surprised in these regarding the book.

Sylvia was tough, and I really loved that. I like a girl who can stand up for herself and her f
Katelynn Watkins
Who can you trust when you're told to believe in everything - even what you can't yet see? Wren Handman takes us on a journey of self-discovery, fairy magic, and teen angst in her latest book, In Restless Dreams.

Though Sylvia has more than enough on her plate - what with her mother's attempted suicide resulting in Sylvia and her brother Eric going to live in New York with their wealthy dad, and the snobby crowd at her equally snobby new prep school - she takes on so much more when she learns th
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This reminded me so much about #ACOTAR and yet it gave a faint Mediator vibe.

Thank you to #netgalley and the publisher for providing this book for an honest review.

The way this book starts, and old witch declaring that "she would come" and then promptly proceeds to break the bones off a real skeleton and makes a stew!! 😂

Stevie lives with her mom and brother in Topaz lake- definitely not a city! Her life is turned upside down when her mom attempts suicide. Her dad who also happens to be very very
W.L. Hawkin
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought the paperback edition of In Restless Dreams from Wren Handman in March 2020. We read together at an Author Reading in B.C. and she was so funny and entertaining, I had to buy her book. (Mini-spoiler: Wren read the part where Sylvia eats “the brownie” at a party—an act that shows her hero’s innocence.)

Written in casual first person, we spend most of the book in Sylvia’s head. She’s a normal teen with some extraordinary problems. Her parents are separated, so after her mother almost commi
Cassie Quach
First off, a big thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for allowing me to read and review this book.
If I had to summarize this book very shortly, I would say it's almost like Gossip Girl meets the fantasy world. The premise is a very interesting take for anyone who has had a foray into fairie fantasy fiction. It attempts to be an almagamation of all things fairie.
The pacing of this book was just strange to me. It started off very slow and it took a very long time for any real fantasy, magic,
Ellie Williams
I really struggle with my feelings for this book. Overall, I think Handman has crafted an original tale that will be exciting for lovers of contempory low fantasy. She definitely channels the elements I have always loved from Holly Black and Cassandra Clare - this idea that fairy is barely removed from the world we experience on a daily basis.

Sylvia is a compelling heroine. For the first say, 65% of the book, I was really invested in the way she was handling the difficult curve-balls in her lif
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Wren Handman is a novelist and screenwriter living in soggy Vancouver, which gives her plenty of time to curl up in front of a computer.

She primarily writes young adult fiction and fantasy novels. In her screenwriting, her emphasis is on the real world with a touch of fantastical. She believes that what we see in media impacts how we see the world, and she hopes to make that view brighter.

Other books in the series

The Phantasmer Cycle (2 books)
  • I Walk Alone (The Phantasmer Cycle, #2)

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