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Dealing in Dreams

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  131 ratings  ·  64 reviews
At night, Las Mal Criadas own these streets.

Nalah leads the fiercest all-girl crew in Mega City. That roles brings with it violent throw downs and access to the hottest boydega clubs, but the sixteen-year-old grows weary of the life. Her dream is to get off the streets and make a home in the exclusive Mega Towers, in which only a chosen few get to live. To make it to the M
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Showing 1-30
3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  131 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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Elise (TheBookishActress)
Sep 24, 2017 marked it as releases-2019
“the Outsiders meets Mad Max” who even comes up with these and why do they know exactly what I want out of literature lmao
Mar 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera is a young adult dystopian in which women are controlling the world. Mega City where the main character, Nalah, lives is controlled by a female ruler who sends out teams of five girls each to control the streets.

Nalah is the leader of the strongest of these female fighter groups, the LMCs but her dream has always been to earn her way into the exclusive Mega Towers where only a chosen few live. When given a mission to leave the city Nalah sees this as the chanc
Adah Udechukwu
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dealing in Dreams is an interesting novel. The plot is quite good.
Rachel Strolle
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
my mind is blown

Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]
ARC received in exchange for an honest review - thank you!

This book has totally messed with my head, and I don't even know what to rate it.

It's a wild, surrealist book - just like the cover, actually. It was gritty and emotionally intense. The ending was kind of bittersweet, but that one adjective sums up the entire book: bittersweet.

I'm going to find it really tough to write a review. But here goes...

Nalah - or, as she's known, Chief Rocka - is leader of Las Mal Criadas, the most vicious
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight

This started off... well, it was weird, okay? I hadn't a clue what was happening, where/when we were, or what the point even was. I won't lie, I almost quit. I tell you this so that I can also yell "don't give up!", because it gets so much better! This is one of those books that makes me never trust myself because had I given up, I feel like I would have missed a genuinely awesome story,
Rashika (is tired)
Actual Rating 3.5

I honestly didn’t know that Lilliam Rivera had a new book coming out until earlier this year which just shows you where publishing’s priorities are in terms of marketing. In my eagerness to read anything Rivera writes, I actually forgot to read the summary and it wasn’t until a while later that I realized Dealing in Dreams was a proper dystopian novel. If you read my review for We Set the Dark on Fire, you will know I don’t do dystopia anymore but given that I’ve technically now
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Dealing in Dreams is one of those books where you immediately want to begin the story all over again. Whether it to see where things started dissolving, to spend more time with your favorite characters, or to bask in the world a little while longer, Dealing in Dreams is it. It is a story about revenge and ambition. In a world where the masses drug themselves away from reality, Nalah is
Aug 06, 2017 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition


Here for the 'fiercest all-girl crew' and 'violent throwdowns' \O/
Hal Schrieve
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Rivera, Lilliam (2019). Dealing In Dreams. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

ISBN: 9781534411395

336 pages.

Nalah, also known as Chief Rocka, runs the hottest crew in Mega City, and she knows she's close to the top. After almost a decade of Spartan training, she is just one throwdown away from earning her place in the Towers alongside the city's benevolent ruler, and saying goodbye forever to the grueling work and constant danger that has always defined her life. Of course, she's not going alone
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All girl gangs, throw downs, and a quest?  This description was unlike anything I'd read before, and with this beautiful cover, I couldn't resist.

Such intriguing and creative world-building.  Mega City is a matriarchal society led by a beloved woman, and men are primarily considered secondary citizens.  It's a gritty, dangerous way of life, with gangs gaining power and moving up the food chain through physical battles against each other.  At the age of seven, girls are sent to soldier training c
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
Solid 3.5-3.75 / 5 stars

I think I struggled with the start but it drastically improved as the book went on. It felt very info dump right at the start just dropping all the world & politics very abruptly and all at once. Once everyone left the city, things REALLY picked up. Very "treat everyone equally" message along with the dangers of drugs.
Oh man, I was really looking forward to this one - I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s debut and this sounded right up my alley. Alas, it was unfortunately Not For Me (I mean, obviously, I’m a 40-year-old woman and this is a dystopian YA SF book - but I love all of those things and yet this one just didn’t work for me). It’s not unusual for me to want to throttle protagonists for what seem like obviously poor choices being made - but this took it to a whole new level. I’m not sure if it was becaus ...more
The Bookavid
Mar 21, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2019-releases

Mar 20, 2019 added it
Shelves: limbo, dnf, cover-love
The cover is bomb, but I can't get into the writing quite early on likely because it doesn't jive with me. Might have to come back to this later.
Natalie ⭐
[insert that one Lady Gaga GIF where she’s listing adjectives for “amazing”]

Full review in a few hours because it’s 1:22 AM and I need to sleep for school.

UPDATE: Okay, so it’s been more than a few hours, but here we are!

As soon as I’d first heard about this book I was extremely excited. It’s about Puerto Rican girl gangs in a dystopian future! I could already see the aesthetic boards making themselves!!

And then when I actually read this book... Let me tell you, it definitely lived up to all of
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is dystopian science fiction novel, about a girl who is the leader of a group of 5 girls living in this futuristic dystopian world where women are the prominent and dominant group. She has to discover who she is in her trajectory. In the beginning I was annoyed by her but now I understand why she is so proud, kind of cold-hearted and naive.
The plot is so interesting and it lured me in until I finished it. I hope there will be a second book. I recommend it. 3.5⭐⭐⭐⭐
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really didn't like Lilliam's other book, but this one has magic? So?

(Disclaimer: there was no magic. Whoops.)


“There is an allure to the night. I used to be captivated by it. Seduced. In the glare of the sun, it’s hard to hide who you really are, don’t you think?”

Chief Rocka and her crew, Las Mal Criadas, are the top dogs in Mega City. Their leader, Déesse, wants the girls to prove their loyalty to her one last time before she’ll allow them to live in the Towers, a place of luxury reserved for
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
A surprising dystopia exploring family and sisterhood, as well as gender roles and addiction. Add in some badass girl gangs—because Nalah runs the baddest girl gang in Mega City, of course—lots of secrets, and a not-so-benevolent leader and you’ve got Dealing in Dreams. This book also gave me some major Mad Max vibes which I loved.

An interesting and imaginative read over all. I’d recommend it to people who like YA dystopia, especially if they love girls kicking butt (see: aforementioned Mad Max
Nalah is so close to getting herself, and her crew of four other girls, off of the streets and into The Towers, where the elite live alongside Déesse, the female ruler of Mega City. As a child, Nalah watched her father & sister abandon her for Cemi Territory, the ruthless land outside of Mega City’s borders, and saw her mother die at the hand of drugs and poverty. Déesse has become an idol and a savior, so when she tasks Nalah with traveling into Cemi Territory to find a legendary gang, she ...more
Alicia (A Kernel of Nonsense)
**I received a copy of this book through NetGalley which does not influence my review**

Lilliam Rivera’s Dealing in Dreams exhibits impressive world-building, but left me wanting more in terms of characters. In Mega City, violence rules the streets. Nalah, known as Chief Rocka, and her crew, Las Mal Criadas, patrol the streets, keeping the people in check and enjoy the occasional spoils at the local clubs known as boydegas. For Nalah, the ultimate goal is to find a place next to Mega City’s leade
Kelsey Reynolds
Apr 15, 2019 rated it liked it
I wanted to love this. I really did but ultimately it wasn't my favorite. For starters, I didn't like the protagonist - I get creating complex characters that make bad decisions but because it was in the first person everything felt straightforward and left little room for the reader to imagine/contemplate. I wish her back story was more developed. I also felt like for a relatively long YA book it was very slow and little happened. Writing style wise there was little showing and it seemed like a ...more
Galen Strickland
I loved Lilliam's first book, The Education of Margot Sanchez, rating it 5 stars here. Not being SF, I didn't review it otherwise, but was interested when she said her second book would be more speculative in nature. Unfortunately, I didn't like it as much.
Considering the sheer BEAUTY of the cover and premise, this turned out to be a tad disappointing. FRTC
Sofia (Bookish Wanderess)
*3,6 stars*
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
My Review: I have to say when I found this book I fell in love with that cover. But sad to say this 300+ story nothing really happened. I really felt like this was a set up for another title but sadly this is a stand alone so that was a no go. This world is one where women rule the world but sadly it was one that just didn't work for me at all. I found it slow and boring and I think that it could have been cut down to 200 some odd pages and been much faster pace. The other issue is that this one ...more
Jan farnworth
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the story of having a dream and what it takes to get them and at what cost are you willing to get this dream. The heart of this story is Mega City and the all-inclusive only for the best towers. The story centers around a matriarchal society led by all female gangs. Men are considered to be a secondary citizen who does all the grunt work in the city. At the age of seven young girls are sent to training camps to become soldiers in gangs that consist of 5 girl members. Their also the under ...more
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
But that cover though.

Overall, I found this story unmemorable. To the point that I don't have a lot to say about it, other than I wasn't engaged throughout, and would've put it down if it were shorter.

Audiobook Narrator

The narrator was fine. She wasn't bad, but not memorable or particularly engrossing either.


The characters were pretty bland. The main character had the most personality, but they all felt pretty 2-dimensional to me, and that's what really let this book down for me.

Melissa Jacobson
I received an E-Arc via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Actual Rating 4.5

This story was described as feminist Mad-Max so I was obviously sold and it did not disappoint! I immediately enjoyed our main character and Nahla and her girl gang, and I found the dystopian society to be unique and refreshing. This story was gritty and surprising while also maintaining a fast-paced energy.

All these positives aside I did find the beginning to be a tad info-dump. It also took me several chapter
Feb 01, 2019 rated it liked it
I think this is more like a 2.5 but I'll leave it a 3 for now.

Looking at this cover I never would have guessed that it was about a motorcycle club. It still is breathtakingly beautiful, though! This book features amazing bonds of friendship and sisterhood, which is something I really enjoy.

Ultimately, though, this story fell a bit flat for me. I wasn't that invested and captivated, which was sad because I really wanted to enjoy this book more.
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Lilliam Rivera is an award-winning writer and author of the young adult novels DEALING IN DREAMS and THE EDUCATION OF MARGOT SANCHEZ, both by Simon & Schuster and available now in bookstores everywhere. Named a "2017 Face to Watch" by the Los Angeles Times, Lilliam's work has appeared in New York Times, Elle, Lenny Letter, Tin House, and Los Angeles Times, to name a few. She lives in Los Angel ...more
“I thought home needed to be tall and luminous, a glowing building with a luxurious setting. Status. What I failed to understand is home is not where I place my head down at night or the color of my furniture. Home is the people I surrounded myself with, the ones I break bread with. The keepers of my secrets and my fears. It is to be loved and to give love without inhibitions.” 0 likes
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