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Dealing in Dreams

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  530 ratings  ·  155 reviews
At night, Las Mal Criadas own these streets.

Nalah leads the fiercest all-girl crew in Mega City. That role 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
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Vincent Ree I am about a 1/3rd of the way through this good book.
Since the book came out in March 2019 and is only going to be released in trade paperback in…more
I am about a 1/3rd of the way through this good book.
Since the book came out in March 2019 and is only going to be released in trade paperback in early March 2020, it is currently (*), a stand-alone novel.

I do hope there will be a sequel though because I am very interested in the treatment of men in these matriarchal dystopia (that's subjective depending on the reader).

(*) Today is Thursday, 27 FEB 2020.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  530 ratings  ·  155 reviews

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Elise (TheBookishActress)
the Outsiders meets Mad Max who even comes up with these and why do they know exactly what I want out of literature lmao ...more
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
Rec-It Rachel
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
my mind is blown

Adah Udechukwu
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dealing in Dreams is an interesting novel. The plot is quite good.
'I won't fight you, and I won't give up on you.'

All right, there were some awesome things about this book and some not so awesome so I'm going the list route here:
- Things aren't as cracked up to be as I thought, though because of mistreatment of men
- Still, it was great to see women in such positions of power rather than men which is basically all of our history
- Nalah is a tough character who has been burned by family before and it shows, but I will admit
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
Rashika (is tired)
Actual Rating 3.5

I honestly didnt know that Lilliam Rivera had a new book coming out until earlier this year which just shows you where publishings priorities are in terms of marketing. In my eagerness to read anything Rivera writes, I actually forgot to read the summary and it wasnt 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 dont do dystopia anymore but given that Ive technically now read
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,
Stella ☆Paper Wings☆
4.5 stars
People are sleeping on this book! I know the YA world is pretty burnt-out on dystopias, but this is freshest dystopia I've read in a long time.

The society is an oppressive matriarchy, which is such a fascinating concept to play around with. This is undoubtedly a feminist book, but it also shows the clear issues with a society where any one gender is dominant, and I loved that.

The characters are well-developed, and we have another of my favorite tropes: a squad. In this case they're
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

AAAAAAAAAH! I'm frustration. I really wish this were a duology, and I'm rarely the person who says she wishes a book were longer, because then the author would've had time to set everything up properly and pace things well and I would've had time to care about the things that were happening and get invested in the stakes. But as it is the book was moving so fast that I really didn't have time to connect with anything happening.

That being said the concept is GREAT. I
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
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
Oh man, I was really looking forward to this one - I thoroughly enjoyed the authors debut and this sounded right up my alley. Alas, it was unfortunately Not For Me (I mean, obviously, Im 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 didnt work for me). Its 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. Im not sure if it was because ...more
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
May 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
Wow. This was a rough one. I thought I would like this. It started off with promise, and there were a few parts I kinda liked, but you can't think about it critically for two seconds before the whole thing falls apart.
So "Dealing in Dreams" hinges on the premise that the protagonist, Nalah, a.k.a. "Chief Rocka," lives in a dystopian, matriarchal society within Mega City, which is run by a dictator known as "Déesse." Girl gangs, consisting of five combat-trained girls, run the streets, keep
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.
Mar 20, 2019 added it
Shelves: dnf, cover-love, limbo
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.
The Bookavid
Mar 21, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2019-releases

Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, dystopia
Dealing in Dreams is about Nalah, also known as Chief Rocka, leads the toughest girl gang Las Mal Criadas (LMC) in Mega City. She is eager for LMC to climb up and get off the streets and into the tower. When Déesse gives Nalah and the LMC a task to find the Ashé Ryders and see what they are planning, she sees this as a chance to get her gang off the streets and into the tower where they will be able to lead a better life. Through this journey, she has to face other gangs and begins to doubt ...more
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tales-of-colour
A near perfect dystopian (for me obviously). Nalah our protagonist was the single most impressive narrator I've come across and hope more characters like her too. I might sound silly but despite the dark and bleak ordeals she went through I ended up finding her thoughts to be witty and the snark really made laugh at some points.

I have been blind to what the city truly is. It is the people within it that count, not the Towers.

Rating: 3.7 ☆s
The matriachal world build-up was brilliant and

Nat ⭐
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
[insert that one Lady Gaga GIF where shes listing adjectives for amazing]

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

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

As soon as Id first heard about this book I was extremely excited. Its 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 my
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⭐⭐⭐⭐
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.

Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: came-soon-18-19, arcs
Full review:


Dealing in Dreams was enjoyable from beginning to end, making challenging points about feminism and the ideal society. Las Mal Criadas were an electric group of characters, every one of them unique and raw. While the plot may have been slightly predictable, the ending was not, and it kept the book realistic and emotional. Lilliam Rivera is exponentially improving with every book she writes, and I truly cannot wait to see what she creates
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 gangsbecause Nalah runs the baddest girl gang in Mega City, of courselots of secrets, and a not-so-benevolent leader and youve got Dealing in Dreams. This book also gave me some major Mad Max vibes which I loved.

An interesting and imaginative read over all. Id recommend it to people who like YA dystopia, especially if they love girls kicking butt (see: aforementioned Mad Max
Tragically, as can happen if you take them on a random sheet of paper, I lost the notes I took on this book. It's been over a week since I read it, but I will try my best nonetheless. This is one of the three star reviews that are rated this way because, while I enjoyed it, I wasn't blown away. It's definitely still worth a read, but it doesn't jump out as much as other books I have read.

As the leader of one of the crews that secure the streets of Mega City, Nalah, better known as Chief Rocka,
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 Citys 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
♥ Jasmine ♥
I wished I liked this book better.

I know I say that a lot.

I expected to absolutely love this book. The cover is beautiful and the synopsis of the book seemed really good. A dystopian world run by women gangs? Sounds interesting to me!

It was meh.

The characters were real and the author put a lot of emotion in their stories. I could really feel it. But the actual story itself and the writing style, it does not go for me a bit.

The characters were violent, they make you tug at your heartstrings. The
Alicia (A Kernel of Nonsense)
**I received a copy of this book through NetGalley which does not influence my review**

Lilliam Riveras 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 Citys leader
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was awesome, with a gritty and dark Latina main character.

The world was interesting, though I once heard a writer say at a panel that whenever creatives flip the world so someone else is in charge (like women or minorities), it's usually shown going wrong and ends up reinforcing the current status quo. I would be interested in seeing where Rivera takes her world, which is a matriarchal one with patriarchal values of violence and domination, in a sequel, which doesn't seem to be
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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, and Los Angeles Times, to name a few. She lives in Los Angeles. Visit her at ...more

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