Great Middle Grade Reads discussion

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ARCHIVE - BOTM discussions > BOTM for MAY is DREAMWOOD by Heather Mackey

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message 1: by Jemima (last edited May 01, 2018 02:16AM) (new)

Jemima Pett | 1492 comments Mod
This thread is for your comments on our book of the month, which is Dreamwood by Heather Mackey.

If anyone is having difficulty getting hold of a copy, I ordered one from Amazon's 'other sellers' for £4.50 inc shipping last week and it arrived on Saturday. I think that's under $6, and you can probably find a free shipping offer if you're in the right country.

Once you've read the book, feel free to comment on it in the space below.

Remember not to give too much of the plot away. Spoilers can be hidden between spoiler tags. If you can see the green 'some html is ok' above the comments box when you type, check it out for an explanation.

If you think of a question that would be good for everyone to address, do write it in!


message 2: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1673 comments Mod
Downloaded my copy. I wasn't wild about the description, but I'll give it a chance :)


message 3: by Louie (last edited May 17, 2018 07:03PM) (new)

Louie | 73 comments I just finished Dreamwood and I thought that it was very well written, mysterious, and thrilling. It is definitely one of my best reads of 2018 so far.


message 4: by SaraKat (new)

SaraKat | 167 comments Mod
My usual problem with fantasy is the intense investment that must be made at the beginning of a book to figure out how the fantastical world is arranged and works. Some fantasy novels have elaborate geographies and societal structures that make it difficult for me to get immersed in a story. I think this is why fantasy series are so popular. After the first one, there isn't the investment for the rest of the series. This book is the type of fantasy I love-- the setting and time period are real with some fantastical elements added in. This makes it easy to get started! The northwest coast of the U.S. around the turn of the century is a setting I can identify with and the extra elements are woven into the story smoothly without a lot of exposition needed. I appreciate that in a book. The protagonist isn't perfect and super-powerful and gets help from all sorts as she solves her mystery. I thought this book was great and a real page-turner.


message 5: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1673 comments Mod
SaraKat wrote: "the setting and time period are real with some fantastical elements added in."

I'm only about 1/3 of the way, and kind of struggling with the story. But I can say that the setting is part of my problem--it's mixing up elements of Northern California coast (which is what it sounds like from the train ride, etc.) with the PNW (i.e. Washington), and doing odd things with the Native American culture as well.

I do appreciate that the protagonist isn't perfect, and that she is learning to accept help. And there seems to be in some way an environmental theme running through the book. But why do I find it so un-engaging?


message 6: by Jemima (new)

Jemima Pett | 1492 comments Mod
I finished Dreamwood, and I think it was worth it. Sometimes I felt it was going down a predictable path. It either twisted into something else or did as expected in an unexpected way. I couldn’t get the geography or landscape into my brain though. I didn’t feel comfortable with the world-building. I thought it was a good read, though.


message 7: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1673 comments Mod
I didn't get it finished before the ebook expired. I may go back to it, but probably not. It just wasn't grabbing me, and there are so many books out there--or in here, for that matter. My house is full of books, and I keep finding more I've never read.


message 8: by Jemima (new)

Jemima Pett | 1492 comments Mod
Rebecca wrote: "I didn't get it finished before the ebook expired. I may go back to it, but probably not. It just wasn't grabbing me, and there are so many books out there--or in here, for that matter. My house is..."
I could put my copy in your care package next time I send one. ;)


message 9: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Wise | 32 comments I thought it was an alright story-clever idea. I'm usually into fantasy, but this one was kind of flat for me. Maybe I didn't feel a good connection with the characters. I'm not entirely sure what didn't exactly work for me.


message 10: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1673 comments Mod
Jemima wrote: "I could put my copy in your care package next time I send one. ;) "
Noooo! I've been weeding and packing books, and the last thing I want is one more! (Of course, you would see it as a win, since it would be one less for you to deal with!).


message 11: by Leone (new)

Leone Anderson (lcanderson) | 55 comments I finished Dreamwood...but I was reading "My Friend Flicka" at the same time - and I felt Dreamwood suffered by comparison.


message 12: by J.S. (new)

J.S. Jaeger (jsjaeger) | 170 comments I thought this book was intriguing, and I found the ending interesting even though it reminded me of Little Shop of Horrors (which I'm not a fan of). I really like Niwa and her connection to the land. I didn't like Pete. I felt he was demeaning and mopey.

I'm afraid this book fell victim to the audio book pointing out flaws and providing inconsistencies. I think the dialogue was okay and if I was reading it, I probably would have skimmed over some of the more irritating parts, but that wasn't possible while driving. The narration and dialogue left me confused about Lucy's age. Often times I'd picture her as 8 or 9 but then she'd say something or do something that made me think she was closer to 12. I'm sure it said her age at one point, but I didn't fully process it.


message 13: by Jemima (new)

Jemima Pett | 1492 comments Mod
Glad to see you've surfaced, JS. Funny this - I really couldn't remember much about this book except its cover until I reread my comments above. And I know what you mean about the age thing.


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