Passionate whirlwind romance meets suspenseful thriller in Nicholas Sparks’ Dreamland and now that I’ve devoured every single page, it’s perfectly sensible I now share my candid review of the novel with you.
Believe it or not, whilst I’m as familiar with the infamous Nicholas Sparks movie adaptations as everyone else who loved them over the years, Dreamland is the first book of Sparks I’ve read from cover to cover. It would be undeniable I had high expectations for the book because of this. Did it live up to my expectations…?
Well, let’s dive in!
Colby Mills is not in his usual habitat when we’re introduced to his character. In fact, he’s very far from it. Taking a break from his daily duties working on the family farm, Colby is temporarily living a version of his childhood dream to be a paid musician. He jumps at a rare opportunity to play a few gigs at a bar in Florida and to escape the many responsibilities waiting for his return to his far home of North Carolina.
Meeting oddly confident and beautiful Morgan Lee one sunny day on the beach is the life-changing event he could have predicted. Unlike Colby, who has resigned to his fate, Morgan who is also seriously passionate about music, is bent on letting her passion drive her, and is about to move to Nashville to make her dreams a reality…
Meanwhile, the story takes on a complete shift of tone and rhythm with the introduction of Beverly, a woman who together with her six-year-old son flees from her abusive high-profile husband. She settles in a small-town intent to begin a new life but with her eyes always looking over her shoulder, will she be able to move on from her difficult past?
How do these stories intertwine with each other? Well, that’s something you’d learn if you picked up the book…
To Read Or Not To Read?
(spoilers might be included below!)
Dreamland by Nicholas Spark is one of those novels that border in between a ‘great read’ and ‘leaves something to be desired’. Here’s why.
The first few chapters do an amazing job of setting the story between Colby and Morgan. A soft summer romance ignited by a nearly-instant attraction drawing them closer with each interaction. The two get lost in comfortable conversations that don’t require the forceful need to fill up each moment of silence. I enjoyed that in particular.
When Beverly’s story was introduced, I will admit I was completely thrown off guard and was utterly confused. As you may know, I almost never read the synopsis when I start reading a new book, hence I had no clue the story would alternate between Colby’s character and Beverly’s.
Colby’s was a first-person narration whereas Beverly’s story was told in the third person which I’ll admit I found the back-and-forth annoying at first.
Whilst Beverly’s story felt a bit random within the already established plotline, I couldn’t help but question her relevance to the big picture of the story, making her story quickly become the most intriguing part of the book. Mysterious, thrilling and filled with edge-of-the-seat moments – Beverly and her son became the part of the book I looked forward to.
Each time the story refocused on Colby and Morgan’s love story, I craved more of the gripping feelings I had when reading about Beverly’s story. I couldn’t help but wonder if Colby and Morgan were just generally not that fascinating as characters or if the second storyline was just too overpowering in comparison. I’m still not entirely sure.
Whilst I am a sucker for romance, I think Colby and Morgan’s didn’t come across as passionately as the writer might have intended. Whilst they managed to keep my attention for the most part, I wasn’t necessarily losing my mind over them being together. In fact, by the end, I was sure I would have been fine with things either way – whether they stayed together forever or went their separate ways. I felt I would have been satisfied with whatever story Nicholas Sparks chose for the characters.
The novel presents a rather unexpected twist I didn’t see coming at all. It all comes full circle when the reader is finally let to see the bigger picture and Beverly’s role within it. The twist was definitely well done – whether you like it or not is a different story.
Overall, despite a few flaws Dreamland by Nicholas Sparks was an enjoyable read. I looked forward to picking it up before bed at night and had a strong desire to pull all the threads together and fill in the dots – especially when it came to Beverly.
I prefer a more colourful writing style than the one Spark presents. The dialogue was very simple and direct ~ maybe a little too simple. What I mean by that is the words used and descriptions were really easy to follow, and things were stated in such an obvious way, that there was little room for my imagination to do any work. The simplicity, however, made flicking through the pages faster.
Frankly, I picked this book up because I expected swoon-worthy passionate romance and ended up staying for the thrills.
Your restless romantic roamer