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River of Dreams

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Draped in themes of first love and family, secrets and malevolence, and swirling through an exhilarating dream world full of danger, violence, and love, this exciting debut is a high-stakes adventure full of suspense, romance, and magic. Finn Driscoll is counting down the days until she can leave for college. With her beloved brother, Noah, in a coma and her high school so Draped in themes of first love and family, secrets and malevolence, and swirling through an exhilarating dream world full of danger, violence, and love, this exciting debut is a high-stakes adventure full of suspense, romance, and magic. Finn Driscoll is counting down the days until she can leave for college. With her beloved brother, Noah, in a coma and her high school social life sinking every day, she’s ready for a fresh start. Until the night she sees Noah in a dream. He begs for her help. At first, she shakes it off as just a nightmare. Then it happens again. And again. Frightened, Finn confides in her grandmother, only to learn the shocking truth about her family. They’re Dreamwalkers--heroes who step into the River of Dreams and fight the monsters in other people’s nightmares, freeing them to face the problems in their real lives. Awake or asleep, Finn has never thought of herself as any kind of hero, and walking through other people’s dreams seems much worse than just hiding at school. But as hard as facing this challenge might be, Finn knows she has no choice: she will do anything she can to save her brother.


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Draped in themes of first love and family, secrets and malevolence, and swirling through an exhilarating dream world full of danger, violence, and love, this exciting debut is a high-stakes adventure full of suspense, romance, and magic. Finn Driscoll is counting down the days until she can leave for college. With her beloved brother, Noah, in a coma and her high school so Draped in themes of first love and family, secrets and malevolence, and swirling through an exhilarating dream world full of danger, violence, and love, this exciting debut is a high-stakes adventure full of suspense, romance, and magic. Finn Driscoll is counting down the days until she can leave for college. With her beloved brother, Noah, in a coma and her high school social life sinking every day, she’s ready for a fresh start. Until the night she sees Noah in a dream. He begs for her help. At first, she shakes it off as just a nightmare. Then it happens again. And again. Frightened, Finn confides in her grandmother, only to learn the shocking truth about her family. They’re Dreamwalkers--heroes who step into the River of Dreams and fight the monsters in other people’s nightmares, freeing them to face the problems in their real lives. Awake or asleep, Finn has never thought of herself as any kind of hero, and walking through other people’s dreams seems much worse than just hiding at school. But as hard as facing this challenge might be, Finn knows she has no choice: she will do anything she can to save her brother.

30 review for River of Dreams

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell

    *grabby hands*

  2. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Greco

    Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC. The description for River of Dreams drew me in from the first sentence. It was something I identified with and felt a connection to: the ability to travel through and manipulate dreams. Finn's brother Noah has been in a coma for a while. He went into one unexpectedly and never came out of it, even after multiple tests and procedures. After bringing him back home, Finn tries to go through life like normal, even if no one seems to treat her the Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC. The description for River of Dreams drew me in from the first sentence. It was something I identified with and felt a connection to: the ability to travel through and manipulate dreams. Finn's brother Noah has been in a coma for a while. He went into one unexpectedly and never came out of it, even after multiple tests and procedures. After bringing him back home, Finn tries to go through life like normal, even if no one seems to treat her the same anymore. The only constant in her life is her Nana and her best friend Jed. When her brother's instructor Rafe comes by the house, she realizes he isn't just there to check on Noah. He tells her that her brother is a dreamwalker, someone who can walk through dreams and rescue people form their very real nightmares. He also says there's a big chance Finn might be one too, especially after he dreams have gotten a bit weird lately. She's been seeing both Noah and her dad after all. A few more weird dreams later, and some training from Rafe, she finally sees the River of Dreams and realizes there's more to the dream world than she originally expected. And something evil might have taken Noah, causing his coma. I can't say what it is exactly about this novel that lost me, but there was something about it that prevented me from loving it as deeply as I wanted to. It may have been the third person, which threw me off at times. Or it may have been the way some events and important issues were skipped over. It could have even been the characters, who I didn't feel as much for as I should have. I gave my all into this novel so that I could love it as deeply as I wanted to, since I identified with it so much, but something made me feel...lost. It's definitely a unique read. It's very much the Shark Boy and Lava Girl for the generation that has grown up since then, but infinitely better. Finn's a passionate person and puts her all into everything she does. I just needed a little more from her and the novel. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy it! It's the reason it's getting a four star and not lower, but it needs a little refinement and character development for me to love it more.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    **i received a copy from Goodreads and the publisher in exchange for a review.** River of Dreams follows Finn several months after her brother goes into a coma. She soon finds out that he, and she are both “dream walkers” and are supposed to go into people’s nightmares and help fight for them. I really enjoyed this book and thought it was an interesting concept. I especially enjoyed how it kind of explains why sometimes people you know can randomly appear in your dreams. I thought Finn and her b **i received a copy from Goodreads and the publisher in exchange for a review.** River of Dreams follows Finn several months after her brother goes into a coma. She soon finds out that he, and she are both “dream walkers” and are supposed to go into people’s nightmares and help fight for them. I really enjoyed this book and thought it was an interesting concept. I especially enjoyed how it kind of explains why sometimes people you know can randomly appear in your dreams. I thought Finn and her best friend Jed were really cute and I also really enjoyed Finn’s relationship with her Nana. While there wasn’t anything wrong with this book, I just wanted a whole lot more from the book. The book had a real chance at tackling some hard topics and it ultimately decided not to. I personally, think that it would have been more emotional and the ending more satisfying, if the main character’s brother, Noah, had gone into a coma right in the beginning. If we had a couple of pages to learn who Noah really was in the beginning, and then for him to go into a coma and to be able to see Finn’s real time reaction to losing her brother and dealing with the pain and struggle that comes with waking up every day not sure if he’ll wake up. I think that would have added a lot to both how the reader felt about Finn and Noah. Also, there’s a scene later on where a character is dealing with abuse, and even though that was not necessary to the plot, I think delving into that a little deeper would have been a nice touch to the book, especially for other readers who have had to go through something similar. Overall, I had a good time reading this one, but just wanted *a little* more from it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michaela

    Things I enjoyed: I absolutely adored Jed! Maybe it’s just my overwhelming love for The West Wing and therefore an association with that name, but he was a great best friend/boyfriend/sidekick and a very entertaining supporting character. I’m usually wary of any book set in a modern day public high school, but this one didn’t annoy me. There were even several lines that I found really relatable. With that being said, I often thought the high school drama was emphasized rather than the tension-dr Things I enjoyed: I absolutely adored Jed! Maybe it’s just my overwhelming love for The West Wing and therefore an association with that name, but he was a great best friend/boyfriend/sidekick and a very entertaining supporting character. I’m usually wary of any book set in a modern day public high school, but this one didn’t annoy me. There were even several lines that I found really relatable. With that being said, I often thought the high school drama was emphasized rather than the tension-driven aspects of the story. Things I didn’t enjoy so much: I wish it would have leaned more into the dark-fantasy aspect of the story, because that has the potential to be a great series based quality to continue this story. Another this that pulled me away was that the protagonist didn’t seem to lead it. I won’t go so far to say that Finn has no personality, but she didn’t seem to really react to anything, and her motivation didn’t seem to motivate her. Unlike other characters I love, she was confined to the pages of this book. Also, I was just completely lost with the timeline, but that wasn’t a huge bother - just a nod to how “dream-like” the substance of the story truly is. Final thoughts: I think I may be a little too far out of the target age group for this one, so I’m going to pass it off to my little sister and hope she gets a little more out of it than I did! Still an enjoyable debut with an interesting premise (and a gorgeous cover 😍) *I was sent an ARC via a giveaway on Goodreads

  5. 4 out of 5

    Abby Smith

    One of the things I liked best about River of Dreams is that it jumped right into it. It didn’t spend half the book for Finn to find out about Dreamwalkers. It was refreshing that there was communication with her family, and she told her best friend Jed (relatively) soon about what was happening. It was a nice break from everyone keeping secrets from everyone – it’s so frustrating yelling at a book (or TV screen) that if people just talked to each other, things would work out much better. As much One of the things I liked best about River of Dreams is that it jumped right into it. It didn’t spend half the book for Finn to find out about Dreamwalkers. It was refreshing that there was communication with her family, and she told her best friend Jed (relatively) soon about what was happening. It was a nice break from everyone keeping secrets from everyone – it’s so frustrating yelling at a book (or TV screen) that if people just talked to each other, things would work out much better. As much as I like that we dove right into the action of the story, I would have enjoyed more character development throughout the book. It felt like we only knew the very surface of the characters. There were hints of it, such as Finn and Noah’s discussion about their biggest fears, but overall there wasn’t enough connection to the characters. I think that kept me from loving the book, but I did still enjoy it and would continue reading a series! Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an ARC.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nickie

    Finn's brother is in a coma. There is no medical reason for the coma and when Finn turns sixteen, she starts having lucid dreams where her brother is asking her to come find him. Soon she discovers she is a "Dreamwalker" a talent that runs in families, and that she is supposed to fight nightmares in other peoples' dreams. Her brother, Noah, was doing just that when he was trapped in the dream world and only she can save him. But an evil more than 15,000 years in the making is waiting to kill her Finn's brother is in a coma. There is no medical reason for the coma and when Finn turns sixteen, she starts having lucid dreams where her brother is asking her to come find him. Soon she discovers she is a "Dreamwalker" a talent that runs in families, and that she is supposed to fight nightmares in other peoples' dreams. Her brother, Noah, was doing just that when he was trapped in the dream world and only she can save him. But an evil more than 15,000 years in the making is waiting to kill her as well as finish off her brother. Overall I liked this book. It was well written and interesting. My only complaint is that the ending wrapped up too quickly. I think the author was leaving herself an opening for a sequel, but a little more closure would have been nice. I liked the whole dream-scape element and Finn's ability to go into people's dreams. It was a little like "Strange the Dreamer," by Laini Taylor. The writing was smooth and the character and story development were good.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Karen Melk

    I love YA novels. And I love books that push my boundaries - opening up a world I hadn't considered. That's what Nash's new novel does......makes me think about ideas/possibilities/worlds that I usually don't. The descriptive language Nash uses in describing the "river" is amazing - I could almost see its kaleidoscope of swirls and stripes of gray, and feel the coldness of the pitch black hole emanating from the completely black space. The coming-of-age storyline was refreshing in that it allowe I love YA novels. And I love books that push my boundaries - opening up a world I hadn't considered. That's what Nash's new novel does......makes me think about ideas/possibilities/worlds that I usually don't. The descriptive language Nash uses in describing the "river" is amazing - I could almost see its kaleidoscope of swirls and stripes of gray, and feel the coldness of the pitch black hole emanating from the completely black space. The coming-of-age storyline was refreshing in that it allowed the girl protagonist to remain strong, in control of what was important to her as she also allowed herself to be vulnerable with her best friend who wanted more. Full disclosure: The author, Jan Nash, is the sister of my college bestie......but my review is true - I loved this book!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Emily W

    I feel like there were a lot of parts I had to go back and re-read to really get what was happening, but for the most part, the story flowed smoothly. I think one of the things that bothered me the most is that I can't pronounce Finn's really name. Like, jeez, who names their kid Fionnuala? The storyline itself was good. It's not like anything I've read before, but still familiar, I guess. I don't think the ending lived up to the rest of the story. The story is witty, action-packed and a little e I feel like there were a lot of parts I had to go back and re-read to really get what was happening, but for the most part, the story flowed smoothly. I think one of the things that bothered me the most is that I can't pronounce Finn's really name. Like, jeez, who names their kid Fionnuala? The storyline itself was good. It's not like anything I've read before, but still familiar, I guess. I don't think the ending lived up to the rest of the story. The story is witty, action-packed and a little emotional, and the ending is just kinda.... There. I mean, sure, it got the important part there, but it didn't have the same energy and vibe as the rest of the story.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Beattie

    I couldn’t get enough of this book. Being a teenager trying to survive high school is hard enough, now imagine if you suddenly discovered you had access to an entirely different, sometimes terrifying world. River of Dreams has something for everyone, action, suspense, romance, and I was particularly impressed with how the author was able to weave humor into a story filled with so much loss and longing. Bravo, Jan Nash!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kristen Gagnon

    Great way to introduce the topic with text and superb visuals. Get student's thoughts and discussions started with important facts. Including literature in any subject is always a plus and adds another variable to student learning other than paper and pencil!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mescha Hoskins

    I won an arc of this in a Goodreads giveaway and I'm so glad I did. The whole dreamwalking storyline was very enjoyable and you just wanted to root for Finn to find and help her little brother the whole way along. Not to mention her and Jedd are adorable.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cassie

    Fortunate to have won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway! Read through this lovely story very quickly. Definitely enjoyed learning about the Dreamwalkers and Finn's adventures to save Noah.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Finn’s a super compelling character, a coming of age story with a magical twist. Engrossing, quick read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Sammis

    River of Dreams by Jan Nash is a YA fantasy about a sister trying to rescue her brother from a paranormal induced coma. After a series of nightmares and daytime hallucinations, Finn Driscoll learns she comes from a long line of dreamwalkers, travelers in the river of dreams. Her brother, Noah, was too until something got him during one of his walks. With help from an adult family friend, and a friend from high school, Finn learns how to harness her power. The good and the bad of this novel is tha River of Dreams by Jan Nash is a YA fantasy about a sister trying to rescue her brother from a paranormal induced coma. After a series of nightmares and daytime hallucinations, Finn Driscoll learns she comes from a long line of dreamwalkers, travelers in the river of dreams. Her brother, Noah, was too until something got him during one of his walks. With help from an adult family friend, and a friend from high school, Finn learns how to harness her power. The good and the bad of this novel is that no time is wasted on waiting for Finn to figure out what's going on. The bad is that the book has long passages, sometimes entire chapters of dream sequences that are rendered in a hard to read italic type face. Similar in ways to to The End of Mr. Y. http://pussreboots.com/blog/2020/comm...

  15. 5 out of 5

    Silindo

    This was a strange book. Although I have read books similar to this one where the protagonist can travel through people's dreams, this one had an interesting addition what with all the added mythology with the Sorcerer, Malum and the titular River of Dreams. Overall, it was nothing groundbreaking but I found it very interesting and quite the quick read. I also kind of liked the characters; Fionnuala's journey to finding her brother was pretty much the driving plot in this book, but I would've li This was a strange book. Although I have read books similar to this one where the protagonist can travel through people's dreams, this one had an interesting addition what with all the added mythology with the Sorcerer, Malum and the titular River of Dreams. Overall, it was nothing groundbreaking but I found it very interesting and quite the quick read. I also kind of liked the characters; Fionnuala's journey to finding her brother was pretty much the driving plot in this book, but I would've liked to know more about Finn's father and what happened to him.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Cheresnick

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Doonan

  18. 5 out of 5

    Khuyen Nguyen

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ginny_L

  20. 5 out of 5

    Suz

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cher

  22. 5 out of 5

    Keti Kvaratskhelia

  23. 4 out of 5

    Vikash Agarwal

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lylah

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lira

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alaina Sharp

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tricia

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mary Bowers

  29. 5 out of 5

    Gwen Miller

  30. 5 out of 5

    Luisa Beguiristain

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