The Dreamer by E.J. Mellow

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Dreamer by E.J. Mellow
Publisher: Four Eyed Owl
Publication Date: May 14th, 2015
Pages: 340
Song I Played While Reading: Sing Me To Sleep by Alan Walker
Rating: 4.5 stars

It’s night. Always night. Dreams guard against the evil forged by nightmares. Infinite shooting stars illuminate a moonless sky. A city stands alone, surrounded by a darkened field. On its fringes, a man watches one star separate from the masses and fall. What survives the crash will unveil a secret centuries long hidden.

Molly hasn’t slept well since the night of her twenty-fourth birthday. Being struck by lightning might have something to do with it, but then again, her chicken did look a little undercooked at dinner. Whatever the culprit, her life quickly catapults from mundane to insane as, night after night, Molly is transported through her once dreamless sleep to a mysterious land illuminated by shooting stars.
There she meets the captivating but frustrating Dev, and together they discover Molly possesses a power coveted by his people—the ability to conjure almost anything she desires into existence. Seduced by the possibilities of this gift, Molly shifts her attention from waking life toward the man, the magic, and the world found in her dreams.

But Molly must ask herself—does something truly exist if you only see it when you close your eyes?
Faced with the threat of losing everything—her job, best friend, boyfriend, and most importantly, that little thing called her sanity—Molly will learn just how far she’ll go to uncover what is real and what is merely a figment of her imagination.

I first heard about The Dreamer because I unwittingly followed the author on Instagram. I'm a stationary freak. I don't usually buy stationary, but I do drool over it at stores and on Instagram (because nothing beats a pretty book picture like a pretty picture with gorgeous stationary!) As I ravaged her Instagram (that sounds so weird, but it's the honest truth because OBSESSED), I noticed that she was an author. Months and months went by, and whenever I saw a positive review of The Dreamer my interest would swell. I was scrolling through my emails one day and saw one from Xpresso Book Tours, and right in the headline was The Dreamer. I've never smashed my finger so hard against the screen of my phone before. 
Jump to the present, and I'm extremely happy to say that the book has lived up to the hype: I adored this. It was engrossing, romantic, and otherworldly. This was also the first NA fantasy I've read (something I should really get more into because I love fantasy and I love me some good sexy times). 
Molly was an absolute joy to read from. She was a good medium. You know how some characters can swing super far on the scale of personalities, and can be either blunt and unapologetic or quiet and shy? Molly was the kind of relatable mc that had all of that in her. I really wish there were more medium mc's in books today. Don't get me wrong, I love having super sassy characters like Celanea Sardothien and super mellow ones like Cath from Fangirl. But sometimes I want to see a character that embodies all of that. It's possible to enjoy partying and drinking and still be a thoughtful and reliable narrator. 
Dev was sexy and so much fun. He shamelessly flirted with Molly at all points in the book, but knew when to tone it down and be serious. Though he could get blinded by his overbearing need to protect the ones he cared for (and inadvertently push them away), he managed to also be the spark that ignited Molly's powers. He had total faith in her, and though it scared him, he knew she was strong and brave and able to handle herself. 
Yes, there's a love-triangle in here! Don't run away though: since neither man can meet each other (one being the literal man of Molly's dream and the other being her man in real life), there wasn't that clash of dick-fighting that everyone seems to hate. I, for one, love that and think it's endlessly hilarious, but WHATEVER. Jared was super, super sweet and honestly had me swaying at some points, but in the end, I was Team Dev. There was oodles of kick-ass friendships in here, like with Molly and Becca, and then Molly and Rae. Becca was fiery and fierce and took no shit, which give's her an instant A in my book, and I loved how supportive she was of Molly and how deeply she cared for her. And Rae was just a giant teddy bear. I love giant man teddy bears. THEY'RE MY FAVORITE.
The plot was engrossing, with Mellow's slow world-building making me flip the pages faster and faster because I needed to know what, exactly, was going on. I loved how it ended and where the direction of the next two books are going. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next installment!

"Ladies first." He opens the front door to a dimly lit hallway.
His comment brings me back to my birthday dinner with Jared, and I grin at the memory. Dev blinks a few times at my pleased expression and then gives me one of his knee-weakening smiles.
Immediately, my face falls. "I wasn't smiling at you."
"I see." He glances around. "So it was for the other man who opened the door for you."

"I'm glad you find taking advantage of me so funny."
"Dev wipes a tear from his eye. "You, Molly, might be the end of me."
"Promise?" I grumble.
He shakes his head, still smiling. "I ned to get at the loops in your pants - they run around the front of your wasitband and are what acts as the harness."
"Yeah, oh. Trust me, if I wanted to go there, we would have already been there."
I've never rolled my eyes so fast in my life. "Please, you are not my type."
He moves closer. "But don't you remember? I'm the man of your dreams."

"That is what your presence means, Molly - there is a threat of war reaching your conscious world through the overpowering number of Metus invading Dreamers' minds."
She stares at me intently, making sure she holds my attention. She holds a lot more than that- I think I see my sanity and my metaphorical balls in the palm of her hand."

"I nod, not letting my eyes move from the mysterious ball, trying to figure out all the things it could possibly become. A spiky bludgeon comes to mind. Or maybe it's simply a bomb. Ether way, I doubt it will sprout flowers like a Chia Pet and merely tickle me with its amazing fragrance. But I guess a girl can hope.
"Good. Now I'm going to test your reflexes and creativity by not telling you what this is before I activate it." He holds up the ball for me to have a better look. I see no holes for flowers to sprout from. All hope lost."

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