Book Review | Dreamland by Nicholas Sparks

BOOK REVIEW

TITLE: Dreamland

AUTHOR: Nicholas Sparks

PUBLISHER: Random House

RELEASE DATE: September 20, 2022

GENRE: Romance, Fiction, Women’s Fiction

BUY LINKS: AMAZON | B&N

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Wishcomes a poignant love story about risking everything for a dream—and whether it’s possible to leave the past behind.

Colby Mills once felt destined for a musical career, until tragedy grounded his aspirations. Now the head of a small family farm in North Carolina, he spontaneously takes a gig playing at a bar in St. Pete’s Beach, Florida, seeking a rare break from his duties at home.

But when he meets Morgan Lee, his world is turned upside-down, making him wonder if the responsibilities he has shouldered need dictate his life forever. The daughter of affluent Chicago doctors, Morgan has graduated from a prestigious college music program with the ambition to move to Nashville and become a star. Romantically and musically, she and Colby complete each other in a way that neither has ever known.

While they are falling headlong in love, Beverly is on a heart-pounding journey of another kind. Fleeing an abusive husband with her six-year-old son, she is trying to piece together a life for them in a small town far off the beaten track. With money running out and danger seemingly around every corner, she makes a desperate decision that will rewrite everything she knows to be true.

In the course of a single unforgettable week, two young people will navigate the exhilarating heights and heartbreak of first love. Hundreds of miles away, Beverly will put her love for her young son to the test. And fate will draw all three people together in a web of life-altering connections . . . forcing each to wonder whether the dream of a better life can ever survive the weight of the past. (Description from Goodreads.com)

MY THOUGHTS

(***Please note that this review may contain spoilers***)

The book follows the POV of Colby Mills and Beverly. It goes back and forth between the two stories which are happening on the same timeline. Following Colby we get to know a man who’s taking a much needed vacation from his family’s farm and playing his music at a bar in Florida. Then it goes into a love story between him and a girl named Morgan. It goes into the uncertainty of falling in love with someone who’s on completely different paths and how it could possibly work when the vacation ends and real life begins again. When we follow Beverly, she’s running from an abusive husband with her son Tommie in tow. Reading through this POV makes you sad and sacred for her and her son because you can see that somethings just not right and she’s breaking down. The whole time I was wondering how these two stories are connected, but Sparks doesn’t give many hints and I didn’t figure out the twist until it was revealed.

Overall, this isn’t my favorite Nicholas Sparks book and it fell a little flat for me compared to many of his other books. I felt like it was lacking passion and love between Colby and Morgan. I think it would have benefited from having Morgan’s POV included as well. That way it would give her character more depth which I think she was lacking throughout. It also was lacking emotion which I’ve come to expect and want when I read a Nicolas Sparks book. I usually devour his books in a few days, but this one I it took me a month or so to want to finish it.

I’m still a huge Nicholas Sparks fan, just a little disappointed in this particular book, but there were aspects of it that I thought were good. I liked that he incorporated things that we can relate to in this age (i.e. TikTok, FaceTime, etc) and I also liked that I was surprised by the twist at the end with Beverly. Once it was revealed that she was bipolar the chapters from her POV started to make more sense, especially the chapters of her right before it was revealed. While reading those chapters I felt Beverly’s helplessness and it was clear how much she was spiraling out of control. I think Sparks did a good job portraying what it might be like for someone in the manic and depressive bipolar states. I already felt like Colby was connected to Beverly somehow and I’m glad that I was surprised by how they were connected.

I would recommend this book if you’re a fan of Nicholas Sparks, just keep in mind that it’s not up to the level of many of his other books.

OVERALL RATING

ABOUT NICHOLAS SPARKS

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

nicholas-sparksNicholas Sparks is one of the world’s most beloved storytellers. All of his books have been New York Times bestsellers, with over 105 million copies sold worldwide, in more than 50 languages, including over 75 million copies in the United States alone.

Sparks wrote one of his best-known stories, The Notebook, over a period of six months at age 28. It was published in 1996 and he followed with the novels Message in a Bottle (1998), A Walk to Remember (1999), The Rescue (2000), A Bend in the Road (2001), Nights in Rodanthe (2002), The Guardian (2003), The Wedding (2003), True Believer (2005) and its sequel, At First Sight (2005), Dear John (2006), The Choice (2007), The Lucky One (2008), The Last Song (2009), Safe Haven (2010), The Best of Me (2011), and The Longest Ride (2013) as well as the 2004 non-fiction memoir Three Weeks With My Brother, co-written with his brother Micah. His eighteenth novel, See Me, published on October 12, 2015. His newest book, Two by Two, will be published on October 4, 2016.

Film adaptations of Nicholas Sparks novels, including The Choice, The Longest Ride, The Best of Me, Safe Haven (on all of which he served as a producer), The Lucky One, Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, The Notebook, Nights in Rodanthe, Dear John and The Last Song, have had a cumulative worldwide gross of over three-quarters of a billion dollars.

In 2012, Sparks and his publishing agent and creative partner Theresa Park, launched Nicholas Sparks Productions, with Park as President of Production. A film version of The Guardian is currently in development, as is a film based on Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers’s friendship with Chicago Bears teammate Brian Piccolo.

Sparks lives in North Carolina. He contributes to a variety of local and national charities, and is a major contributor to the Creative Writing Program (MFA) at the University of Notre Dame, where he provides scholarships, internships, and a fellowship annually. He co-founded The Epiphany School in New Bern, North Carolina in 2006. As a former full scholarship athlete (he still holds a track and field record at the University of Notre Dame) he also spent four years coaching track and field athletes at the local public high school. In 2009, the team he coached at New Bern High School set a World Junior Indoor Record in the 4 x400 meter, in New York. The record still stands. (Bio found on NicholasSparks.com)

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