(I received this book for free as part of Goodreads First Reads giveaways).
(This review may contain spoilers).
I found this book one that was really quick and easy to read. Dreams have always been quite strange – and things that seem perfectly natural in dreams are so much weirder after a person wakes up… at least most of the time.
I did feel a lot of sympathy towards Albert for part of the first book, even though I felt it was right that he got into trouble for calling Lucy names (just because I think name-calling can become bullying if left unchecked and it’s not very nice to be insulting even if it’s supposed to be funny).
It was interesting to see Albert’s interactions with his parents, both in flashbacks and during actual scenes shown. There were a couple of scenes I found myself cringing at in this book, such as the appearance of the tarantula… and what Albert’s father said to him about the spiders. (It might be a fact, but I don’t think George Winter’s brain-to-mouth filter was properly engaged).
I could really see the difference between the real world and the dream world after Albert entered it. I found it interesting to see how some parts of the dream mirrored real life… while others were quite illogical, such as a parent-teacher conversation happening in another’s home and Albert, his dog and the Stickman pretending to be inanimate objects inside the room.
I was also fairly amused by the Stickman’s ability to change his appearance, such as looking like Legolas from Lord of the Rings… but holding a doughnut instead of a ring. And the real-world things that were exaggerated in the dream-world came across really well.
I liked how, towards the end of the book, Albert and the others had to work together to defeat the final ‘boss’. The ending of the dream was particularly sweet as well. I thought the chickens were quite a random aspect, but they made a certain kind of sense for the dream-reality.
I wouldn’t be adverse to reading more books by this author in the future. Having read this one, I expect my niece might enjoy it and I’ll pass it on to her to read next.