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Dreaming Dangerous

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Brassmere Academy for the Extraordinary is a school for orphans with strange and wonderful gifts. Twelve-year-old Plum has lived there forever, and each night, she ventures into her dreams alongside her three best friends, Vien, Gwendle, and Artem, to fight monsters and journey on dangerous quests. But one night, Plum gets a mysterious warning that she and her friends are Brassmere Academy for the Extraordinary is a school for orphans with strange and wonderful gifts. Twelve-year-old Plum has lived there forever, and each night, she ventures into her dreams alongside her three best friends, Vien, Gwendle, and Artem, to fight monsters and journey on dangerous quests. But one night, Plum gets a mysterious warning that she and her friends are no longer safe. And the next morning, Artem is nowhere to be found. As Plum, Vien, and Gwendle search for their friend—in both the dreaming and waking worlds—they start to uncover alarming secrets about Brassmere and its intentions. Will they be able to find Artem before it’s too late, or will they be next to disappear?


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Brassmere Academy for the Extraordinary is a school for orphans with strange and wonderful gifts. Twelve-year-old Plum has lived there forever, and each night, she ventures into her dreams alongside her three best friends, Vien, Gwendle, and Artem, to fight monsters and journey on dangerous quests. But one night, Plum gets a mysterious warning that she and her friends are Brassmere Academy for the Extraordinary is a school for orphans with strange and wonderful gifts. Twelve-year-old Plum has lived there forever, and each night, she ventures into her dreams alongside her three best friends, Vien, Gwendle, and Artem, to fight monsters and journey on dangerous quests. But one night, Plum gets a mysterious warning that she and her friends are no longer safe. And the next morning, Artem is nowhere to be found. As Plum, Vien, and Gwendle search for their friend—in both the dreaming and waking worlds—they start to uncover alarming secrets about Brassmere and its intentions. Will they be able to find Artem before it’s too late, or will they be next to disappear?

30 review for Dreaming Dangerous

  1. 3 out of 5

    Jessica

    I really love Lauren DeStefano, and I would love to see her expand on this. This book was very short, barely 200 pages, but it dealt with a big story and some big ideas, and they just didn't get enough time on the page. It felt very much like an outline for a longer book or even series.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Resch Reads

    *Book Received in Exchange for Honest Opinion/Review* I absolutely adore these quick, little middle grade books by Lauren DeStefano and Dreaming Dangerous was no exception. With a unique twist, four best friends not only go to a secluded school where they have been their entire lives, they also have been dreaming in tandem for as long as they can remember. With non-stop adventure and action, the book is hard to put down and will captivate the middle grade audience. I think the most important take *Book Received in Exchange for Honest Opinion/Review* I absolutely adore these quick, little middle grade books by Lauren DeStefano and Dreaming Dangerous was no exception. With a unique twist, four best friends not only go to a secluded school where they have been their entire lives, they also have been dreaming in tandem for as long as they can remember. With non-stop adventure and action, the book is hard to put down and will captivate the middle grade audience. I think the most important take away from the story is the bonds of friendship. Regardless of distance or separation, friends will always find a way to be together. The bond shared by Plum, Vien, Gwendle, and Artem is magical and had me feeling all the warm, fuzzy feels. The plot and mystery surrounding Brassmere Academy didn't play out like I thought it would. And that was a nice surprise because the twist at the ending wasn't the twist I was anticipating. The story was the perfect balance of mystery and fantasy. While these students all have extraordinary talents, the mystery is what kept me reading. What happened to Artem, what is really going on at Brassmere Academy, and who is Dr. Abarrane? While searching for answers, their friendship is put to the test, with dangerous adventures, life-risking rescue missions, and surprise events that make them question dreams versus reality. The story was a fast read and while I was left with a few lingering questions, I enjoyed this refreshing read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    Deliciously different, eerie and suspenseful! Readers feel slightly off-kilter and uncertain right along with the 4 protagonists as begin to awaken to the reality that something in their world is deeply wrong. Large font and the cover make this book seem young but the complexity of the tale pushes it comfortably into the middle school audience. Lots to think and talk about as the story spools out.

  4. 3 out of 5

    Jessica F

    Promising premise, but not enough pages to really take it anywhere.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Leah (Jane Speare)

    Very nice story, but not my favorite of her middle grade books. I will still highly recommend it. It’s significantly different from the others.

  6. 3 out of 5

    Suzanne Maley

    The best book by Lauren DeStefano so far.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jaina Rose

    This review and many more like it are available on Read Till Dawn . This is the sort of book I would have absolutely loved when I was younger. I was a sucker for stories set at boarding schools or orphanages, and I loved main characters with special powers. In fact, these aspects of Dreaming Dangerous reminds me quite a bit of Victoria Forester's The Girl Who Could Fly. It's basically a shorter, slightly younger alternative of the other book. Which is good, because The Girl Who Could Fly was (and This review and many more like it are available on Read Till Dawn . This is the sort of book I would have absolutely loved when I was younger. I was a sucker for stories set at boarding schools or orphanages, and I loved main characters with special powers. In fact, these aspects of Dreaming Dangerous reminds me quite a bit of Victoria Forester's The Girl Who Could Fly. It's basically a shorter, slightly younger alternative of the other book. Which is good, because The Girl Who Could Fly was (and still is) one of my all-time favorite books. I love the ambiance of these books. The setting and workers at Brassmere are described in a deliciously spooky way, and the dreams Plum shares with her friends are fascinatingly weird (as is the fact that Plum doesn't even realize all the ways her control over her dreams are unique). I loved reading the dream sequences, especially. Honestly, my main issue with Dreaming Dangerous was that it wasn't long enough: it didn't give us long enough at Brassmere to explore that oppressive ambiance, it didn't give us long enough with the kids to really get to know them or their friendship dynamics on a deeper level, and it didn't give us enough time with the drama and adventure later in the book. If it had been longer, it would have been even closer to perfect. This is a reaction I actually share with my middle-school-aged brother, by the way: I lent the book to him when I was done with it, and when I asked what he thought he said he wished it had been longer and more detailed. The conversation about the book also morphed into a long debate about medical ethics, so I have DeStefano to thank for that as well as for the fun read! I always love when media forces us to think about deeper topics. All in all, Dreaming Dangerous is a great little book that really just suffers from one main flaw: length. And that's only an issue for us–if you or your reader likes shorter reads, then Dreaming Dangerous could be absolutely perfect. Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mark Buxton

    My name is Plum, and I have an unusual ability to share dreams with my three closest friends. Dr. Abarrane asks us to keep a diary of them, and doctors frequently check our health. However, our dreams have been getting stranger, and I've started wondering about the doctors questions. Artem has disappeared, and in our dreams he's warned us that someone is coming to get us. Who is he talking about? Gwendle, Vien, and I have decided no one can be trusted, so we've started lying to the doctors and i My name is Plum, and I have an unusual ability to share dreams with my three closest friends. Dr. Abarrane asks us to keep a diary of them, and doctors frequently check our health. However, our dreams have been getting stranger, and I've started wondering about the doctors questions. Artem has disappeared, and in our dreams he's warned us that someone is coming to get us. Who is he talking about? Gwendle, Vien, and I have decided no one can be trusted, so we've started lying to the doctors and in our diaries. We used to be in control of our dreams, but something's changed. I don't feel safe in them anymore, and sometimes I can't wake up. I've got to find Artem and figure out what's going on. He doesn't seem to be in Brassmere Academy anymore. If we can't trust the doctors, what can we do? The beginning of the plot seemed innocent enough, but it quickly sucked me in. I found myself very curious about the dreams and trying to figure out what was happening at this isolated academy. It seemed like the plot was equally split between reality and the dream world. The four friends would often go to sleep in order to be together and to speak in private. The dreams were very imaginative and created a lot of drama. Even though I enjoyed most of the book, I didn't care much for the climax and resolution. I figured the plot would amp up a bit once the secret was revealed, but it actually signaled the end. Also, there seemed to be a bit of magic with the gargoyles that wasn't found earlier in the book. In the end, I wanted to know more about what the doctor was doing and why he was doing it. I still don't know what happened to him after everything was resolved. I'm wondering if there's going to be a sequel, although it didn't feel like that was in the plans. Overall, I really enjoyed most of the book, and you may not have the same feelings about the ending. Everyone is different!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jana

    I had the opportunity to read a digital ARC of this middle grade fantasy novel in exchange for a review. This book is a fun adventure that takes readers into the world of dreams. The main characters are friends that attend Brassmere, a school for extraordinary children with supernatural talents. Plum, Vien, Gwendle, and Artem have the ability to interact with each other while they’re asleep. They are able to engage in tandem dreaming, where they meet up with each other in a dream and work togeth I had the opportunity to read a digital ARC of this middle grade fantasy novel in exchange for a review. This book is a fun adventure that takes readers into the world of dreams. The main characters are friends that attend Brassmere, a school for extraordinary children with supernatural talents. Plum, Vien, Gwendle, and Artem have the ability to interact with each other while they’re asleep. They are able to engage in tandem dreaming, where they meet up with each other in a dream and work together to defeat whatever threatens them. But their dreams become more unusual and they start to receive strange warnings in them. When one of the friends disappears, the others realize that things aren’t as they seem at this school, and they can’t be sure who to trust. There is lots of action and ideas about dream experiences for middle grade readers who like those sorts of stories. There’s a little bit of violent gore, but not anything that’s over the top for kids in grades five and up. The story can be a bit confusing at times as the action switches between real life and the dream world. Also, the ending is a bit abrupt without a clear understanding of the motives for the villain of the story.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Laura Mauro

    *i got this book for review and gave it 3.5 stars for review from the publisher* I have never read any of lauren's middle grade and I really enjoyed this book. I was shocked that even though this book was super short the story had both a solid plot but also characters that I felt were super well rounded and also a world that was compelling and easy to understand. I thought it was sold standalone and it was a really quick read. If younger reads enjoy movies like X men or anything super hero relate *i got this book for review and gave it 3.5 stars for review from the publisher* I have never read any of lauren's middle grade and I really enjoyed this book. I was shocked that even though this book was super short the story had both a solid plot but also characters that I felt were super well rounded and also a world that was compelling and easy to understand. I thought it was sold standalone and it was a really quick read. If younger reads enjoy movies like X men or anything super hero related. I think this book will be right up their alley. I just wanted to explore more of this world and exlore all the other characters were "heard" about. I liked Plum and our three characters alot and almost wanted to get into their heads as well. I will def be checking out lauren previous middle grade novels!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Carli

    Thank you to Bloomsbury Publishing and Netgalley for the advance Kindle copy of this 7/3 release. All opinions are my own. • ⭐⭐⭐💫/5 for this uniquely sophisticated story aimed at middle grades audiences. Plum has been raised at the Brassmere Academy for the Extraordinary. Each student has a gift (or gifts), and their dreams are monitored carefully by Brassmere’s staff. Each night, Plum and her three friends dream in tandem. As the dreams start to change, Plum discovers the truth about why they are Thank you to Bloomsbury Publishing and Netgalley for the advance Kindle copy of this 7/3 release. All opinions are my own. • ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫/5 for this uniquely sophisticated story aimed at middle grades audiences. Plum has been raised at the Brassmere Academy for the Extraordinary. Each student has a gift (or gifts), and their dreams are monitored carefully by Brassmere’s staff. Each night, Plum and her three friends dream in tandem. As the dreams start to change, Plum discovers the truth about why they are there and where they really belong. Can they find a way out? • I really like how the story is just the right amount of scary for middle grades readers. This is a quick read as well; however, I would have liked to see the ending a little less rushed. Overall, a winner for teachers and librarians who work with readers in grades 5-8 (I would peg the ideal audience at grades 5-7).

  12. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    I was really, really enjoying this one - and then all of a sudden it ended and there was an epilogue and a lot of the plot threads that I was looking forward to exploring didn't really get explored? I'm not sure if I just didn't "get" it or what, but I found the end of the book very abrupt. I really enjoyed the writing and the characters and the concept, but I wanted more of it. (From about the end of chapter one, I was in love with the style and our protagonist, so overall it was a really posit I was really, really enjoying this one - and then all of a sudden it ended and there was an epilogue and a lot of the plot threads that I was looking forward to exploring didn't really get explored? I'm not sure if I just didn't "get" it or what, but I found the end of the book very abrupt. I really enjoyed the writing and the characters and the concept, but I wanted more of it. (From about the end of chapter one, I was in love with the style and our protagonist, so overall it was a really positive reading experience - it was really just the ending I had issues with, but that is by nature the book's last impression.) I've really loved DeStefano's books in the past, and maybe it was just a galley thing (thank you to NetGalley, by the way).

  13. 5 out of 5

    Krissy Neddo

    I was also disappointed when it ended so quickly. Just when I was getting to know the characters. However, as a librarian who struggles to find enough books that are 200 pages or less and compelling enough to finish(and don't feel like the "chapter books" they read in 3rd grade), I am happy to have found this book. It is just right for the 4th or 5th graders who are excited by the descriptions of 300+ page fantasy books their classmates describe and they don't have the stamina to finish. This bo I was also disappointed when it ended so quickly. Just when I was getting to know the characters. However, as a librarian who struggles to find enough books that are 200 pages or less and compelling enough to finish(and don't feel like the "chapter books" they read in 3rd grade), I am happy to have found this book. It is just right for the 4th or 5th graders who are excited by the descriptions of 300+ page fantasy books their classmates describe and they don't have the stamina to finish. This book will be a good fit. And just creepy enough too. Not sure why my public library had it marked at TEEN.

  14. 3 out of 5

    Mandy Laferriere

    Every night, Plum dreams with her three best friends. They live at Brassmere Academy, which is an orphanage for children with extra special abilities. As their dreams begin to get weird, and Artem, one of Plum's friends and dream partners, disappears, she begins to realize that Brassmere Academy, and the people who run it, may not be what they seem. This is a short little book. You could easily read it cover to cover in an hour or two. The writing is lovely, but the story is just okay. Thanks to Every night, Plum dreams with her three best friends. They live at Brassmere Academy, which is an orphanage for children with extra special abilities. As their dreams begin to get weird, and Artem, one of Plum's friends and dream partners, disappears, she begins to realize that Brassmere Academy, and the people who run it, may not be what they seem. This is a short little book. You could easily read it cover to cover in an hour or two. The writing is lovely, but the story is just okay. Thanks to the publisher for providing me with an ARC at the TLA conference.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sarah N

    (3.5 STARS) I really wanted this to be a 4 star book, because HECK, this story grabbed me from the very first page and didn’t let go! I loved how the author kept raising unanswered questions by tight dialogue and carefully revealed details. However, the seams loosened towards the half-way mark. Lean prose turned into sparse prose and the characters took leaps in thoughts and actions that weren’t as believable. The plot felt more like a rough draft version - that certain ideas or plot points need (3.5 STARS) I really wanted this to be a 4 star book, because HECK, this story grabbed me from the very first page and didn’t let go! I loved how the author kept raising unanswered questions by tight dialogue and carefully revealed details. However, the seams loosened towards the half-way mark. Lean prose turned into sparse prose and the characters took leaps in thoughts and actions that weren’t as believable. The plot felt more like a rough draft version - that certain ideas or plot points needed more fleshing out. The ending was satisfactory, but just barely. I’m sad.

  16. 3 out of 5

    WKPL Children's/YA Books

    Miss Linda read this book. This is a real page turner! A mystery involving four friends who are being studied for their extraordinary powers. It will keep you guessing until the end! Good for readers 4th through 7th grade.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Corie

    daughter (age 11) read this and loved it! She recommended it to several friends and her teacher. She gives it 5 out of 5 stars

  18. 3 out of 5

    Holly

    I loved it...until the last 10 pages. It was intriguing and creepy and I couldn't wait to see what happened. Then it fizzled to nothing. So anticlimactic.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sky Postell

    This is great, it's just short!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Dark and beautiful with a fiercely strong group of friends. There were a few things I wish were better explained, but overall I really loved this book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Duckytwit

    What a great book! As others have stated, this could have easily been turned into a longer book or even a series. Plum is a great character! Definitely a book to pass on to my kids.

  22. 5 out of 5

    James

  23. 5 out of 5

    MayorEmma

  24. 3 out of 5

    Fm Shipp

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kami

  26. 4 out of 5

    Liza

  27. 5 out of 5

    OwlCrate Jr

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sarita

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rose Marie

  30. 3 out of 5

    Michal

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