Thursday, December 5, 2013

Asleep Without Dreaming by Barbara Forte Abate

Pages: 319
Genre: Young Adult, Adult, Mystery
Source: Review copy from author

From Goodreads:
Fourteen year old Willa Burkett has been waiting her whole life to leave Hoosick Falls—a nowhere place that fails to hold even a single good memory.
But, when a series of vengeful incidents stir Willa’s mother Stella to impulsively pack-up and go, it is only to find themselves stranded in yet another ugly, near extinct town, only now, with a broken down car and no ready way out.
Unable to move on until an alternate plan shows itself, they accept a job working for Omega Pearl Bodie, proprietress of the Moonglow motel—a long forgotten, steadily decaying relic, where mostly nothing happens—except now, when everything does.
It is here in this place of desperate loneliness and restless boredom that Willa will have her world rocked to the core in ways she doesn't immediately comprehend. The craziness of the life she’s left behind all but eclipsed by the dark turn of the here and now, as Willa attempts to keep one step ahead of the ever-twisting whims of a mother prone to keeping secrets and telling lies, a murderous arsonist returned to the scene of his earlier crimes to dole out revenge one fiery victim at a time—and Jesse Truman. A boy with indigo eyes that Omega Pearl has hired as handyman at the Moonglow—who Willa longs to save—if only she understood what it is he needs saving from.

My Thoughts:
If you are looking for a feel good book to read then put this down and find something else.  This is one of the most depressing, dark books I have read in a long time.  I loved it.   I have never cared for the syrupy, sweet romances out in the world.  Give me a story full of emotion, no matter how dark and I love it.  I want to feel something when I read a story.  I want to be able to relate.  I want to think I know where the story is going and then have the author surprise me with the ending.  This book is all that and more.

Willa has the most dysfunctional, selfish parents.  Her father won a lot of money and left Willa and her mother with only a thousand dollars.  Her mom Stella is so selfish and disgusting.  She is one of those parents you would like to see locked up.  She wakes Willa up in the middle of the night to leave.  Their car breaks down and they are taken in by the owner of the Moonglow Motel.  Stella is given a job cleaning cottages for a small salary and their room and board. Willa does the cleaning.  Add to this a escaped convict seeking revenge on the town.  Fires popping up everywhere and you have the most depressing town around.  Willa falls hard for the teenage handyman Jesse.  But even that doesn’t go the way the reader thinks it should.  I won’t give away any spoilers.  If you are like me and like those dark novels then this is a must read.  It will keep you turning pages.  This is the second book I’ve read by this author and I am so thrilled to do it.  I love her writing style.

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