The Dream

The Creek Water Series Book 4

Fiction - Chick Lit
269 Pages
Reviewed on 01/22/2021
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite

In The Dream by Whitney Dineen, Ashley wished her love life would be straight out of a romance movie, where the girl always got the guy of her dreams in the end. Unfortunately, the boy she worshipped in high school didn't even know she existed. Davis Frothingham - every girl wanted to be with him and every boy wanted to be like him. Ashley knew she didn't stand a chance; he was wealthy and she lived with her single mother in a trailer park. Besides, he was with Jessica Holt. When Ashley leaves high school, her dreams of leaving Creek Water, Missouri gradually disappear. Davis comes back into her life when he visits his grandmother in the nursing home where Ashley works and he doesn't even remember her. Gradually, Ashley and Davis become friends and she hopes he will realize how wonderful she is. But first Ashley has to realize that herself. Her chances seem hopeless when her old nemesis Jessica glides elegantly into town. The situation gets even more complicated when Ashley's best friend from school arrives from London and seems to want to take their friendship to the next level.

The Dream by Whitney Dineen is certainly not a lightweight romance novel. The main plot around Ashley and Davis's relationship is multi-dimensional. I thought the development of their relationship was gradual and believable. Jessica and Buck added a very interesting angle. I thought the relationship between Jessica and her mother was relayed exceptionally well, their close bond and love for one another came through clearly. The use of Ashley's diary entries was a great way to give the reader some background into her relationship with the main characters, as well as the reason for her negative self-image. There are some very touching moments, especially between Davis and his grandmother. Just like Ashley is coping with the loss of her mother, Davis is grieving for the grandmother he once had but who is now lost to dementia. The friendship between Ashley and Buck was wonderful, the type of friendship everyone deserves to have. The references to the 1980s really took me back to my school days. The revelations at the end were a great plot twist that I wasn't expecting but were brilliantly executed.

K.C. Finn

The Dream is a work of fiction in the chick lit, romantic drama and women’s fiction sub-genres, and was penned by author Whitney Dineen. Forming the fourth novel in The Creek Water Series, we return to this charming and delightful slice of life series set in Missouri for another stand-alone tale. This time the leading lady is Ashley, who is still hung up on high school life and the identity that was formed around her in her youth. When her big crush Davis comes back into her life through some very sad circumstances, he doesn’t even remember her. So begins a careful journey of unpicking the past from the present and finding new light and love along the way.

Author Whitney Dineen has crafted another light and highly entertaining work of chick lit, and I for one was delighted to be back in Creek Water for this fresh installment. Dineen’s writing style encourages readers to smile in the work, with intricate portraits of the central characters that show us their true hearts through the whole gamut of emotions. Ashley is a girl that many readers will relate to for her complex of not feeling ‘good enough’, and that comes across with a really talented portrayal of dialogue and body language whenever she meets Davis. These touches give a cinematic quality to the read and enhance our imaginations, bringing everything to life with wonderful detail. Overall, I would highly recommend The Dream to chick lit and romance fans looking for a heartfelt but ultimately fun and uplifting read.

K.J. Simmill

In Whitney Dineen's The Dream, moving to Creek Water was meant to be a new start, a new beginning for her and her mum. But on the first day of school, Chad ensured she would never fit in, never belong. No one gave her the time of day unless it was to ridicule her. Seeing Davis, her secret high school crush, was the only thing that got her through, until in her final year she finally made a friend, Buck. Years later, still determined to prove herself, she works 2 jobs, one of which brings Davis back into her life. Fearful he may recognize her, she pretends not to know him, which was a blessing since he seemed to have forgotten her, but her heart remembers. Ready to take a chance on romance, she finds herself once more pining for her high school crush, when Buck returns, causing all manner of confusion. Her best friend already loves her, they are two sides of the same coin, but Davis has been her dream. With her past hanging over her and insecurities looming, she can't trust her own mind anymore. Can she discover who and what she wants before it's too late?

The Dream is book 4 in Whitney Dineen's The Creek Water Series. I absolutely loved this book. I laughed, I cried and was taken on a full rollercoaster ride of emotional investment. I loved the characters so completely that I never wanted the story to finish. I enjoyed how Whitney Dineen combined the past and present to give us a full picture of Ashley's life. The high school journal entries starting most chapters allowed us to see the past which haunts Ashley's present and added to her mindset of insecurity. I couldn't believe how much this book spoke to me as a reader; there was not one wasted word. Emotionally charged, beautifully penned, and such an amazing story, it deserves a place among the great rom-coms. It is perfect and guaranteed to please even the fussiest reader.

One of the things I loved most was it wasn't just a love story, it was also a message about accepting yourself, and letting go of the past. Evolving friendships, high school crushes, and demons from the past are just the icing on the cake. The vivid characters are so believable you start to feel like part of the family and experience the highs and lows with them in a visceral way. It has been a long time since a book has affected me in such a deep manner, and that it did is a testament to the writer's skills. This book has earned its place on my exclusive recommended reads list and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone; after all, I will now be judging every rom-com I read by this exceptional standard.