Dream Student by J.J. DiBenedetto

Dream Student

Dream Series, Book One
From the "Dreams" series, volume 1
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College junior Sara Barnes starts seeing into others’ dreams, leading to romance and tracking down a killer, in this first installment of a paranormal suspense series.

Sleeping in her dorm room, Sara Barnes is surprised to turn into a cheerleader, applauding a boy. She realizes that she is experiencing the dream of the boy, who looks familiar. She then enters a scarier dreamscape of an older man violently dragging a young girl into a room. A somewhat shy pre-med student, Sara soon shares these latter, more frightening recurring visions with Beth, her beautiful, supportive psychology major roommate. She suggests a consult with Dr. Ritter, who runs the sleep lab on campus. Before that happens, however, the girls go out to a nightclub, where Sara spots Brian Alderson, the boy from the first dream. Emboldened by already knowing he likes her, Sara, a junior, approaches the shy freshman, and they become romantically and sexually involved. When Sara then goes to meet Dr. Ritter, she sees a newspaper clipping and learns that the girl she dreamed about has just been murdered. Rattled, she then starts dreaming about the killer’s plans for his next victim. With the help of Brian and Beth, Sara focuses on recalling key details from her nightmare to ferret out the killer’s identity and whereabouts. Author DiBenedetto (Dream Home: Dream Series, 2014, etc.) has created a highly entertaining concept in the saga of Sara, which he has developed in previous books. Sara is rather amusing about herself and her newfound abilities, especially when also enduring the humorous visions of her classmates. “I don’t want to know why Jackie down the hall is dreaming of giant ants,” she bemusedly notes. DiBenedetto also introduces a host of secondary characters with potential, including Sara’s pesky younger brother and Brian’s suspicious mother. Rather surprisingly, however, Dr. Ritter quickly disappears from the story, and some sequences, such as Sara’s Christmas visit home, drain momentum.

A promising launch of a charming female lead with a nifty paranormal gift. 

Pub Date: March 20th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4827-1627-6
Page count: 292pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
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