And You Thought You Were Ordinary - Ashlynn's Dreams (Review)

Monday, August 10, 2015

Ashlynn's Dreams by Julie Gilbert
Title: Ashlynn's Dreams (Devya's Children #1)
Author: Julie C. Gilbert
Release Date: February 18th, 2013
Publisher: Indie
“Before she was kidnapped, Jillian Marie Antel Blairington was just an average bright, brave, headstrong child. She was excited for life in a new house with her Momma and new Daddy. Afterward, she's all that ... and so much more.

Held in a scientific facility, Jillian discovers her past-a family she never knew and a power she doesn't understand. With her ability now activated, she can enter and even shape a person's dreams. Jillian's been kidnapped, and her Gift has been triggered, so she can locate and save Benjamin Connelly, a brother she never even knew she had. She'd better master this strange ability quickly, though, because her life isn't the only one at stake. Her babysitter, Danielle Matheson, is being held as a hostage to ensure Jillian's full cooperation. Slowly, Jillian begins to learn more about her captor and the other genetically altered children held at the facility.

Join Jillian as she tries to survive the training being forced upon her, find her unknown brother, escape with Danielle, and work her way back to a normal life once more.”

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My Review

I don't usually read a lot of middle grade books but this one sounded interesting. Jillian and her babysitter Danielle were kidnapped and taken to a secret laboratory facility. While there, Jillian discovered that she was created, and her genes were modified, giving her extra abilities.

Jillian was an interesting character. Like her siblings, their genetics made them more. They were not your typical youths at all. At time it felt like Jillian was a child, and other times she reminded me of someone far older, even older than me. What you'd call an "old soul."

I didn't like Danielle as much, mainly because I just couldn't connect with her. I'm not sure why though. She reacted how one would imagine a young lady who was kidnapped with her younger charge would react. But she wasn't as interesting as any of the gifted children or the really questionable scientist were.

Ashlynn's Dreams had some action in it, but I think maybe it was more of a "thriller" or even a "mystery" since we had so many questions to have answered. Why did they make the kids? How did they tamper with their genes? How do they think they could control them? Who are their enemies? Which side, if either, is in the right?

The book itself was told with alternating letters from a few key players. For the most part it was just Jillian and Danielle, but a few others worked their way in too. At first the style choice was noticeable but very quickly you fall into the story and you forget the set up.

Words To Live By

"Why do people get a kick out of hearing their own voices?" (Danielle, 6%)

"If Nancy (Drew) were a real person, she'd probably have brain damage from the number of times she's been knocked out via good old fashioned brute force." (12%)

"I feel like I'm in a dream I can't wake up from." (25%)


Ashlynn's Dreams was an interesting story, and you might like it if you are looking for a middle grade novel that makes you search for answers and question what you thought was true.


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