Gone by Lisa McMann
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
This is the third installment of "The Dreamcatchers." Although I didn't read the first two, they were wildly popular and fairly necessary to follow the story to conclusion. Still, here is what I have gathered:
Janie is a "dreamcatcher." As completely romantic as this sounds, it is a terrifying malady that she often has no control over. If she is in the general vicinity of a person that has started to dream, she is pulled into said dream. In book #2, she meets a woman in a convalescent home who happens to also be a dream catcher. Unfortunately, this possible mentor has suffered the affects of dreamcatching. She totally blind and maimed. It is not a pretty sight. To add a spoiler here, she dies. Janie realizes she is deep, deep trouble.
Mom is still a raging alcoholic. Cabel is still am amazing boyfriend. Janie is simply distracted by her future. To add a monkey wrench into the mix, a new character shows up who may or may not be her father and may or may not be a dream catcher. He has lived in isolation for a very long time, making money working ebay. He's comatose and having the most intense and powerful dreams that keep Janie trapped as he screams for her to help him. So Janie's choices are both dire. She can either continue dream hopping and eventually wind up blind and crippled or she can be an isolate. But what negative impact will this have on her malady? Meanwhile, mother is still a raging alcoholic.
So what will Janie do? Live with Cabel and his disturbing dreams, continue helping the police department which hastens her crippling disease, or give up everybody and everyone to live in seclusion?
Just a warning - some sex, some language issues.
My gut reaction to this book was, "So what?" and "Wow. That was depressing." I'm glad I didn't post my review until right now. I've spent a couple of days mulling it over and I found that the story grew on me. Okay, being a dream catcher is not necessarily relevant. I also hated that Janie's choices were so crippling (no pun intended. Okay, the pun was kind of intended). But then I found that McMann had sneakily included a couple of morals to the story.
Mild spoilers: Family is always family and there is a connection. Accept that but it is not necessary to carry all their baggage. At some point, forgiveness is not for the offender.
Once the above is accepted, others can step in and become family. There is support for the forgotten and downtrodden. Look around. You're not as alone as you think you are.
Because of this, making decisions based on self can not be made in isolation. All members of your own social group/family become players in the choices.
There are other perspectives to consider when making difficult decisions. The introduction of Janie's father provides her with a new perspective. Even in isolation, Janie's father impacted lives while trying to not do so.
This book is also written in prose that would make any English teacher break out her red pencil and mutter "incomplete sentence" and "hanging participles." On the other hand, it is language that is understood.