Before you read this review I should let you know that the book Ashlynn’s Dreams was given to me as a review copy by the author Julie Gilbert. Those of you who have been reading the reviews on this website for a while will know that this does not in any way make the reviews I write bias as you can probably tell by previous reviews from review copies that I have written. However this is one review that I am really excited about writing – Ashlynn’s Dreams is an amazing young adult novel and I hope that after reading this some of you may be tempted to give it a read yourself.
Ashlynn’s Dreams is written in the form of journal entries and letters that were provided via Jillian (otherwise known as Ashlynn), her old psychiatrist Dr Carla M. Wittier, her babysitter Danielle and a few other characters including her mum. The story begins with the kidnapping of Jillian and Danielle and we are immediately transported into a science fiction adventure where we are left debating whether man should be able to play God. As the plot thickens we discover that Jillian’s parents are not her biological parents and instead she was created via genetic engineering from the genes of two men and one woman. The scientist who created her, Dr Devya, did so with the aim of making her able to see into people’s dreams and engage with the people in them or alter them if she wished. Jillian is not the only child who has a special Gift, in fact there are many other children in the complex too including Dustin who can telepathically interact with Dr Devya, Malia who can feel what other people are feeling, Nadia who can read peoples thoughts when they are awake and Varick who has the genetic make-up of an excellent soldier.
Jillian was kidnapped in order to help Dr Devya and his associates to find her genetic twin Benjamin who had been kidnapped himself. Unluckily, no-one knew where Benjamin was and so Jillian was given the task of reading people’s dreams in the hope of finding Benjamin and finding out where he is. Although she has always known that she is different to other children she has never trained her Gift and her time as a captive sees her exploring her Gift and finding out more about who she is.
A Truly Engaging Read
I love books that delve into psychology, science fiction and dystopian worlds and this book has the makings of all three. Ashlynn’s Dreams by Julie Gilbert was truly engaging from start to finish and I honestly believe that everyone who reads this book will be able to relate to at least one of the characters. The one theme that runs through the novel from start to finish is man attempting to play the role of God and I as a reader was left with many questions running through my mind at the end of the story. Is it right to experiment on other humans for the good of mankind? Even after reading Ashlynn’s Dreams and reading about the positive things that could come from Dr Devya’s experiments I honestly believe that it isn’t a good thing. If you have read it I would love to hear what you think.
In addition to the plot, I think it would be hard for anyone not to like the main character, Jillian. Her adorable Southern twang really differentiates her from others in the novel and her naivety really helps to enhance the story. I am now about to start the sequel to Ashlynn’s Dreams, Nadia’s Tears, and I honestly can’t wait!