Dream Girl by Lauren Mechling
Age: 10 – 14 years old
Dream Girl is about Claire Voyante, a sophomore with a curious trait. Her dreams tend to come true. On her 15th birthday, her grandmother Kiki gives her a charming cameo necklace that seems to have a special set of powers. The necklace, as Kiki put it, makes your dreams come true.The necklace, in fact, enhances the powers of the wearer.
At the start of the novel, we find out that Claire is transferring to a new school, one where her former best friend is now the reigning mean-queen bee. After making a couple of new friends, Claire’s dreams start to lead her down a path that will put her in a position to save lives and solve a major mystery for one of her newest friends.
Dream Girl, by Lauren Mechling, has a lot of similarities to Gossip Girl, but its more PG than R. Cut out the sex, curse words, and drugs, and add a little mystery and fantasy to the mix, and you have Dream Girl. I would say this book is appropriate for girls 10-14 years old, but older teens will find it dull. There is just as much fashion name-dropping and glimpses into New York city life of the upper elite as Gossip Girl, but it seems to be missing the glamour that goes with it. I did enjoy the elements of Claire trying to get along in school and make friends, as well as her relationship with her family. I though Mechling did a great job interpreting how teens feel about major changes in their lives (in this case, starting at a new school and making new friends). The fantasy element worked sometimes, and other times it felt forced. Its well written and the characters are lovable even at their worst. I can see this book being turned into a TV-show for kids if it ever gets the chance.Dream Girl by Lauren Mechling Delacorte Press, 2008 ISBN 978-0385735216 309 pages