“Everybody dreams, everyone has nightmares…but no one dreams quite like Addison Smith. Addison has always had unusual dreams. However, the crazy factor has risen to a whole new level. Still, she doesn’t realize just how unique she is. But one day, Addison wakes up covered in bruises with blood on her pillow, and she realizes that maybe her dreams aren’t so normal after all. Someone or something is causing all of this, but she doesn’t know who and she doesn’t know why. Suddenly the guy of her dreams (literally) becomes the new kid at school and turns her world upside down. Before she knows it, the line between reality and her dream world blurs. What is real? What is just an illusion?” (Goodreads.com)
After eagerly awaiting its arrival in my mailbox, I finally tore through this book at a speed that only a truly great story can draw from me. I’m so glad that Nadette reached out to me, because she has written such an impressive, captivating novel!
My absolute favorite part of Illusion is the very concept of Addison’s intensely real dreams. I have always been fascinated by dreams in general, and I love how this story runs with one simple question: What if our dreams were real? A hidden “world” of dream-wielding is alluded to in this book– not really a place as much as a group of people with the power to control dreams– and I’m excited to learn more about this mystery as the series progresses. This first installment contained just enough information peak my interest and satisfy me for the time being, but I’ll be eagerly waiting until I can find out even more about these dreams.
Additionally, I really appreciated the emphasis on friendship in this novel, particularly between Addison and Cammie. Even though romance is a significant part of the story as well, it’s clear that Addison relies on the support of her best friend in times of need. Friendships are so important– especially during the rollercoaster ride of high school– yet for some reason many authors neglect to highlight these powerful, influential relationships. Besides, it’s completely unrealistic to assume that everyone in a romantic relationship has no other friends. Addison couldn’t have made it through all of the challenges she experienced without the support of Cammie, just like how we all need someone to have our backs when times get tough.
Due to the nature of this story, the primary romantic relationship has a bit of a twist to it: Zach and Addison are connected through their dreams. At first I was a little wary of their relationship because it seemed to exude an “insta-love” vibe; however, I soon realized that their fast pace made sense within the context of the novel. They’ve practically been inside each other’s minds via their dreams, so it sort of makes sense for them to have such an automatic deep connection. While I do wish there was more depth to their relationship in terms of their personalities, interests, ideals, etc., I still really enjoyed watching Addison and Zach become closer and closer. (Not to mention how romantic and adorable they are!) Hopefully their relationship is further explored in future books.
Finally, the ending of Illusion completely took me by surprise. I had several different theories about how this story would be concluded, but not one of them was entirely correct! Illusion is suspenseful, gripping, and surprising from beginning to end, making it the definition of a “page-turner.” I was confused by the flood of unexpected events that happen all at once towards the ending, but once the details were explained I soon regained a sense of clarity. The novel ends with a dramatic, old-fashioned cliffhanger– my favorite kind of ending!
Overall, Illusion captivated me with its suspense, romance, and discussion of dreams and refused to let me go until the very last page. This is such a fantastic debut novel, and I’m so grateful that Nadette gave me the opportunity to read and review it. Thanks again, Nadette! ❤
My Rating: :0) :0) :0) :0) 4 out of 5
Would I recommend it to a friend?: Yes!
What are some great debut novels you’ve read recently? Are you also fascinated by dreams? Let me know in the comments section below!