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Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Release date: November 3, 2015
Publisher: Clarion Books
Pages: 384
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook



Sophie loves the hidden shop below her parents’ bookstore, where dreams are secretly bought and sold. When the dream shop is robbed and her parents go missing, Sophie must unravel the truth to save them. Together with her best friend—a wisecracking and fanatically loyal monster named Monster—she must decide whom to trust with her family’s carefully guarded secrets. Who will help them, and who will betray them?


NOTE: This review is based on an eARC received from the author via NetGalley in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.

The Review

THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM is a positively delightful, imaginative, sweet, funny, and incredibly entertaining read. From its interesting premise, to its quirky and eccentric and amusing characters, to its captivating mystery and its exciting adventure, it is an enchanting story that will appeal to readers of all ages.

And with an adorable, cupcake-loving, furry, tentacled and oh-so-clever monster, a brave, determined, and strong-willed heroine, a glittery and haughty, but helpful pegasus who poops rainbows, several ninja bunnies, and a boy whose dreams could change everything, there will be smiles, laughs, and even a few tears.

Add in a dream shop hidden beneath a bookstore, two lovable, if a little bit silly, parents, a suspicious customer who calls himself Mr. Nightmare, a theft, a kidnapping, and a few nightmarish creatures come to life, and you have a slightly creepy, totally thrilling, absolutely heartwarming, utter gem of a read.

Sarah Beth Durst created a marvelously outlandish world in THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM filled with some wonderful and rather unusual creatures and some truly bizarre and disturbing ones. She introduced positive messages throughout her story, about family and friendship, about letting people in, about being different, about making assumptions and judgments, about being brave and doing the right thing.

Sophie may be the story’s heroine, but it is only with her best friend, Monster, her new friend Ethan, an unlikely ally, and several non-threatening creatures that she will be able to find out what happened to her parents and find a way to save them. The author shows that working together is better than going it alone, and that being different doesn’t mean being unlikable.

THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM is inventive. And magical. And smart. And humorous. And unique. It will make you wish you were a non-dreamer like Sophie who could dream a best friend like Monster into your life. It will make you wish your family had their very own secret dream shop filled with all sorts of bottled dreams.

It is a fantastic, one-sit-read that will make you want to read it again and again.

The Rating


About Sarah Beth Durst


Sarah Beth Durst is the author of nine fantasy novels for children, teens, and adults, including ConjuredVessel, and Ice. Her next middle-grade novel, The Girl Who Could Not Dream, is scheduled for release in fall 2015 from HMH/Clarion Books, and her next novel for adults, The Queen of Blood, comes out in fall 2016 from Harper Voyager. Sarah was awarded the 2013 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature and has been a finalist for SFWA’s Andre Norton Award three times.

Sarah was born in Northboro, Massachusetts, a small town that later became the setting for her debut novel. At the age of ten, she decided she wanted to be a writer. (Before that, she wanted to be Wonder Woman, except with real flying ability instead of an invisible jet. She also would have accepted a career as a unicorn princess.) And she began writing fantasy stories. She attended Princeton University, where she spent four years studying English, writing about dragons, and wondering what the campus gargoyles would say if they could talk. Sarah lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband and two children.


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