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Ashlynn's Dreams

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Before she was kidnapped, Jillian Marie Antel Blairington was just an average bright, brave, headstrong child. She was excited for life in a new house with her Momma and new Daddy. Afterward, she's all that ... and so much more. Held in a scientific facility, Jillian discovers her past-a family she never knew and a power she doesn't understand. With her ability now activat Before she was kidnapped, Jillian Marie Antel Blairington was just an average bright, brave, headstrong child. She was excited for life in a new house with her Momma and new Daddy. Afterward, she's all that ... and so much more. Held in a scientific facility, Jillian discovers her past-a family she never knew and a power she doesn't understand. With her ability now activated, she can enter and even shape a person's dreams. Jillian's been kidnapped, and her Gift has been triggered, so she can locate and save Benjamin Connelly, a brother she never even knew she had. She'd better master this strange ability quickly, though, because her life isn't the only one at stake. Her babysitter, Danielle Matheson, is being held as a hostage to ensure Jillian's full cooperation. Slowly, Jillian begins to learn more about her captor and the other genetically altered children held at the facility. Join Jillian as she tries to survive the training being forced upon her, find her unknown brother, escape with Danielle, and work her way back to a normal life once more.


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Before she was kidnapped, Jillian Marie Antel Blairington was just an average bright, brave, headstrong child. She was excited for life in a new house with her Momma and new Daddy. Afterward, she's all that ... and so much more. Held in a scientific facility, Jillian discovers her past-a family she never knew and a power she doesn't understand. With her ability now activat Before she was kidnapped, Jillian Marie Antel Blairington was just an average bright, brave, headstrong child. She was excited for life in a new house with her Momma and new Daddy. Afterward, she's all that ... and so much more. Held in a scientific facility, Jillian discovers her past-a family she never knew and a power she doesn't understand. With her ability now activated, she can enter and even shape a person's dreams. Jillian's been kidnapped, and her Gift has been triggered, so she can locate and save Benjamin Connelly, a brother she never even knew she had. She'd better master this strange ability quickly, though, because her life isn't the only one at stake. Her babysitter, Danielle Matheson, is being held as a hostage to ensure Jillian's full cooperation. Slowly, Jillian begins to learn more about her captor and the other genetically altered children held at the facility. Join Jillian as she tries to survive the training being forced upon her, find her unknown brother, escape with Danielle, and work her way back to a normal life once more.

30 review for Ashlynn's Dreams

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sunshine Somerville

    This is one of my favorite YA books I’ve read in a while. I’ve read some other reviews that say the book “might be confusing for some readers” because of the journal format used, but I feel certain it won’t confuse anyone used to…reading. Really, there are only two character perspectives used, and the author clearly says which character’s journal we’re reading at the beginning of each section. I thought it was a very unique and daring way to tell this story. It allows for the best possible first This is one of my favorite YA books I’ve read in a while. I’ve read some other reviews that say the book “might be confusing for some readers” because of the journal format used, but I feel certain it won’t confuse anyone used to…reading. Really, there are only two character perspectives used, and the author clearly says which character’s journal we’re reading at the beginning of each section. I thought it was a very unique and daring way to tell this story. It allows for the best possible first-person account of the story, and the journal format also allows for hindsight commentary and foreshadowing. The voices of the two main characters are well-crafted, fun, and witty. Ashlynn/Jillian starts out as a seemingly normal, spunky, smart girl. Danielle is an equally likable, smart, snarky teenage babysitter. I found myself smiling multiple times within the first few pages because the language sounds exactly like a young girl while also infusing some adult humor. This book is often quite funny – even if it has darker subject matter, i.e. kidnapping, human experimentation, drugs, etc. – which I found very refreshing with so much YA Science Fiction often being very dark and bogged down in melancholy. I also think the lighter tone helps this book to be suitable for kids of pretty much any age. This is exactly the kind of thing I would’ve liked as a kid. Even when there’s a “big word” used, the author cleverly has an older child explain what it means. It also helps that the kids are all different ages, so this didn’t feel like just an older teens’ kind of book. Anyway, on top of the writing style and storytelling methods used, the story is really good. Between Jillian and Danielle, we get the full picture of what happens to them after being kidnapped and taken to a strange facility with scientists, doctors, and a bunch of other kids. It actually takes quite a while before you realize anything Science Fiction-y is going on. Then, once you meet the other children, the Sci-Fi element gets really interesting. The multilayered bonds between the characters add a very heartwarming touch, and the danger and action kept me turning pages because I cared about what happened to these kids. I don’t want to spoil anything, but the ethical dilemmas involved in the story are very interesting and I suspect will continue to be explored in the sequel. While the book has a very satisfying ending, there’s also clearly more in store for Jillian and her friends in the future.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I enjoyed this book somewhat. The basis of the story is about a girl who is kidnapped that has special powers. I love this idea as I enjoy a good paranormal book. Her powers are reveal while she is being held captive and all manner of things are revealed. I could tell the author enjoyed writing this book but what I didn't like was it way of unfolding. It read as though you had several journal in front of you and you were getting all these different views which at times confused me. I would have p I enjoyed this book somewhat. The basis of the story is about a girl who is kidnapped that has special powers. I love this idea as I enjoy a good paranormal book. Her powers are reveal while she is being held captive and all manner of things are revealed. I could tell the author enjoyed writing this book but what I didn't like was it way of unfolding. It read as though you had several journal in front of you and you were getting all these different views which at times confused me. I would have prefer a single view or even a two sided view without all the other input. that all said the storyline itself was a good and I love the whole paranormal/sci-fy aspect of it. I can't say I highly recommend it but if your looking for a good read that quick this fits. Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for my review. No other compensation was given.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    This is a stunning debut novel cleverly told in journal entries, which adds to its authentic feel even though it's science fiction in a contemporary setting. If the story had been written as a more traditional narrative, the horror of the situation and the terror experienced by the genetically-modified children would have been difficult to present as a "clean read." In this format, the suspense and drama is actually heightened and made this an unforgettable read. The title character, Ashlynn, has This is a stunning debut novel cleverly told in journal entries, which adds to its authentic feel even though it's science fiction in a contemporary setting. If the story had been written as a more traditional narrative, the horror of the situation and the terror experienced by the genetically-modified children would have been difficult to present as a "clean read." In this format, the suspense and drama is actually heightened and made this an unforgettable read. The title character, Ashlynn, has been raised as Jillian and had no idea she was created in a test tube until she was kidnapped at age 12, along with her babysitter Danielle, by the scientists who designed her and her "siblings." The details are realistic, and the reader feels tremendous empathy for Jillian, Danielle, and the other children. Moral issues are brought to light and make the reader wonder what would YOU do in a similar situation. Though not a comfortable story, it resonates deeply and will make me think for a long time. Although it's the first of a series, it does have a resolution, but the knowledge that Dr. Devya is still out there and Jillian probably hasn't seen the last of him will make this reader want to continue and find out what happens next....Recommended to readers who like thoughtful science fiction will find this story compelling.

  4. 4 out of 5

    M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews

    I've always enjoyed books in this genre, and I found this one to be a unique and refreshing take on the oft-used story of genetic engineering, children with special powers, and so on. What made this story stand out is that it is told in entirely first-person perspective, via letters (journals). Most of them are from Jillian (Ashlynn), with some from her babysitter Danielle (who was kidnapped with her) and occasionally another POV like Nadia. Thus, we see the story through Jillian's eyes, and since I've always enjoyed books in this genre, and I found this one to be a unique and refreshing take on the oft-used story of genetic engineering, children with special powers, and so on. What made this story stand out is that it is told in entirely first-person perspective, via letters (journals). Most of them are from Jillian (Ashlynn), with some from her babysitter Danielle (who was kidnapped with her) and occasionally another POV like Nadia. Thus, we see the story through Jillian's eyes, and since she is relatively young (adolescent/pre-teen) she understandably has a hard time handling things at first or why this is being done to her. In most stories of this genre, it's usually told from an adult and/or omniscient perspective, so it was refreshing to see the story told this way, from the perspective of a subject of the experiment. This is the first book in a series, which makes me happy, because while this ending was appropriate for this book, there are several unanswered questions, and the reader is left wanting to know more of the overall story and about the other children, as well as Jillian's own future.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Janie

    This is my first read by this author. I liked the book, but it was hard for me to start reading it. The subject of kidnapping hits close to home as I had a friend who went missing in 1988 and was never found, but this story intrigued me and I am so glad that I continued on my reading journey. Jillian Marie Antel Blairington is a normal 12 year old girl with some extraordinary powers. When she was kidnapped and brought to a facility her inner powers were brought forth and here starts her adventure This is my first read by this author. I liked the book, but it was hard for me to start reading it. The subject of kidnapping hits close to home as I had a friend who went missing in 1988 and was never found, but this story intrigued me and I am so glad that I continued on my reading journey. Jillian Marie Antel Blairington is a normal 12 year old girl with some extraordinary powers. When she was kidnapped and brought to a facility her inner powers were brought forth and here starts her adventure. There is so much more to the story about "Her journey" and it kept me reading to find out what was going to happen. You will enjoy this read and Jillian's story too.

  6. 5 out of 5

    J. Ewbank

    This book by Gilbert was an interesting one for me. The "gifts" of the heroine were a little unusual, at least I have not read of them before. The plot was sound and the way language was handled was very well done. If you like a story that is just a "little out there," this one is for you. Not difficult but you want to read to see what happens. J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the Isms" "Wesley's Wars" and "To Whom It May Concern" This book by Gilbert was an interesting one for me. The "gifts" of the heroine were a little unusual, at least I have not read of them before. The plot was sound and the way language was handled was very well done. If you like a story that is just a "little out there," this one is for you. Not difficult but you want to read to see what happens. J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the Isms" "Wesley's Wars" and "To Whom It May Concern"

  7. 5 out of 5

    Britt

    I don't know why I read so many 'kidnapped' tales. Most of the ones I find tend to be so cliche and repetitive off of one another - but Ashlynn's Dreams, a story about a girl who is kidnapped due to value in her subconscious powers, definitely strayed away from that sort of norm and definitely restored my faith in the kidnapped plotline (which means I'm probably not going to be able to resist the next one that comes my way, either - ah, what a vicious cycle). I wasn't quite sure what to expect I don't know why I read so many 'kidnapped' tales. Most of the ones I find tend to be so cliche and repetitive off of one another - but Ashlynn's Dreams, a story about a girl who is kidnapped due to value in her subconscious powers, definitely strayed away from that sort of norm and definitely restored my faith in the kidnapped plotline (which means I'm probably not going to be able to resist the next one that comes my way, either - ah, what a vicious cycle). I wasn't quite sure what to expect going into this story, but it ended up being a lot more suitable for young adults than I originally thought while first starting it. First thing's first, I love how Julie Gilbert chose to orchestrate this story. I'm usually not one for alternating POVs in young adult, but both voices were very distinctive and I think the third person POV works better for alternating storytelling than first person. I also quite liked how the story was told as well - through journal entries and letters, most of them post-kidnap. The formatting and organization was so well-done - definitely one of my favorites among more 'unique' ways to narrate in indie works. However, upon saying that each character - Jillian and Danielle - has her own unique voice, I sort of feel like that Jillian reads a slight bit... off? She's supposed to be 12, but I feel like she reads a little older - not too much older, maybe 14/15, but definitely not like a 12 year old. Also, I kind of felt like her voice changed somewhere around midway through this book. Like, she started reading as a different character almost and her narration in general seemed a bit...different. I didn't have this problem with Danielle - who I liked just as much, maybe even a bit more than Jillian - or any of the minor characters that took over temporary control in narration, though, so I feel like it's related to the Jillian character herself. However, I WILL say that, slightly wishy-washy or not, the narration - especially Jillian's - is definitely relatable and, I think, would be plenty easy to read for several audience levels. Now, the entire plot revolves around the fact that Jillian is kidnapped because of a power that she's not even aware she has. Her dreams were perhaps my favorite things to read during the entire story and I like the scientific twist that's mixed in to an already pretty intense/interesting plot. However, I did start to mix up the characters a little bit once we started meeting everyone involved in the kidnapping and 'experiments.' I had a general idea of who was who, but there were definitely a lot of characters and their names were a bit difficult to juggle. Also, I don't know if it's just me being Not The Smartest and just not picking up on Important Things or what, but I can't tell if, like, Dr. Devya is supposed to be a villain with Bad Intentions or what. I mean, obviously, he kidnaps kids and that is Not Good, but then it started delving into things like their 'family' and trying to retrieve Benjamin, the kidnapped boy (oh, the irony) and I just feel like his character gave off...weird/mixed vibes? Again, it could just be me being an oblivious idiot, but I wasn't so sure about his character. Overall, if you want to read a kidnapping mystery with sci-fi twists, I think you would definitely enjoy this book! It's very unique in handling the whole 'kidnapped' plotline and it's filled with lots of twists that, I think, makes this book a total page-turner. I definitely recommend it~

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn Svendsen

    Don’t let he cover put you off of this book. When I first saw it, I wasn’t sure I wanted to read it because of the cartoon-type cover. I guess I just associated it with comics, not serious literature. Well, I was wrong! I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I thought the way the book was written, as correspondence and journal entries was a very unique way to present the novel. It enabled us to see into the mind of the writer of the letters and journal writings. I enjoyed the humour sprinkled throughout Don’t let he cover put you off of this book. When I first saw it, I wasn’t sure I wanted to read it because of the cartoon-type cover. I guess I just associated it with comics, not serious literature. Well, I was wrong! I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I thought the way the book was written, as correspondence and journal entries was a very unique way to present the novel. It enabled us to see into the mind of the writer of the letters and journal writings. I enjoyed the humour sprinkled throughout the book. Two examples would be Jillian’s first two lines in her journal, “I’m Jillian, and Momma says “I’m smart as a whip. I saw a picture of a whip once; it didn’t look too smart.” It sounds like something as twelve-year-old would say, and that’s exactly how old she is. The author took the time with little details as well. Danielle writes one of her journal entries on 54 Post-it notes. I can just imagine the pile of papers that was to sort out. The plot was very intriguing. Jillian (whose original name was Ashlynn) is kidnapped by her creators, Dr. Devya and his associates. She was genetically engineered and incubated until birth, then placed in a “normal” family until they (the kidnappers) wanted to train her “Gift”. Ashlynn’s gift is to see into other people’s dreams and interact with them. The story suggests that this gift, and the gifts of the other children in the facility where she is being held were genetically engineered into them. It’s a bit far-fetched, but this book is in the fantasy genre, so really, most anything is possible. What I did find hard to swallow was that one of her captors was able to write a computer program to show on a map where the individual whose dream she was in was located. Ashlynn wasn’t where the dreamer was since she was sleeping in the laboratory where her captors were holding her. Only her sleeping consciousness was somewhere else. The author did an excellent job of writing the letters and journal articles using the grammar etc. that a person of the age of the character would have. You can almost hear Jillian’s Southern accent compared to Danielle’s more Northern speech patterns. The novel is very fast-paced and definitely keeps your attention. The complexity of the situation built as new characters were introduced. Each of the children in Dr. Devya’s facility has a unique ability, created for a specific purpose. The characters are written with depth and personality to them, so that as a reader, I came to like most of them (the children, not the adults). I liked how the book required that all the children had to work together with all their different abilities in order to escape. I felt sad for Nadia when her selflessness caused her to have to remain behind in order for the others to excape. This was a delightful Young Adult/Teen novel in the Fantasy/Science Fiction genres. It was well-written and fun to read. I would recommend this book to adults too because many of the themes are adult themes – man playing God, which is more important: how we achieve a goal or the goal itself. I gave this book a rating of 4 stars. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel, Nadia’s Tears. Thank you to the author Julie Gilbert who provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review. A free product does not influence my opinion. All thoughts are my own.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    ** I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ** Cover This is a pretty cool cover. I like that’s it hand drawn, very nice. Initial Thoughts So this book is written using journal entries and letters. I was really nervous going into this book because usually I find it hard to follow journal entries. I was also nervous because it’s in the perceptive of a little girl and I thought that it might make it even harder to understand. Luckily it wasn’t as bas as I thought it would b ** I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ** Cover This is a pretty cool cover. I like that’s it hand drawn, very nice. Initial Thoughts So this book is written using journal entries and letters. I was really nervous going into this book because usually I find it hard to follow journal entries. I was also nervous because it’s in the perceptive of a little girl and I thought that it might make it even harder to understand. Luckily it wasn’t as bas as I thought it would be. My New BFF Nadia. I really liked how grown up she had to be because of her situation. She was also really smart and just wise in general. Her little gift was really cool but her story was really sad. She was a character that was kind of just always around. I really liked her. My Crush No crush in this book. The characters were all pretty young and that would be weird. There were a lot of characters though so if that’s something you like, check out this book. They were all pretty young though but very interesting. Writing Style So this book is classified as a YA but I also think it’s a children’s book and an adult book at the same time. I feel like it’s meant for the 11 – 12 age group but an adult will enjoy it at the same time. It has something to do with how it was written. There’s journals from a younger child and some from a teenager and even some adult letters. It’s a pretty big mixture. Closing Thoughts I really enjoyed all the topics in this book. There was the kidnapping which was a thriller and then there was a lot of genetics involved which was kind of science like. There was just a lot of things happening to keep you entertained. I really liked the idea of the book. I thought that what the scientists were doing was pretty cool. Completely wrong and bad, but cool. I enjoy genetics though so this book was a little more appealing to me. I ended up really liking the journal entries. It made it so you could see the story in a couple different perspectives. I do wish that we could have seen more about what happens after they got home though. Like their reactions or something. I’m not even sure what I’m talking about. I just wish there was more I guess. There wasn’t a whole lot of action in this book I found. It was more like mental action. There was some things that messed with you a little bit but there was no huge showdown or something. There was a little action scene near the end that was pretty cool but that was the only action I found. Not that it was bad, just more of a warning for anyone who wants to read this book. At the end it was a really interesting read. It wasn’t something I could read in one sitting and I couldn’t read it very fast either. I had to really concentrate to read it. If you like intense thinking books, this is the book for you.

  10. 5 out of 5

    JC82

    4.5 STARS!!!! So I don’t normally read too many Young Adult(YA) novels but when given the opportunity to read Ashlynn’s Dreams I thought it might be interesting, and indeed it was. Ashlynn’s Dreams is a very unique, intense and exciting story. It’s filled with intrigue and twist and turns you never see coming. Jillian is a normal-twelve year old girl, with a normal twelve year old life. A loving Momma and Nana and a new second Daddy; Jillian’s life has never been more exciting until the day she ge 4.5 STARS!!!! So I don’t normally read too many Young Adult(YA) novels but when given the opportunity to read Ashlynn’s Dreams I thought it might be interesting, and indeed it was. Ashlynn’s Dreams is a very unique, intense and exciting story. It’s filled with intrigue and twist and turns you never see coming. Jillian is a normal-twelve year old girl, with a normal twelve year old life. A loving Momma and Nana and a new second Daddy; Jillian’s life has never been more exciting until the day she gets kidnapped. Soon Jillian’s life is turned on its head and everything she thought she knew has never been more further from the truth. You see Jillian isn’t ordinary and Jillian isn’t normal. She is so much more than that because she has a very special gift; she can walk through and shape dreams, not just her own but others as well. Forced to help search for a sibling she never knew about, Jillian is tested in more ways than one. As her abilities grow stronger so does her will to survive and return to her family. But something else begins to grow inside Jillian throughout the story, her strength, her courage, her capability to understand the responsibility that comes with her gift and her desire to save her new family. This book explores several themes that pushed all my mental thought buttons. There was the loss of childhood innocence, the responsibility of great power, the act of playing god and altering nature and when to concede that sacrificing the will of one is justified if it saves the masses. There were so many good aspects of this story; the dialogue throughout the book is so thought-provoking that you may find yourself conflicted as to whose side you’re on. I know I did. And then there is the character development during the story, the changes that some of the character’s go through are nothing short of admirable. Jillian especially, she starts off as this very simple girl and by the end of the story she just blows you away with her wisdom and maturity. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the plot was inventive and imaginative, the characters were exceptional and compassionate and the writing was smooth and descriptive. There was action, intensity, mystery, immense love of family, sadness and triumph in this story. With every chapter I read I became more immersed in this book. I will note that some events in the book can get confusing, there is a multitude of characters but Gilbert was kind enough to put a sort of character list in the beginning of the book that certainly helps the reader. If you are looking for a change of pace to your normal genre of choice or just a good YA novel, pick up this book. It will have you thinking long after you have finished it

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lynelle Clark

    I received the book from the author for an honest review. Really a interesting book, not at all what I expected from the book; and I don't mean it negatively. A good story, well constructed plot that had your interest from the start with interesting characters that made this a very good read. Written from 3 different POV, you really got a good idea of the story. Written in letters to the good Dr. S, each telling us their own experiences, fears and struggles in this specific time of their lives. I received the book from the author for an honest review. Really a interesting book, not at all what I expected from the book; and I don't mean it negatively. A good story, well constructed plot that had your interest from the start with interesting characters that made this a very good read. Written from 3 different POV, you really got a good idea of the story. Written in letters to the good Dr. S, each telling us their own experiences, fears and struggles in this specific time of their lives. Trying to understand what has happened to them during the kidnapping that changed their lives dramatically. Jillian/ Ashlynn was the main character, and the entire story was about her and her gift. She was needed to find a boy; she later learned was her twin, and had to learn quickly to save him from the Guardians. The story started with an older Jillian that tells us of her experiences as a twelve year old, and her discoveries while kidnapped and interrogated by Dr. Devya. Danielle's character was equally interesting, she was literally in the wrong place at the wrong time when she was thrown into this as leverage and used against Jillian to keep up the pace. Each time Jillian rebelled against something this man demanded they used Danielle to force her hand. A sleazy character that believed what he was doing was to the advancement of human kind. In the process, he destroyed many children and women's lives. A man that thought he was God and created people almost like lab rats to prove his theories. Trapped in his world he had many children within his care, each with extraordinary gifts. Young children that had no idea about the outside world, with no natural environment to grow up in. You could not help but to connect with them and their desire to be freed from this evil man they all called father. I really find the plot fascinating, and the author's story interesting and unique. Especially Jillian's gift had a few wow moments as she discovered and learn more about her own. During the course of her kidnapping she discovered who her real family was and where she comes from added to the build up as you wonder what these kids would do and how would they get away, and the end...well do buy the book. :)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brian Clopper

    Ashlynn’s Dreams by Julie C. Gilbert presents itself in one way in its covers but is something else entirely in the story it tells. I’ll talk about the two covers later in the review. The story itself is well written, It’s apparent the author loved penning this. She peppers the story with intricacies and peels back the layers of mystery in her story with an adept hand. I like the character of Dr. Dreya, finding his development worked for me. I looked forward to his exchanges with his subjects. Da Ashlynn’s Dreams by Julie C. Gilbert presents itself in one way in its covers but is something else entirely in the story it tells. I’ll talk about the two covers later in the review. The story itself is well written, It’s apparent the author loved penning this. She peppers the story with intricacies and peels back the layers of mystery in her story with an adept hand. I like the character of Dr. Dreya, finding his development worked for me. I looked forward to his exchanges with his subjects. Danielle and Jillian are the main POV characters and the story is served well by them. I preferred Danielle to Jillian because of her relatively normal dialect. Jillian’s initial country twang was too overdone, and I noticed the author lessened it as the story progressed. I found the way she wrote Jillian by the end vastly better than the earlier chapters. The story develops the science fiction aspects nicely and grounds them in convincing reality. Simply put, she grounds the powers in reality but still injects the story with an air of wonder. The pacing is solid and I especially liked the dream sequences. I wanted to see a few more dream sequences. The author’s description flows and the caliber of the writing itself is strong. My chief criticism is the tendency to litter the story with too many similes as in the example below: “My mind clicked away at the meaning like mice running across a keyboard, coming up with nothing but gibberish. Then the answer dropped on me like a snowball ambush, all cold and scary.” Too many similes stacked on top of each other like a sandwich maker putting more than one kind of cheese in a towering hoagie. My other problem with the book is the covers don’t match the interiors. One cover features two snapshots of kids that look too pleasant while the other features a cartoony head shot. Neither conveys the tone of the story. It really needs a moody cover utilizing photos over art. I picture a shadowy shot of Jillian with wispy coils of dream stuff radiating from her. It needs to be more ethereal and dark. The two current editions don’t work and I think ultimately discourage the correct audience for this book from even looking at it. I found the book engaging and would like to read more from this author.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Ashlynn’s Dreams is about a twelve year old girl, Jillian, who is kidnapped along with her babysitter, Danielle. They are taken to a facility where Jillian learns that she is not who she thought she was. Created to shape dreams, her captors have tasked her with finding Benny, the twin she never knew she had. Being a YA Sci Fi, i wouldn’t generally be interested in reading this kind of book, however i found i quite enjoyed it. I would almost call it a YA Psychological Sci Fi. The story was very cle Ashlynn’s Dreams is about a twelve year old girl, Jillian, who is kidnapped along with her babysitter, Danielle. They are taken to a facility where Jillian learns that she is not who she thought she was. Created to shape dreams, her captors have tasked her with finding Benny, the twin she never knew she had. Being a YA Sci Fi, i wouldn’t generally be interested in reading this kind of book, however i found i quite enjoyed it. I would almost call it a YA Psychological Sci Fi. The story was very cleverly written. Instead of your usual format, it was many letters and journal entries compiled together as case evidence to the kidnapping. At first it was a little discombobulating however i soon got used to it. It was really interesting and made it seem almost like a true story. You were dribbled information throughout, making you want to read more and more so you understood what was going on. Jillian is extremely likeable and you really get to know and understand her. I also liked Danielle, however i felt sorry for her more than i did Jillian. I felt that Jillian was a stronger character and would be able to make it through her ordeal whether Danielle seemed more like she could tip off the edge. The other characters fascinated me however some you wouldn’t say were likeable! The essence of this story is one that many ponder, the fine line between morality and tampering with people to help the greater good. I think the story was quite unbiased in giving both sides of the story. It was slightly horrifying in some parts however and it does make you wonder what really goes on in the world. I did find that Jillian’s accent changed – it was quite a heavy Southern accent at the beginning and then not so much throughout. I think though that the author meant to write it like that to clearly portray the “before” Jillian and the “after” Jillian and how she was quite a different person because of what she went through. Overall i found this a really interesting book, especially considering it’s one that i would not probably read. I would definitely recommend it to YA readers. This review is based on a digital copy provided by the author.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Shay VanZwoll

    A solid 4 1/2 stars... if goodreads would actually let me use half stars! Told in a series of letters from the victims to a therapist, this is the story of Jillian, aka Ashlynn. After finding herself and her babysitter both kidnapped and held in the clutches of a group of potentially mad (but brilliant) scientists, Jillian discovers that she is one of Devya's Children, a bioengineered and genetically-manipulated child born in a fake womb. No details are given about how she becomes part of the fam A solid 4 1/2 stars... if goodreads would actually let me use half stars! Told in a series of letters from the victims to a therapist, this is the story of Jillian, aka Ashlynn. After finding herself and her babysitter both kidnapped and held in the clutches of a group of potentially mad (but brilliant) scientists, Jillian discovers that she is one of Devya's Children, a bioengineered and genetically-manipulated child born in a fake womb. No details are given about how she becomes part of the family she grows up with, but it's obvious that there is more to this story and to Jillian and the rest of her siblings. She is not the only one of Devya's Children, and what they all have in common are Gifts that set them aside from common children. This is a very interesting book, told in a unique way. The ability to read the letters sent from Jillian and Danielle to Dr. S (Dr. Stephanie Sokolowski) is a great way to learn what happens to the characters in their own words, You also see letters from another of Devya's Children, as well as from friends and family members. The letters are pretty much in chronological order, though of course they are written after the fact, looking back at the ordeal from a safe perspective. This allows the writers to tell the truth, though you can sense that just as in any story, there is more going on than what you are seeing. Or in this case, reading. I look forward to future books in this series and would recommend it to young adults and adults both, as it is a book that can be enjoyed by a variety of ages. I would rate this at 4 1/2 stars, but unfortunately Amazon doesn't accept half stars. The weak point of this story relies in the fact that there are a few too many characters who go by different names, so it's sometimes difficult to keep track of who everyone is without referring to the "Dramatis Personae" at the beginning of the book. Unfortunately, referring back to the beginning of the book and then switching to where you previously is time-consuming and somewhat annoying on a kindle. NOTE: I received a free copy of this book through in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer (JC-S)

    ‘Do we need a motive beyond trying to do the impossible? Jillian Marie Antel Blairington was an average 12 year old girl: she’s living in a new house with her Momma and a new Daddy, looking forward to all those things that 12 year old girls enjoy. Then, one day, Jillian and her babysitter Danielle Mathieson are kidnapped and Jillian’s world is turned upside down. ‘Think of her as an overgrown lab rat, ‘Darren said soothingly. ‘The experiment failed and we’re here to clean up the mess.’ Jillian has ‘Do we need a motive beyond trying to do the impossible? Jillian Marie Antel Blairington was an average 12 year old girl: she’s living in a new house with her Momma and a new Daddy, looking forward to all those things that 12 year old girls enjoy. Then, one day, Jillian and her babysitter Danielle Mathieson are kidnapped and Jillian’s world is turned upside down. ‘Think of her as an overgrown lab rat, ‘Darren said soothingly. ‘The experiment failed and we’re here to clean up the mess.’ Jillian has a special gift: an ability to enter and shape dreams. She has been kidnapped because of this ability which, after training, she is forced to use to try to locate and save Benjamin Connelly. She’s told that Benjamin is her brother, and that she has another family she knows nothing about. And, if she doesn’t do what’s she’s told, then Danielle will suffer. ‘I’ve waited twelve years for this, I could potentially wait several more, but you’re not leaving until my experiment is finished.’ How Jillian comes to terms with her gift and her new and onerous responsibilities makes for an interesting story. She’s lost all that is familiar (except for Danielle) and Danielle’s safety is dependent upon Jillian what is required of her. If Jillian does what is required of her, will she and Danielle be allowed to return home? ‘Who are these people?’ Jillian’s story is told through letters written by Jillian and others (chiefly Danielle) and this works well as a way of imparting information to the reader while maintaining suspense as to what will happen next. Jillian grows throughout the story (as does Danielle), and I’ll be keen to see what happens in the sequel. ‘Ashlynn’s Dreams’ is marketed as a YA novel, but I think many not-so-young adults will enjoy it as well. I certainly did. ‘Tell her she can’t solve the world.’ Note: I was offered and accepted a copy of this book for review purposes. Jennifer Cameron-Smith

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rabid Readers Reviews

    The author, Julie Gilbert, gave me a copy of this book in exchange for my review. “Ashlynn’s Dreams” is Judy Blume meets Orphan Black. Jillian is an average kid who is extremely precocious. She’s clearly been indulged and is happy and confident and is concerned with results instead of planning. Jillian kind of runs like an overwound toy at first happily coming off quite a bit younger than her stated age but not unrealistically so. “Ashlynn’s Dreams” is a story told to a therapist in the look back The author, Julie Gilbert, gave me a copy of this book in exchange for my review. “Ashlynn’s Dreams” is Judy Blume meets Orphan Black. Jillian is an average kid who is extremely precocious. She’s clearly been indulged and is happy and confident and is concerned with results instead of planning. Jillian kind of runs like an overwound toy at first happily coming off quite a bit younger than her stated age but not unrealistically so. “Ashlynn’s Dreams” is a story told to a therapist in the look back format of diaries and notes from Jillian and her fellow kidnap victim, her babysitter, Danielle. While the format may at first strike as a reader as somewhat awkward, Gilbert writes many of the entries with more life than many author’s write interactive narrative. She imbues the people on the page with charm and vitality which leaves readers young and old with no doubt of the evolution of the characters due to the stress put upon them by their extraordinary situation and, for Jillian, the weight of everything she thought she knew turning out not to be true. Jillian’s ability to enter the dreams of people was a device that really intrigued my 12-year-old, Alex. With time Jillian finds new abilities and is able to expand her repertoire. Alex found Jillian’s written regional dialect authentic and the idea behind the novel intriguing. Alex does not watch shows like “Orphan Black” but has shown an interest in doing so and “Ashlynn’s Dreams” is a perfect entry to the genre. It is a story with heart, soul, spirit and substance and readers will fall in love with the style of writing while their heart breaks for young Jillian and her loss of innocence. While marketed for children, I think “Ashlynn’s Dream” holds a wide appeal. It is a wholly unique story written with an authentic and engaging voice and the complexity is suitable for fans of any level of literature. If your 12+ child has been asking to watch the shows on SyFy, pick “Ashlynn’s Dreams" up today!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rob Slaven

    As usual I received this book free for a review. Also as usual I'm absolutely candid about it despite that kindness. The synopsis is a simple amalgamation of previous concepts. Just think of the TV show "Heroes" but with kids and some "Flowers for Algernon" thrown in for good measure. It's also worth mentioning that the text is written in an epistolary style which will likely confuse younger or inexperienced readers. On the positive side, the author can certainly paint a vivid character. The sout As usual I received this book free for a review. Also as usual I'm absolutely candid about it despite that kindness. The synopsis is a simple amalgamation of previous concepts. Just think of the TV show "Heroes" but with kids and some "Flowers for Algernon" thrown in for good measure. It's also worth mentioning that the text is written in an epistolary style which will likely confuse younger or inexperienced readers. On the positive side, the author can certainly paint a vivid character. The southern twang of our protagonist is consistent and fairly authentic. While the story isn't especially original, it is entertaining enough if you're a fan of the mad scientist motif. Also, the author isn't afraid to explore complex and thorny moral issues with her young readers. To the negative, I was irritated on a few points of style. For one the author promotes her own upcoming book series within the book with characters talking about how much they loved "The Anotech Chronicals" despite the fact that the books don't exist yet. It seems in poor taste to self-promote from the very pages of your previous book. Also, potential readers are warned against perusing the back cover. I tend to avoid the blurb on the back of the book because it just leads to dilution of the suspense but in this case I just glanced rather accidentally at this one and was shocked to have suddenly learned half the plot in a few sentences. The tease on the back is far too detailed and just about made me stop reading entirely. In summary, a nice YA mad scientist story but for the love of leaving some element of suspense, do NOT read the back cover. If you do you might as well not bother reading the book in the first place.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    My favorite part of this book were the characters. Especially with the main one, Jillian, the author manages to portray some very distinct characteristics and some impressive character growth. With unique voices (oh reading Jillian's was a peach!), the author pulls you into a world of shadowy organizations, exploitation, and survival. The reader gets a real sense of Jillian's change from carefree child to a more mature individual who isn't afraid to stand up for what she believes right. I could My favorite part of this book were the characters. Especially with the main one, Jillian, the author manages to portray some very distinct characteristics and some impressive character growth. With unique voices (oh reading Jillian's was a peach!), the author pulls you into a world of shadowy organizations, exploitation, and survival. The reader gets a real sense of Jillian's change from carefree child to a more mature individual who isn't afraid to stand up for what she believes right. I could see the toll this change took on her and her view of the world at large. The overall story was very good but suffered from some serious un-fleshing out. I was enthralled with the whole kidnapping and exploitation story; the reader really gets sucked in and what's to know what will happen next. However, I was left with some huge questions on motivations and other areas of the story. I'm still foggy on why some of the scientists are in this scheme and how it all got started. The whole bit with the senators also is a big question mark for me. It just felt like there was far more story here that wasn't told. More background would have helped the novel immensely. I actually really enjoyed this book. It's not my usual fare but I was won over by the wonderful characterizations and great story. If the novel had incorporated more background and fleshing out of story points, this would have been a five star book for me. But still, it strongly deserves the four star rating. I highly recommend this to lovers of good story with a touch of the supernatural. Note: Book given to me for free by the author in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Claire - The Coffeeholic Bookworm

    Jillian Marie Antel Blairington never thought of having a life different from what she grew up in. But when she was kidnapped, she discovered that there was more than met her eye, there was more to life than what she had perceived. She discovered her powers beyond her comprehension, and learned of other children with unique gifts. Her babysitter, Danielle, was also kidnapped and kept as collateral damage so that Jillian could fulfill her end of the bargain, that is to manifest her talent by ente Jillian Marie Antel Blairington never thought of having a life different from what she grew up in. But when she was kidnapped, she discovered that there was more than met her eye, there was more to life than what she had perceived. She discovered her powers beyond her comprehension, and learned of other children with unique gifts. Her babysitter, Danielle, was also kidnapped and kept as collateral damage so that Jillian could fulfill her end of the bargain, that is to manifest her talent by entering and changing people's dreams. Although she was poked here and there and was forced to locate someone who was somehow related to her, Jillian soon became the Ashlynn she once was. I really liked how the story started, progressed and ended. Danielle and Jillian shared their past experiences with the kidnapping, and I liked how Jillian became more mature and understanding towards the end. While it is a common fact that kidnapping would put a dent to a child's mind and behavior, it somehow helped her shape her own future and discovered more about her talent. The author's writing was exceptional in this book, she readily captured my interests with fantasy and science-fiction, that made the story ain't boring at all. While I may not be used to Jillian's twang and other choice of words, I had a great time reading her letters and actually brought me closer to the subject. I actually felt like watching a teen version of the defunct TV series Heroes and craved for more when the book ended. Surely, this amazing story has me excited for the second book! NOTE: I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Julie Kirby

    Having just finished, this is not a genre I would normally choose, but direct communication from Julie had me intrigued. Son in response to her generous offer to read this book, for an honest review, here goes... This books takes us through the few weeks of Jillian and Danielle's kidnap. they are both at home when some guys break in and take them hostage. We begin to learn about Jillian/Ashlynn. We learnt that Jillian was part of a larger family all unknown to her. Danielle was Jillian's babysitter a Having just finished, this is not a genre I would normally choose, but direct communication from Julie had me intrigued. Son in response to her generous offer to read this book, for an honest review, here goes... This books takes us through the few weeks of Jillian and Danielle's kidnap. they are both at home when some guys break in and take them hostage. We begin to learn about Jillian/Ashlynn. We learnt that Jillian was part of a larger family all unknown to her. Danielle was Jillian's babysitter and was kept hostage, only so as Jillian would help her captors. We learn about all her siblings, each having a different part to play in the capture. We get to know more about the captors, their reasoning in doing what they did, and what they do! The book as a whole was told in dual POV's Jillian and Danielle's both giving a complete story of the whys and wherefores. As I mentioned before, this is not a genre I would openly choose, but it kept me turning the pages, once I started, I needed to finish. Jillian goes through somekind of training in order to help one of her siblings, who had also been kidnapped maybe, we could have known a bit more about why he was taken, as to why Jillian was needed to assist. There had to be more to it, than being a sibling. The escape at the end was very exciting and full of suspense with the epilogue a bit of an anti-climax. I will post this on Goodreads and Amazon UK & USA Thanks for letting me have the opportunity in reading this book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    This book is very different from what I've been reading lately and I really liked that! Jillian is 12 years old and she and her babysitter, Danielle, were kidnapped. It's written through letters written by Danielle and journal entries written by Jillian. Jillian first reveals that she has two mommas and four daddies and yes, that sentence alone was intriguing enough to me to keep reading. Jillian has no idea at first why she's been kidnapped. She learns more about her surprising past and the peo This book is very different from what I've been reading lately and I really liked that! Jillian is 12 years old and she and her babysitter, Danielle, were kidnapped. It's written through letters written by Danielle and journal entries written by Jillian. Jillian first reveals that she has two mommas and four daddies and yes, that sentence alone was intriguing enough to me to keep reading. Jillian has no idea at first why she's been kidnapped. She learns more about her surprising past and the people who become a big part of her life. Some of them are likable and others definitely aren't (like Daddy Three). She learns about her gift to shape people's dreams and needs to learn how to use it quickly to save Benjamin, a brother she wasn't aware of. Danielle is being held hostage to keep Jillian in line and she quickly learns that the man in charge isn't afraid of inflicting pain on Danielle. Jillian works to find Benjamin so she can return home, but of course it's not that easy. I felt that this storyline wrapped up nicely, but there are still lots of questions and there's definitely more to learn. I like the style the book was written in (letters and journal entries) and was interested to find out who Ashlynn was. The ending led me to believe there was more, and there is! The second book is Nadia's Tears, and I'm looking forward to reading it! I received a copy of this book to review. My opinion is 100% my own. Mel's Shelves

  22. 5 out of 5

    Anna Tan

    Jillian Marie Antel Blairington (which is a super long name for any kid) is kidnapped and held in a strange facility where she's taught to use her talent of entering and changing people's dreams that she never knew she had. If that isn't freaky enough, she's introduced to a whole new family and is tasked to use her talent to find her missing brother. The story is written in a series of letters or journals from Jillian and her baby sitter, Danielle, who was kidnapped along with her, with a few le Jillian Marie Antel Blairington (which is a super long name for any kid) is kidnapped and held in a strange facility where she's taught to use her talent of entering and changing people's dreams that she never knew she had. If that isn't freaky enough, she's introduced to a whole new family and is tasked to use her talent to find her missing brother. The story is written in a series of letters or journals from Jillian and her baby sitter, Danielle, who was kidnapped along with her, with a few letters here and there from other characters. I kinda liked the story. It wasn't really my kind of thing (I'm increasingly unsure what my kind of thing is now actually). I mean, I've been reading sci-fi a lot more now, but it wasn't as awesome as, say, God's Loophole or Eternity’s End. Maybe it was the style it was written in - the letter/journal type thing isn't normally what I go for. It also takes a way part of the tension of the story (the "kin-cheongness") or the presence of being in that moment. So I'd give it a 3.5 - somewhere between "yea, I liked it" and "hey it was really good". Maybe if I'd read it when I was much younger I would have liked it better.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I kind of liked and disliked this book because it felt incomplete in a lot of ways. Because this was an audio book I got to get a better feel for the characters since the narrator was excellent and gave voice to the characters in such a way that you always knew who was speaking. But even with that added help the characters still felt a little flat and not real enough. The story was good but could have been so much better if it didn't feel like there were holes in the background information that I kind of liked and disliked this book because it felt incomplete in a lot of ways. Because this was an audio book I got to get a better feel for the characters since the narrator was excellent and gave voice to the characters in such a way that you always knew who was speaking. But even with that added help the characters still felt a little flat and not real enough. The story was good but could have been so much better if it didn't feel like there were holes in the background information that were important to who these people were. Even though it took me a while to really get into it, once I did it moved fairly well to the conclusion. Jillian Blarington (Ashlynn) is your typical 12 year old who lives in a family consisting of one biological and one non-biological parent. She is moved across the country and realizes that it is something her family needs. While her parents are out one day she is being watched by a babysitter, Danielle Matheson, who likes Jillian. They are both surprised when two men break into the house and kidnap them, taking them to an unknown location and not even asking for a ransom. What they want Jillian for is something that no human should be able to do. But the real question is will they allow her to return to the family she loves and misses. This is a nice read but seems more suited to a younger audience. Their is some light violence, light verbal and physical abuse, and a theme of being held in captivity. There are no sexual themes.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Beverly McClure

    A child kidnapped is a horrible thing. Children are helpless and depend on adults to take care of them. Some adults cannot be trusted, however. In fact, some adults may not be who/what we think they are. ASHLYNN’S DREAMS, by Author Julie C. Gilbert, is the story of twelve-year-old Jillian Marie Antel Blairington (AKA Ashlynn) who is kidnapped. In a journal she records her life about her daddies one, two, three, and her new daddy, and about her kidnapping. Danielle, her babysitter, is also kidnapp A child kidnapped is a horrible thing. Children are helpless and depend on adults to take care of them. Some adults cannot be trusted, however. In fact, some adults may not be who/what we think they are. ASHLYNN’S DREAMS, by Author Julie C. Gilbert, is the story of twelve-year-old Jillian Marie Antel Blairington (AKA Ashlynn) who is kidnapped. In a journal she records her life about her daddies one, two, three, and her new daddy, and about her kidnapping. Danielle, her babysitter, is also kidnapped, and tells her experiences in a journal. Now, these are not just any kidnappers; they have shocking news for Jillian. They call her Ashlynn, and that’s only the beginning. Her life changes in ways she could never have imagined, and the reader follows along with Ashlynn as she discovers the truth about her existence. Julie C. Gilbert has created a fascinating world of how far some will go to get what they want. I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll just say that you’ll enter the warped minds of scientists that will make you wonder if what they’ve done is actually possible. Who knows? ASHLYNN’S DREAMS kept me wondering if or how Ashlynn’s kidnapping would end. The author has created believable characters that I either loved or hoped got what they deserved. The journal entries move the story along. A very nice novel. The author provided me with an eCopy of the book for my honest review. ###

  25. 5 out of 5

    Melissa (thereaderandthechef)

    *This review can also be found at Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers. I as provided with a review copy in exchange of my honest opinion.* Ashlynn’s Dreams was one peculiar read but I really enjoyed it. I liked the way it was told, through letters from Jillian and Danielle towards their counselor/therapist. What I thought was going to be a problem, quickly became one of my favorite aspects of the book. Each of their letters offer a unique point of view about the events that take place durin *This review can also be found at Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers. I as provided with a review copy in exchange of my honest opinion.* Ashlynn’s Dreams was one peculiar read but I really enjoyed it. I liked the way it was told, through letters from Jillian and Danielle towards their counselor/therapist. What I thought was going to be a problem, quickly became one of my favorite aspects of the book. Each of their letters offer a unique point of view about the events that take place during the kidnapping and also manage to convey their personality. It felt much more personal and it made me connect with the main characters. Besides Jillian and Danielle, we also get to meet different characters with so many layers to them. Some are good, some are bad and some I would classify under the bipolar or “with so many secrets” category. However, they all were equally interesting. Despite the serious theme in Ashlynn’s Dreams, I didn’t feel it to be a dark or heavy read. There were lots of other things to focus on, mainly on the special abilities of Jillian and her other new-found brothers and sisters which I enjoyed reading about. There isn’t lots of action, but the last part of the book goes on a faster pace and I liked that. So overall, Ashlynn’s Dreams turned out to be an interesting story I think many will enjoy!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    Unlike any other book I've read, Ashlynn's Dreams grabs your attention. With Jillian and her southern drawl, Danielle's growing character bond, and Nadia's protectiveness. Southern drawl is the only way I can describe how Jillian talks, and to be honest it took me a bit to grasp reading such a strong southern accent. Which by the way shouldn't have been difficult since I used to have a heavy southern drawl myself. The story is told in a few different characters' point of view though it was not ha Unlike any other book I've read, Ashlynn's Dreams grabs your attention. With Jillian and her southern drawl, Danielle's growing character bond, and Nadia's protectiveness. Southern drawl is the only way I can describe how Jillian talks, and to be honest it took me a bit to grasp reading such a strong southern accent. Which by the way shouldn't have been difficult since I used to have a heavy southern drawl myself. The story is told in a few different characters' point of view though it was not hard to follow. Questions arise about Jillian, her past and how she came to be. As a reader I was curious about her ability or gift. The best part to me is as she trains she ends up growing stronger, learning how to control her ability, surprising even the doctors at the laboratory. Danielle, her babysitter, goes through all of this with her and so much more. Between the threats, attacks made to force her to cooperate, and the impossibilities Jillian and Danielle face together, there is no way they could have done it without each other. The cover represents the story, making the book appealing to younger readers and adults alike. I'm curious now and past ready to pick up Nadia's Tears (Devya's Children) to see what it withholds. Nadia grew on me in this story so I can't wait to see what's next.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Stiles

    The synopsis was enough to make me want to read this book. If I was standing in a bookstore with one of my students I would not have chosen the book based on the cover, but I can guarantee you than my student would. That is why I will purchase a physical copy of this book for my shelves at school. Twelve-year-old Jillian is just like any of my students. She is down to earth, has a southern twang, as do many of my students. She differs in the fact that she has a special gift she never knew about. The synopsis was enough to make me want to read this book. If I was standing in a bookstore with one of my students I would not have chosen the book based on the cover, but I can guarantee you than my student would. That is why I will purchase a physical copy of this book for my shelves at school. Twelve-year-old Jillian is just like any of my students. She is down to earth, has a southern twang, as do many of my students. She differs in the fact that she has a special gift she never knew about. We watch her go from innocence to a much more mature teen by the end of the book. It was sad that her babysitter was also kidnapped to encourage her to do what her kidnappers what her to do. Jillian learns the life she has lived was not all there was to her. She learns just how strong she, and the other children like her must be if they are to survive and possibly escape. This was different in the fact it is told in a series of journal entries or letters. At times it is kind of hard to get into. After a while you get into the flow of the book and you know that it works the best for this book. Definitely a book you need to check out. Then check out her next book Nadia's Tears. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Liquid Frost

    Admittedly, this book starts out with one of my biggest pet peeves: Reading dialect dialogue (ain't, fer, nothin', etc). It also gambles on the choice of delivery. The story is told through journal entries from various characters. I've seen this done well, as well as, horribly awful and confusing. I will freely admit to having to reference the list of characters that Gilbert deftly includes after the TOC early in the read. However, you can tell I rated this book high, and here are the reasons: Gi Admittedly, this book starts out with one of my biggest pet peeves: Reading dialect dialogue (ain't, fer, nothin', etc). It also gambles on the choice of delivery. The story is told through journal entries from various characters. I've seen this done well, as well as, horribly awful and confusing. I will freely admit to having to reference the list of characters that Gilbert deftly includes after the TOC early in the read. However, you can tell I rated this book high, and here are the reasons: Gilbert's gamble of delivery paid off, and through the journals the story unrolls and creates a dynamic engagement. Equally, the dialect dialogue filters out heavily for most of the read. The story fills in nicely with action and back-story. Jillian/Ashlynn is a 12-year-old that, along with her babysitter Danielle, is kidnapped and detained in a scientific compound. Here she learns of her special power and must learn to manipulate the power to find a kidnapped young boy. As the story unfolds, Jillian learns that she and others have been genetically modified to create specific powers (gifts). She wants to get back to her family and will do what is necessary to accomplish that goal. This book is YA approved. Read August 2014: Author provided copy

  29. 4 out of 5

    The Color of Ink

    This story is about a kidnapping of a girl named Jillian and her babysitter, Danielle. Jillian soon discovers she has the ability to connect to, alter, and shift dreams. She better find out how to master this ability and fast because Danielle is being held hostage to ensure Jillian’s cooperation. If she fails, there is no telling what will happen to Danielle. Will she survive the vigorous training to locate and save someone who she has been told is her brother? Will she be able to do what she is This story is about a kidnapping of a girl named Jillian and her babysitter, Danielle. Jillian soon discovers she has the ability to connect to, alter, and shift dreams. She better find out how to master this ability and fast because Danielle is being held hostage to ensure Jillian’s cooperation. If she fails, there is no telling what will happen to Danielle. Will she survive the vigorous training to locate and save someone who she has been told is her brother? Will she be able to do what she is told and find escape for her and Danielle? This story is told in a unique way, but it does take a little getting used to. However, once you work your way into the letters and descriptive entries of the main characters, you feel like you are right there alongside them. There is a lingering suspense and you wonder what will happen next. I received this book in exchange for an honest review. This read is different and interesting. In fact, I think the story would have more justice played out in movie form. The audio book has recently released and I’m looking forward to checking that out. Big thanks to the author for bringing something new to the table. Enjoy!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Trina

    The story is crafted in an unusual format, it’s written in different points of view and in the form similar to a diary. This was something very different for me and I really enjoyed the unconventional style. Ashlynn’s Dreams is a Young Adult story with elements of mystery, suspense and science fiction. I found Ashlynn’s Dreams to be a very fast read. Immediately, I was so engulfed into the story, I seriously couldn’t put the book down. Which is exactly what I want from a story. Watching Ashlynn’s The story is crafted in an unusual format, it’s written in different points of view and in the form similar to a diary. This was something very different for me and I really enjoyed the unconventional style. Ashlynn’s Dreams is a Young Adult story with elements of mystery, suspense and science fiction. I found Ashlynn’s Dreams to be a very fast read. Immediately, I was so engulfed into the story, I seriously couldn’t put the book down. Which is exactly what I want from a story. Watching Ashlynn’s abilities bloom and her interactions with her captures and with the other children being held captive was enthralling. I could feel the characters frustrations and anxiety – and that’s great writing! There are several very intense moments in the story. Julie Gilbert has built a purely unique setting for Ashlynn’s Dreams. It was intriguing to watch the captures manipulate the children and justify their needs to do so. Will the children escape? Will they be found? Will they be held captive for the rest of their lives? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

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