Friday, January 15, 2010

Book Reviews and Guest Post: Dream Girl and Dream Life by Lauren Mechling

With the help of her dreams and a cameo given to her by her fabulous grandmother Kiki, Claire Voyante is a regular girl detective, solving mysteries and saving friends while living a seemingly normal high school girl existence.
In book one, DREAM GIRL, Claire falls into her first “case” which involves her new best friend Becca, heiress to a ketchup empire, and Becca’s family’s sworn enemies. Book two, DREAM LIFE, finds Claire being invited to join a secret do-gooder society founded by NYC’s richest women.

First off, let me just say that I adore Claire. Her wry narration had me in stitches throughout both books. One of my favorite instances being in book one when she’s trying to figure out how to tell Becca that she can’t ski while headed out to the slopes in Aspen: “If I didn’t speak up fast, I’d end up communicating it via my full body cast.” (p 175)

Both Claire and her friend Becca are so refreshingly non-stereotypical, you just want to hug them – and then move to this fictional NYC and hang out with them (and borrow their clothes!). The supporting characters, from Claire’s Francophile parents who throw regular salons in their West Village apartment to aspiring comic book artist/wheelie-bag toting Ian and other Henry Hudson High classmates, are all well drawn and add pleasing layers to the light, engaging narratives.

Of the mysteries, book two’s is the harder to figure out, but both end on satisfying notes. I’d definitely be up for more books in this series.

DREAM GIRL is now available in paperback and DREAM LIFE was released this week in hardcover. Find out more about both at the author’s website.

Oh and….I have a special message from Claire herself. Read on….
Greetings and salutations, book lovers! I’m Claire Voyante, the main character of Dream Life, Lauren Mechling’s rip-roaring detective novel (and no, it is not immodest to say that about a book you didn’t write but in which you star—I checked in one of my grandmother Kiki’s etiquette books).

Dream Life is all about what happened after I found out my best friend Becca had just joined a super-exclusive, centuries-old secret society called the Blue Moons. I figured out how to wiggle my way into the club, and, of course, much drama ensued. I warmly invite you to check Dream Life out—it’s available at a bookstore or Internet site near you.

When Dream Girl, the first book in the series, came out, my creator Lauren fielded questions from bloggers and journalists. Lauren is currently underground working on a secret project so I offered to step in and relief pitch. I’m taking a page from Ann Landers's book and writing an advice column. The questions came from fans of the series. The answers came from the heart.

(Warning: I don't have a degree in psychotherapy--use at your own risk!)

Dear Claire,

I love your books but all the characters seem to be wearing new fabulous shoes in every scene. This makes me feel bad about my own footwear supply—or lack thereof. What’s up with that (not my feeling bad, but your inaccurate depiction of 15 year old girls’ infinite shoe collections)?

Rachel Who’s Worn The Same Pair of Treetorns Since September, San Diego


First of all, I’d like to compliment you on your choice in sneaker brand. That you wear a Treetorn says a lot about you: it’s a simple yet slightly unexpected choice. You are obviously comfortable with who you are—otherwise you’d be tramping around school with those stiletto-y ankle boots that scream “look at me! I’m sooooo mature!”

As for your footwear anxiety, relax. I get most of my things as pass-me-downs from my grandmother—it’s not like I have extra cash to burn. And it’s true Becca’s shoe collection rivals the top floor at Saks Fifth Avenue, but here’s a secret: her feet smell like overripe bananas. So, like everything else in life, it’s a tradeoff. And I’d say you and your (sweet-smelling, I'm guessing) Treetorns come out at least one step ahead.

L’amour toujours!


Thanks Claire! So, when can we get together and hang? How about May...around BEA? I'd love to be invited to one of Kiki's parties at the Waldorf-Astoria :)


Bookalicious Ramblings said...

Great post, it just makes me want to read the books more! Both are on my TBR list and the good news is that I already own the first one!
ps: Looooving the song in the trailer!

Marce said...

What a creative cute post. I didn't realise Dream Life was part of a series, I have it on my TBR list, will have to add both now.

bermudaonion said...

Sounds like a great series! Claire sounds like a character I would love too.

Anonymous said...

What fun! And I love the covers.

Staci said...

I read Book #2 with my reading pal Lily. We're reviewing it next week. I didn't realize that I received book #2 and would have liked to have read book 1 first!! Oh well...still an enjoyable series!

Steph Su said...

Oooooh, yes! I'd love to hang out with Claire (and Lauren) at BEA!

Liz @ Cleverly Inked said...

WOnderful, sounds like the characters are indepth.

Darlene said...

Great post Lenore! These books sound awesome and the covers are just terrific!

kanishk said...

I have it on my TBR list, will have to add both now.

Work from home India

Zibilee said...

What a fun post! I like the sound of these books, and I think my daughter would too. My wish list always grows exponentially every time I come to your site to visit!

Jodie said...

Secret society! Sold.

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