Legend has it if you die in your dreams, you die in real life. Fifteen-year-old Ashling Campbell knows that’s not true because when she closes her eyes each night, she doesn’t dream about public nudity or Prom dates. Instead, she’s catapulted to the front row of her future self’s execution – fifteen years from now – where monsters have taken control of her hometown and she, or rather, her 30-year-old counterpart, is their public enemy number one.
For three months and counting, it’s been the same dream… until an encounter with an antique dreamcatcher. Ash falls asleep to discover she’s no longer a mere spectator in these dreams – now she’s astral-projecting into the body of her future self. Each night, she goes on the run with a ragtag group of rebels – who have no idea she’s really a high school sophomore and not their noble warrior. She has to make it through each night so that she can wake up and find a way to change the future. For every action she does in the present day, she falls asleep to discover it had an equal impact fifteen years later. It’s up to her to manage her two worlds and make sure she’s still got a place in both.
Fifteen is a young adult paranormal written by Jen Estes and published through Curiosity Quills Press. It was released just yesterday in fact!
The book is the first in the series. I prefer to read in sequential order and I don’t think I would understand this series if I didn’t read this book first. That said, it is the only one out in the moment. It’s just that the amount of information and moments makes me think reading this book first will be integral for the rest of the series,
Jen Estes weaves Lakota legends with real life into a story that is both disturbing and entertaining. Her writing style is easy to get into. I couldn’t and didn’t want to put it down. The dream sequences are written in italics to make it easier for the reader. If that didn’t happen, I think it would have taken me longer to get into the book.
You are thrown into a dream right in the beginning. Boy, is it disturbing. I love disturbing. Estes didn’t hold back with the imagery and it made changing the dreams an urgent thing for the reader and the character, Ash. The book wouldn’t have the same impact without it.
Ash is a strong female lead. She’s a smart girl with a smartass tongue. Both of which are traits I love in a character. Even in the most disturbing or dark moments, Ash found a way to make a smartass remark. I liked her close relationship with her mother and the relationships she had with other people she loved.
Her relationship with Tate didn’t surprise me too much. They are close, but there isn’t much of a romance between the two. Tate has his eyes on another girl and Ash is just trying to keep herself from going insane. Her relationship with Coop seems real, but with the fact that it’s a dream/time travel, we aren’t given much chemistry. The chemistry is more for Future Ash than our main character Ash.
Though there are more books to come, Fifteen more or less ended on a rather final note. It seems Ash’s work is done except for two big bumps she’s determined to take care of. Since she seems to work well with her determination, I’m sure she will be the main character in the upcoming books. However, with the way the Lakota legends go (a great twist on things and I really enjoyed that), I wouldn’t be surprised if the next book is set in the future with a new person dreaming.
I don’t know though. It could go both ways. Either way, I’m interested in seeing what else happens.
Jen Estes is the author of the Cat McDaniel Mystery Series and the forthcoming FIFTEEN (The Dreamwalker Diaries).
Born and raised in the Midwest, Jen had to choose between staring at corn or reading books. Corn husks just didn’t have the appeal of the Baby-Sitters Club, and so a bookworm was born. Reading later turned into writing and in 2011, Jen published her first novel. After releasing four books in the mystery genre, Jen finally gave in to the literary demands of her inner teenager with her YA debut, FIFTEEN (The Dreamwalker Diaries) with Curiosity Quills. Jen lives in Illinois with her husband Nathan under the tyranny of their three cats: Wrigley, Ivy and Captain Moo.
She is an active member of the National Writers Union. When she isn’t writing, Jen enjoys sci-fi in all its mediums, attempting yoga, using her passport, watching baseball, and reading a good book. You can find Jen on the web at http://www.jenestes.com, on Tumblr as AuthorJenEstes and tweeting under @jenestesdotcom