Dreamland Social Club by Tara Altebrando
Release Date: May 12th, 2011
Penguin, 389 Pages
Source: Bought the Audiobook
Age Group: Young Adult
Recommended for: fans of A.S. King
Jane has traveled the world with her father and brother, but it’s not until her fractured family-still silently suffering from the loss of Jane’s mother many years before-inherits a house and a history in Coney Island that she finally begins to find a home. With the help of a new community of friends, a mermaid’s secrets, and a tattooed love interest with traffic-stopping good looks, the once plain Jane begins to blossom and gains the courage to explore the secrets of her mother’s past.
Colorful characters, beautiful writing, and a vibrant, embattled beachfront backdrop make this the perfect summer read for anyone who has ever tried to find true love or a place to call home.
I was slightly hesitant when going into Dreamland Social Club; Having just finished up two amazing contemporaries, I knew that Dreamland Social Club was going to have to be spectacular for me to like it, and it was just that – spectacular.
Dreamland Social Club is weird and quirky and kooky, and I loved it. The main character, Jane, is trying to figure out who she is, who her mother was, and how this strange closed-off place (Coney Island) fits into the mix. It was so much fun watching Jane find herself through memories of her mother and also through old relationships and friendships of families from Coney Island. The setting of Coney Island is, I think, what makes this book so quirky. It’s not just New York City, but a specific place – a place that conjures up notions long before the reader starts reading and it was fun to take my preconceived thoughts and see how they were worked into the novel.
Watching Jane grow into herself and accept herself was by far the most enjoyable part of the novel. And the minor characters who helped Jane along the way were just as kooky as Coney Island. This novel is full of characters that you won’t soon forget. Fans of Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King will enjoy for sure.