Review: Dreaming Darkly by Caitlin Kittredge

Dreaming Darkly
Ivy Bloodgood’s mother is dead, and she should probably be sad about it. But she isn’t. Myra Bloodgood was confusing mix of protective and abusive, a manipulative personality who never told the truth—about where she came from, who Ivy’s father was, or why they were living their lives on the run. Now that Ivy has been sent to Darkhaven, an island off the New England coast, to live with a rich uncle she didn’t know existed, she is forced to reckon with her mother’s past. Ivy can tell right away there are long-held family secrets buried within these walls, but when she wakes up from one of her nightmares covered in someone else’s blood, Ivy fears that whatever demons her mother battled while she was alive have come to roost in her own mind. Scared that she can no longer trust what she sees, Ivy seeks the help of a boy who thinks her episodes are connected to the sordid history of Darkhaven—but what they don’t know might kill them both.

Dreaming Darkly is one of those books which scratched an itch for me in a moment, but didn't really do much to be memorable. I liked the vibe and the atmosphere for this book, and I loved the gothic mystery and the curses and the family feuds, but at the same time I didn't really care for the characters, so in many ways this was a very divisive book for me.

Firstly, I have to commend Kittredge on her wonderful world-building. Darkhaven as a setting was brooding and... well... dark, and it was wonderfully crafted and for that reason I was actually pulled right into the book. There's no doubt whatsoever in my mind that Kittredge is a talented author.

That being said, the characters fell flat for me in this book. I don't feel like I developed enough of a bond with Ivy to care about her, and that also goes for the rest of the characters. This meant that the fast pacing and the high stakes didn't really grip me, so as soon as the novelty of the setting wore off I was far less invested in this story.

Overall, Dreaming Darkly was reasonably entertaining and wasn't in any way a bad book. The writing was great and I loved the setting, but for some reason I just didn't feel the connection with the characters or the plot and so I can't say that I loved it.

Book released 9th April 2019 by Katherine Tegen
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

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