Book Review: Dream Girl by Laura Lippman

Book Review: Dream Girl by Laura Lippman

I received a free copy of Dream Girl from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis:

Injured in a freak fall, novelist Gerry Andersen is confined to a hospital bed in his glamorous high-rise apartment, dependent on two women he barely knows: his incurious young assistant, and a dull, slow-witted night nurse.

Then late one night, the phone rings. The caller claims to be the “real” Aubrey, the alluring title character from his most successful novel, Dream Girl.  But there is no real Aubrey. She’s a figment born of a writer’s imagination, despite what many believe or claim to know. Could the cryptic caller be one of his three ex-wives playing a vindictive trick after all these years? Or is she Margot, an ex-girlfriend who keeps trying to insinuate her way back into Gerry’s life?

And why does no one believe that the call even happened?

Isolated from the world, drowsy from medication, Gerry slips between reality and a dreamlike state in which he is haunted by his own past: his faithless father, his devoted mother; the women who loved him, the women he loved.

And now here is Aubrey, threatening to visit him, suggesting that she is owed something. Is the threat real or is it a sign of dementia? Which scenario would he prefer? Gerry has never been so alone, so confused – and so terrified.

Chilling and compulsively readable, touching on timely issues that include power, agency, appropriation, and creation, Dream Girl is a superb blend of psychological suspense and horror that reveals the mind and soul of a writer.

My Review:

I found this thriller to be extremely sophisticated and a very fun read. The writing is exceptional, the kind of naturally flowing sentences that engage the reader right away. The characters are dynamic and continue to blossom as the story progresses, and even though I couldn’t relate to any of them, I enjoyed getting to see life from their eyes. Dream Girl is a little bit Misery but totally stands on it’s own both in writing style and a modern story. Lippman added just enough backstory to Gerry’s character to build up a believable story, but not so much that it became irrelevant.

In my opinion, one of the best things about Dream Girl is the subtle yet jaw dropping twists that Lippman expertly inserts, giving the reader that “Wait? What!?” feeling over and over. There were several times when I didn’t know what hit me, those twists snuck right up on me and took the story in a whole different direction. And of course I love the whole book within a book setup as well! I definitely had fun reading this one, and it was a quick read, too!

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