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To Dream is To Die (Dead Dreamer #1) by Sarah Lampkin


Eighteen-year-old Brenna Whit is entering college as a freshman and starting to meet new people, but she hides a dark secret. Because of an accident that happened three years ago, her spirit wanders the Fade whenever she falls asleep. It’s something she wants to keep hidden from the world, but when she sees someone watching her in spirit form, she fears the secret’s out. With new friends, possibly new enemies, school, and a new crush, Brenna has too much to worry about for just her freshman year of college.


The day I died was the day I stopped dreaming. The day I died was the day I started to live with the dead.

I couldn’t turn down an opportunity to review this book. The title definitely drew me in.  I am a fan of YA fantasy and with the mix of demons, and fairies, Dreamers, Watchers, and Gatekeepers, who could resist?

Imagine surviving a terrible accident and then becoming a social pariah. Brenna’s chaotic new life left her with no friends among the living or dead.  Her living friends were scared of her and it seemed spirits were angry with her because she was still alive. Brenna hoped college would be different and she got more than she bargained for.  It seems there is more to the spiritual world at Nephesburg College in Virginia than meets the eye. Apparently, there are some people on campus who are preventing the spiritual world to go about their business freely and it’s starting to get dangerous for Brenna.

Brenna would say she is a “modern-day zombie, with vampire qualities’ but she is also a typical teenager without a filter, a virgin, and has a crush on an upperclassman. Brenna’s new friend Aeria is a fireball who dresses nicely and despises Brenna’s roommate, Erica, because she has her eyes set on Aeria’s new boyfriend, Damon. And Damon is a charming and annoying Watcher who can see spirits, to Brenna’s dismay.  I enjoy the wordplay and joking between Damon and Brenna and like that Aeria stands up for Brenna whenever Brenna doesn’t want to rock the boat. I was also unsure what to make of Brenna’s first roommate Erica because she first came off as a spoiled little party girl who is always looking to get laid, but she eventually appears to really want to be friends with Brenna.  As for Mike, Brenna’s crush, I think he gets a raw deal, but I can’t go into it for fear of spoiling the plot.

Overall, this was a pleasant read with a number of twists and turns and an interesting take on demons and fairies.  Of course, it also has a cliffhanger which is typical for a YA series.  

Thank you to Ms. Lampkin for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


To Dream is To Die

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Sarah LampkinA native of Richmond, Virginia, Sarah Lampkin is a 2015 graduate from Lynchburg College [University of Lynchburg] with a master’s degree in English. Since graduation, Sarah now lives in Northern Virginia working in the IT field as a Technical Writer while continuing her research for her graduate school thesis. When she isn’t working, Sarah continues her Celtic mythology research and Gaelic studies, while working on the Dead Dreamer series.

Follow Sarah on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.

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