Bridgette O’Hare’s book ‘Lullaby’ is the first in her Book of Dreams series (the second was previously reviewed here). This book is about a young teenage girl, Halle Michaels, who feels she is going insane because of strange dreams she receives and disembodied voices she’s been hearing.
This book is definitely targeted at a young adult audience. Halle is a strong teenage character in this novel. She is well grounded as a character and I feel she is also well defined. I actually think a lot of the characters in this book are well-written in terms of being relatable to readers. I think O’Hare does keep some character development close to her chest, which makes for good tension for readers who will want to read the second book.
I found the story pretty solid too. O’Hare seems to spend a lot of time on character development and cementing the beginning of her series. I did feel that the story was a little slow and that not a lot happened in this first book; however, as a first in a series it could be that O’Hare is building up for the more intense plot in the second novel. I will also make the same point as I did about the sequel in that it has overtones and references to Christianity. While I am not adverse to these themes, if you do not expect them, it leaves you a little unprepared. And if this is not the kind of theme you would like to encounter, this is a side note so you’re aware.
I liked the difference in perspectives of the characters, though some readers might be confused as breaks in chapters may not just register a change in character. I also enjoyed the different writings through letters and diary entries that were added throughout the story. However, again when reading Halle’s journal I found it slightly awkward that Halle wrote the names of the people’s conversations instead of just writing them down and shifted between explaining how she felt as she was writing and going back to the happenings in the dream.
Overall, I think this book is a good read for the young adult audience. I feel there is enough fantastical elements to make it worthwhile, though if you’re looking for a faster pace (in regards to suspenseful action or romance), this book isn’t for you.