Friday, December 4, 2015

Review: Weird by Theresa Jones

by Theresa M. Jones
Luftmensch Press
146 pages
Middle Grade Fantasy
ages 10+

Every time twelve year old Aislin sleeps, she experiences another person’s DREAMS, their hopes or despairs, loves or hates, most fervent dreams, or darkest nightmares. She is weird, a word she hates more than anything else. Though, when her younger brother, Luke, the only person in the world who treats her normal, gets into a car accident, her only hope of saving him is her ability to communicate with him while he dreams.
It isn’t until she dreams with Jessica, another coma patient and her best friend’s little sister, that she discovers her chance to save him. After Aislin guides Jessica back to the waking world, she opens her eyes to find her plan gone horribly awry, and Jessica dead.
Devastated, Aislin must find a way to stop dreaming altogether or somehow perfect it, before she kills her brother, too.

While funny and charming, this book deals with some serious issues, and provides much for parents and children to discuss. 


I've read and enjoyed other books written by Theresa Jones, so when I found out that she's taken a turn into middle grade, I was curious what would happen. Now, after reading WEIRD, I can only say that this author definitely should continue to write books for this intended audience. 

The warning in the blurb about the serious material made me a little skeptical, mostly because it can be difficult to bring across more 'sensitive' issues in an appropriate way. But there's no need to panic. This book does deal with accidents, coma and pending death of relatives, but the pages are coated with love and care. In a way, it reminded me of the gentle magic found in A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.

Aislin is a normal girl, except that she has the ability to dream walk (enter others dreams). This never comes across as a super-power but rather a nuisance. Aislin can't control which dreams she gets caught up in. She can't control the dreams themselves, and she can't get out until they're over. Her abilities aren't a secret either. The other kids see her as weird and shun her.

It was refreshing to see a character like Aislin, especially since her abilities put her in such a negative light. She wants to be accepted, but can't even accept herself--something this age group will have no trouble relating to.

This is a deep book, which digs into Aislin's thoughts and hangs tight. She comes across very authentic, and her actions are not only understandable, but fit what a girl that age might really do. It's easy to feel for her, hurt with her, and hope for her.

When tragedy strikes, the world falls apart, but Aislin's parents and family are extremely supportive. It was great to see this family dynamic and brings across a needed feeling of security and protection. Even a new found friend helps cushion the blow, leaving Aislin surrounded in a good environment. And it's exactly this which helps kids, who are reading this, ease into the more serious subjects Aislin faces.

I believe that especially girls ages 9+ will absolutely adore this book and will see a lot of themselves in Aislin. The messages in here are good, and the ending is like landing in a feathered pillow. I can only recommend this one and hope to see many more stories from Theresa Jones.

And here's more about. . . 

Theresa M Jones is just a regular small town, Texas girl, who loves reading, writing and playing with tech gadgets. When she isn't at work fixing computers and the like, you can find her at home with her husband and two beautiful (and rambunctious) kiddos.

In her spare time- as if there ever was such a thing as "spare time" - she reads and reviews books on her book blog, and writes paranormal romance and fantasy romance novels. 

Author links:


Mrs. Jones said...

I am so very glad you enjoyed this book!!!
Thank you a ton for reading it, and reviewing it!!
(My daughter- just barely turned 10- loved it! She reads a BUNCH, and obviously loved the book references ;) lol)

Sheena-kay Graham said...

I love MG and even though I am 31 (as of Nov 29) I will be getting this off amazon as soon as i get my grubby hands on a gift card. Thanks for reviewing this T and hey there Theresa.