BY: BECCA JOHNSON
Fifteen-year-old Rory Adair has a secret she never reveals to anyone—dreams that foreshadow what is to come. Excited about finally meeting the hot, tall, blue-eyed guy from one of those dreams, she is shocked when he turns out to be identical twin brothers Bryce and Ryder Wyatt, both of whom take an instant interest in her and compete for her attention.
As Rory tries to use her secret ability to help her decide which brother to ask to the Sadie Hawkins Dance, the dreams start to change. Something bad is going to happen, but before she can figure out how to warn her friends without revealing her secret, her best friend Stacey goes missing.
Rory teams up with Bryce, who has a secret ability of his own. Together they use their abilities, intellect, and gut instinct to find the missing women. Can Rory sort through her feelings for the Wyatt brothers—and find her friend—before she loses them all?
TAYLOR JONES SAYS: In Dreamer by Becca Johnson, fifteen-year-old Rory has dreams that always come true. But she keeps the dreams a secret, unwilling to reveal them for fear of being called a freak. Usually the dreams are happy, forecasting good things about to happen, but after Rory meets two new students in her high school, Bryce and Royce, both of whom want to date her, Rory’s dreams start to change. Now they are dark and frightening. Add in the fact that several young women have recently gone missing from the area, and Rory fears for herself and her friends.
I liked the characters, all of whom I thought were really well-developed. I did question how two gorgeous brothers would suddenly have eyes only for one 15-year-old girl who hasn’t really had any particular male attention before this, but it’s not that implausible, I guess. The story is interesting, the plot strong, and the characters charming.
REGAN MURPHY SAYS: Dreamer by Becca Johnson is a lighthearted YA paranormal romance/suspense with a bit of a darker side. Woven into the main plot—a young girl who can’t decide which gorgeous twin brother she wants to date—is the mystery of what is happening to the several young local women who have suddenly disappeared.
The book is well written, entertaining, and the plot has a few surprising twists and turns. I especially liked the way Johnson showed us the dream, and then showed us how Rory changed things to deal with what she knew was coming, without giving away the fact that she did know it was coming.
It was the only time I ever told anyone about my dreams.
“Mom,” I yelled as I burst into her bedroom.
I ran to her and threw myself into her arms. Sobs rocked my body. Tears streamed down my face.
“Baby–honey,” mom wrapped her arms around me and hugged me close.
I clutched onto her, taking big gulps of breath, I felt as if my throat was closing up and I couldn’t breathe.
“Honey, calm down.” Her voice was soothing. She rubbed my back and whispered comforting words into my ear.
Just being near her started to calm down my breathing, but I couldn’t control my body from shaking. I tried to talk, but a lump had formed in my throat. It hurt just trying to get the words to come out. Tears continued to flow down my face, soaking Mom’s shoulder.
“Talk to me, baby.”
Between sobs, I tried to get it out. I didn’t want to say it. I didn’t want it to be true. “Grandpa–is–going to–die.”
“Oh, baby, Grandpa is fine. I talked to Grandma tonight.”
I shook my head. She didn’t understand. I just saw it, Mom didn’t know yet. “Grandma–is going to–call.”
“It was only a bad dream–”
We both jumped when the phone rang.
Oh no, it’s already coming true.
It was the only time I had ever told anyone about my dreams.
Ten years later:
The lights dimmed to black. I took a deep breath, inhaling the butter popcorn aroma. I loved the smell of being in a movie theatre. I carefully tore away the wrapper of my Sour Patch Kids, trying to make as little noise as possible.
“Popcorn, Rory?” a male voice whispered in my right ear. His breath on my ear sent a tingling sensation down to my toes.
I shook my head, keeping my eyes on the screen. Setting my candy in my lap, I settled into my seat.
My left hand was seized as he laced his fingers through mine. I felt his lips gently brush my left cheek.
My heart began to race. It had absolutely nothing to do with the opening scenes of the movie.
I sat up, starring at my alarm as it continued its annoying screech.
“Turn that off,” Mom said as she passed by my door.
I reached over and hit the off button. I couldn’t help the smile that spread across my face. I was going to the movies, and someone was going to hold my hand. Then I realized that it was only Wednesday. I wouldn’t be going tonight, because I never went to the movies on a school night. Who was I going to the movies with? I was definitely sitting between two guys. One sent tingles down my spine just by whispering in my ear. The other was bold enough to take hold of my hand and kiss my cheek. I could hardly wait for this dream to come true.
Before heading into the bathroom, I got out my journal and pen from the drawer of my nightstand. I winced in pain from my sore muscles.
January 23rd — Going to the movies.
I closed the journal and put it back in the drawer. Before I had the chance to get out of bed, Mom opened the door to my room.
“Rory, honey, you up yet?”
“I am attempting to,” I replied. “I can barely move my body.”
Mom gave a chuckle and closed the door.
“I hate kickboxing,” I muttered as I slowly got out of bed.
After finishing with my shower, I heard music coming from Tyler’s room. I knocked three times. I heard him moan and then the music turned off.
“I’m up,” he grunted.
After drying and brushing out my long blonde hair, I pulled it back into a ponytail. I carefully applied brown eyeliner to make my light brown eyes stand out more, and then I added a hint of bronzer so I didn’t appear so pale.
“Is anything going on at school today?” Mom asked, as I walked into the kitchen to grab a Pop Tart out of the pantry.
“Nothing much,” I replied as I went to the fridge to get out the milk. I wished I were going to the movies tonight.
“Do you have any tests or quizzes today?” she asked.
I didn’t have time to answer because the telephone rang. I went back to the fridge to see what I could take with me for lunch, as Mom answered the phone.
Tyler rounded the corner to the kitchen just as she hung up, grabbing Mom around the waist and placing a kiss on her cheek.
“It’s time for the future of tomorrow to learn. Be good today.” Tyler gave her the same stern look she gave to us every time we left the house to go out with friends.
“Get out of here, you two, you’ll be late.” She gave Tyler a squeeze and shooed us out the door.
We walked out the front door and headed next door to Connor’s house. The car was running in the driveway, which I was thankful for, because it was freezing out.
Connor came out of his house as we headed up the front walk. He quickly pulled his skullcap over his shaggy blonde hair.
“I love Tuesday’s,” was Connor’s greeting to us.
I sighed. “Great, what weird new music are you going to make me listen to now?”
Connor and Tyler both stopped to look at me. “Watch it, short stuff.” Tyler put me into a headlock. “We might start listening to techno again.”
We all laughed remembering that music phase.
Connor and Tyler talked about the new downloads, but my mind wandered as we headed off to school. I thought about my dream, anxious to find out when I would be going to the movies. I had an eleven o’clock curfew on school nights, so technically it was possible that I could be going this week. Just who would be holding my hand was the big mystery. I wasn’t interested in anyone, and no one had shown me any interest that I had noticed.
“Earth to Rory,” Tyler said, “Are you going to come into school or are you planning on sitting in the car all day?” he said before shutting the car door.
I went into my first period geometry class and took my seat in the third row. Heather sat down next to me.
Mr. Woods walked in the room, closed the door, and announced, “Everything off of your desks, quiz time.”
There was a collective groan.
Mr. Woods passed out the quiz. I had just written my name on the top of the quiz, when Heather, whispered, “Hey did you know we were going to have a quiz today?”
“No, do you want to go to the movies one day this week?” I knew that I couldn’t rush my dreams into happening, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it either.
Heather gave me a weird look.
“No talking, ladies,” Mr. Woods reminded us.
I was glad that the quiz took all hour, so that Heather couldn’t bring up my question about the movies again. I felt foolish. My dream was going to happen. I just didn’t know exactly when and the anticipation was killing me.
The rest of my day passed by uneventfully. No one mentioned anything about going to see a movie this week. I guessed I was going to have to be patient and wait. I knew it wouldn’t be tonight and not on Thursday because I had kickboxing.
When I got home from school, I went up to my room to do my homework. I finished my American History assignment, and I got my journal out of my nightstand.
I leafed through a few of the pages. Then I reached back into my nightstand to get an older journal to look through. I had at least fifteen journals filled with my dreams, which I had been writing since I was six years old.
I read, September 5th — 1st day of middle school, made new friends maybe.
Underneath in red ink, I had gone back through and added, new friends Stacey and Renee.
I had forgotten that I used to go back through and write in more details. Like, if a dream came true, I’d write exactly how I had dreamt it. Or if my dream had in anyway helped me, or if I had altered an outcome, I’d write it down.
I went through a few more pages.
October 31st — Costume mishap.
In red ink, I had written, Crisis averted. I smiled, remembering that dream. I had a picture tucked in the page.
I had been a witch for Halloween. I was dressed in all black, with black pointy boots that killed my feet. I had dreamt that I was going to close my dress in my locker. The lock was going to jam and I was stuck standing at my locker, crying. I was able to stop that from happening by being extra careful all day at school. I shouldn’t have worn the uncomfortable boots, but they were too cool not to wear.
Mom opened the door. “Let’s go shopping.”
“Say no more.” I quickly got up from the bed and grabbed for my shoes.
We fought through traffic on Woodward Avenue and arrived in Birmingham’s downtown shopping district.
“Where to?” Mom asked.
“How about we start at Urban Outfitters?”
“Maybe the outdoor shops weren’t a good idea,” Mom stated as we headed off in the cold down the street.
“Abigayle, Rory.” We turned hearing our names being called from someone across the street. Waiving at us was Dr. Jennie, Mom’s friend.
Mom and Dr. Jennie embraced in a hug. “Hi, Jennie.”
I hugged Dr. Jennie as well.
“Rory, how are you?” she asked. “Where are you headed?”
“Urban Outfitters. Want to grab a coffee and catch up if you have time?” Mom asked.
“I don’t have any more appointments today. That sounds great.”
I wanted to sigh. I liked Dr. Jennie, but she was a psychologist. Mom made me go see her after my dream incident when I was six.
We hurried to the coffee shop around the corner to get out of the cold. We ordered our coffee’s and had a seat at one of the tables in the back so we could catch up.
“Did you hear about the woman that went missing?” Mom asked Jennie.
I hated to watch the news. They never reported any good news. Mom was addicted to watching it every night.
“I did. The poor family! I wonder if the other missing woman from a few weeks ago is connected at all.”
“Can we please talk about something happy?” I prodded.
Jennie smiled and changed the subject. “How is school going?”
“School is going fine. We just began the new semester. So far I like all of my new classes.”
“What new classes do you have?”
“Health and drawing.”
“I didn’t know that you drew?”
I grimaced. “I don’t. I wanted to take ceramics, but the class was full, so I got stuck in a drawing class instead. I am pretty terrible at it, but I enjoy trying.”
“Good for you. I am proud of you for trying something new.”
Mom got up from the table. “Excuse me.”
“What about boys, are you seeing anyone?” Jeanie asked.
“No, Mom still has her rule, no dating until sixteen. I’ll be sixteen soon, but I don’t have anyone waiting to take me out that I know of. There really isn’t anyone that even sparks my interest.” Saying that made me think about the stranger from my dream.
Jennie reached over and put her hand on mine. “Don’t worry about boys, Rory. The time will come when you won’t know which boy to go out with.”
I let out a slow breath, thinking that would be nice. I noticed her expression change. She was getting ready to get serious with me. Every time I saw her, she tried to ask me questions about my dreams. When I was six and Mom had made me go to Dr. Jennie, I’d lied to her. I wasn’t about to start confiding in her now.
“Tell me, have you been dreaming?”
“No, just the usual strange things, like one person suddenly becoming a different person, makes total sense in my dream until I wake up and recall what happened.” I had actually never experienced that in a dream, but I had heard enough of my friends talk about their dreams to know that it was common.
Jennie did not respond right away. She sat there and looked at me for what felt like an eternity. I knew that she didn’t believe me.
“It is okay to dream. It is even all right if sometimes they come true.”
How about every day? I thought.
I didn’t respond to her statement. I looked down at my hands folded in my lap and noticed that my palms were starting to sweat.
“You can always talk to me, Rory, about anything.”
“Sorry,” Mom said as she sat back down.
I exhaled, saved by Mom.
After Mom and I got back home, we watched a little TV and then I got ready for bed. I never really minded going to bed. I found it oddly comforting, knowing that I was going to get a glimpse of what tomorrow or my future had in store for me. I hoped that tonight’s dream might bring me closer to finding out who my mystery guy was.
© 2014 by Becca Johnson