January 11, 2022

#BookReview: Dreaming Darkly by Caitlin Kittredge

Synopsis: Ivy Bloodgood’s mother is dead, and she should probably be sad about it. But she isn’t. Myra Bloodgood was confusing mix of protective and abusive, a manipulative personality who never told the truth—about where she came from, who Ivy’s father was, or why they were living their lives on the run.

Now that Ivy has been sent to Darkhaven, an island off the New England coast, to live with a rich uncle she didn’t know existed, she is forced to reckon with her mother’s past. Ivy can tell right away there are long-held family secrets buried within these walls, but when she wakes up from one of her nightmares covered in someone else’s blood, Ivy fears that whatever demons her mother battled while she was alive have come to roost in her own mind. Scared that she can no longer trust what she sees, Ivy seeks the help of a boy who thinks her episodes are connected to the sordid history of Darkhaven—but what they don’t know might kill them both.

A moody and twisty gothic mystery with an impossible romance, Dreaming Darkly is an atmospheric, fast-paced page-turner written by comics veteran Caitlin Kittredge.


Rating: 2 Stars
My Review: This sadly is one of those books that starts out strong but just gets boring as it progresses.  Nothing really happened and I just got super bored. 

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-After her mother's suicide, Ivy Bloodgood is sent to live with a strange uncle, whom she previously never knew existed, on a secluded island off the New England coast. Mood is the driving element in this gothic suspense tale as Ivy hears rumors about her family's murderous past and tries to grapple with the mental illness that she is afraid runs in her blood. Readers will struggle along with Ivy as they try to determine what is real and what is in her head after she wakes from a nightmare clutching bloody objects. A long-standing feud between the Bloodgoods and their neighbors also creates a forbidden romance between Ivy and the mysterious boy next door. While some of the secondary characters and school story line are less developed, the tension of Ivy's family story propels this mystery. There are several satisfying twists along the way, and the climax leads to an action-packed showdown. VERDICT This is perfect for teens who want an entertaining dark thriller complete with a complex family curse and illicit love story.-Carrie Shaurette, Dwight-Englewood School, Englewood, NJα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


“A twisty, haunting, and satisfying contemporary gothic that will enthrall readers.” -- Kirkus Reviews

“This checks off all the gothic tropes in terms of setting, character, and plot—except for a fainting, vulnerable heroine. Ivy may be deceived at first, but she’s no shrinking violet or victim; her tenacity in tracking down the truth leads readers through this twisty thriller.” -- Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“With its gothic undertones, sinister backdrop, and shifty cast of characters, it has all the pieces to ensnare thriller fans.” -- ALA Booklist

“Perfect for teens who want an entertaining dark thriller complete with a complex family curse and illicit love story.” -- School Library Journal

About the Author

Caitlin Kittredge has written several comic books and novels for adults and teens. She spends her time in Massachusetts fixing up her 1881 Victorian house, which she shares with several spoiled cats and a vast collection of geeky ephemera. You can follow her on Twitter @caitkitt.

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