Friday, May 13, 2011

Dreamland Social Club by Tara Altebrando

Jane is used to moving around. Her father designs roller coasters and the family has moved many times to places where her father's work took them. This time it is to Coney Island, New York, the place where her mother grew up. Jane is both excited and nervous to learn more about her mother, who died when Jane was only six. But Jane ends up learning a lot more than that. With the help of new found friends, Jane will learn things about people she never dreamed she would meet, see things she never thought she would see, and will even fall in love.

This book was AWESOME. I wanted to sit and soak up all of the Coney Island history, stories, and lore. I wanted to Google references as soon as I read about them. I loved all of the Coney Island history that is woven so tightly into the story. The atmosphere was rich with the salty sea air and sights and sounds Coney Island brings to it's visitors. Jane was a well-fleshed out character and a perfect choice to narrate the reader through the happenings of her experiences. The Tattooed Boy is totally romantic, and Jane's small friend Babette is honest and cute. There are a ton of "freaks" and "carnies" in this book, and Tara Altebrando is sensitive with her material while being unapologetic at the same time. I imagine many readers will want to visit the actual Coney Island after reading about the Dreamland Social Club. I have not read Tara's other two books, but I am interested in picking them up after reading this one, for sure!

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

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