Books · Review · Young Adult

Book Review: Can Dreams Come True? by Krysten Lindsay Hager

The weather is finally looking up and, with the sunshine, I want everything in my life to be lighter. That calls for some more easy-reading books! If you feel the same, I have a recommendation for you.

Can Dreams Come True? by Krysten Lindsay Hager is a YA story about Cecily, a teenage girl who has had a crush on singer Andrew Holiday for as long as she can remember. Cecily wants to become an actress so tags along with a friend to an audition for Andrew’s next music video. Cecily gets a part and soon her life begins to change. Enter a jealous boyfriend, envious friends and a pop star who understands her better than anybody else.

As mentioned, this is an easy-to-read book. It is also one filled with the usual teenage dramas of friends and relationships (minus the handsome pop star, for most of us) and the characters are rather one-dimensional. Due to these facts, I believe this is one YA book that is suited more to a younger age than my thirty. I think young adults will enjoy the buzz Cecily feels in meeting her idol and will connect more with her deep emotion in realising her first real relationship (with boyfriend Zach) is failing. I no longer feel I can connect in these areas so the story was lacking the emotion I needed. Saying that, I did find myself rooting for Cecily because, as an introvert who is unsure of herself, I was glad to see her get a break.

However, there was a deep side to this book that intrigued me. First was the element of music and its importance during the teenage years. At first, I found the conversations between Cecily and her friends about Andrew slightly cringe. Then, I remembered how important music and various bands were to me growing up and I began to appreciate this storyline a bit more. Even today, like Cecily, there are certain song lyrics that help me get through bad times, that help me feel understood, and I think this is an important thing for people of all ages to have.

Then, we have Cecily’s relationships with Zach and Andrew. Again, this could be to do with my age but I found neither any way romantic. Instead, I found both boys to be somewhat emotionally manipulative: Zach was very jealous and did what he wanted all the time but played massive guilt trips on Cecily, while Andrew was almost forcing her out of one relationship into another. I’m not sure if this was meant to be an underlying theme but it is what came across for me. So, I didn’t really get the romance element of Can Dreams Come True? but I got a story that intrigued me.

Overall, I felt that I was a bit too old for this book. However, I can definitely see a younger audience enjoy it as the root for Cecily, swoon over Andrew and feel more encouraged to go out there and realise their own dreams.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Can Dreams Come True? by Krysten Lindsay Hager

8 thoughts on “Book Review: Can Dreams Come True? by Krysten Lindsay Hager

  1. Thank you for posting this review! I want to highlight this part of it in particular: “I found both boys to be somewhat emotionally manipulative: Zach was very jealous and did what he wanted all the time but played massive guilt trips on Cecily, while Andrew was almost forcing her out of one relationship into another. I’m not sure if this was meant to be an underlying theme but it is what came across for me.”
    I find that this is, unfortunately, a common theme in YA aimed at young girls: emotionally manipulative behaviour from their male love interests, which is more often than not justified, brushed over and romanticised on the grounds that the boys involved are Nice Guys™. The topic of the Nice Guy™ trope in YA literature is one I could rant about all day, to be perfectly honest … but I think it absolutely should be called out whenever it is seen.
    As a 27-year-old woman with a bit of life experience behind me, I can spot that trope so easily now, but as a young teenager, I would never have been able to do it. I would absolutely have bought into the idea that any dubious behaviour displayed by a Nice Guy™ was excusable on the grounds that it “proved how much they cared” or some other such nonsense like that. 😉

    1. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. You are absolutely right in what you say! My last review before this, “An Authentic Experience”, I think you would enjoy the female teen lead a lot more.

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