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Dream On


Dream On

I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading Angie Hockman’s debut, SHIPPED, though I definitely made note of how many people included it on their list of last year’s best rom-coms. So I was eager to pick up her second novel to see what all the fuss is about --- and I’m so glad I did.

DREAM ON opens with a prologue that feels very disorienting, as protagonist Cass Walker emerges from a dream starring her incredibly hot, kind and thoughtful boyfriend, Devin. She discovers not only that she has been in a coma for a week following her car accident, but that Devin, by all accounts, does not exist. Even though (once she’s healed) Cass is able to make incredibly detailed drawings of Devin’s face and recall very specific details of his personal history, no one in her family or friend group recalls her mentioning him before her accident, nor is his contact info stored anywhere on her phone. And if Google is to be believed, he’s nowhere to be found online either.

"In DREAM ON, Hockman demonstrates skill in writing about women’s professional aspirations and the conflicts that can arise in professional settings."

Fast forward a year later. Cass, who passed the bar exam just before her accident, is finally starting work at the most prestigious law firm in Cleveland. Granted, she has been downgraded to a summer associate rather than the guaranteed job offer she had received before her injuries. Now she has to earn her way back into that job offer, which will be made much more difficult by the short-term memory challenges she has experienced since her accident.

But after surviving her first day on the job, Cass decides to treat herself to a bouquet of flowers. And who should she meet working at the super-cute florist near her office? None other than Devin, the literal man of her dreams. And his super-protective brother Perry, who is convinced that she is either crazy or a stalker. He wants to shield Devin, who has just gotten over a bad breakup, from further romantic peril. But Devin has no such misgivings and seems eager to help Cass get to the bottom of their mysterious connection. They really hit it off on their first date. Could all of Cass’ dreams be coming true? Or does fate have other plans?

In DREAM ON, Hockman demonstrates skill in writing about women’s professional aspirations and the conflicts that can arise in professional settings. Here, Cass’ gradual realization about the kind of professional future she does (and doesn’t) want is as key to her overall story as the romance plot is. And the latter is satisfying while being just surprising enough to keep audiences delighted throughout, even if savvy readers will guess some of the plot twists before they’re revealed.

It’s also worth mentioning that Cass’ story is set in Cleveland, which in some ways becomes a key member of the excellent cast of characters who support Cass in her quest for answers --- and a happily-ever-after.

Reviewed by Norah Piehl on July 8, 2022

Dream On
by Angie Hockman