Taylor dreams every night of a man named Jackson, a man he knows is destined to be his true love. Taylor is only 13 now, but he is an adult in his dreams with Jackson. And Taylor knows that someday, he and Jackson will be together.
Jackson wakes up on his birthday, only to learn that his mother has died. He meets a man named Taylor and it sparks an instant attraction. Then Jackson wakes up again and realizes it was all a dream. An incredibly lifelike dream. His mother is alive, and Taylor turns out to be the man selling him coffee.
As Jackson finds himself drawn to Taylor, the men end up spending more time together, and Jackson realizes he is falling hard for Taylor. But Jackson is still having incredibly vivid dreams, dreams that often blur the lines between what is happening in reality, and what is in his mind. Taylor seems to understand what Jackson is feeling, but he is also able to accept the realistic dreams more easily than Jackson. Jackson is thrilled that he has found a man like Taylor, a man who seems to be his soulmate. He feels like he has known Taylor forever, but he also can’t but help but wonder whether the true love he has found is reality, or only in his dreams.
Dreams is a lushly romantic story of two men who seemed destined to be soulmates. Taylor and Jackson fall deeply in love in real life, but also have an inexplicable connection in their dreams as well. The dreams are so vivid, Jackson often has trouble figuring out whether he is awake or asleep. But he knows he is drawn so fiercely to Taylor, that the man brings him joy and comfort, and that there is some part of him that feels like he has been waiting for Taylor all his life. Taylor feels the same pull; in fact, he has been dreaming of Jackson since he was a child. So this book has such a lovely romance of two men who are part of each other’s destinies, who have not been fully living until they finally find their way to one another. It is an immediate connection, but one that is so deep due the bond they have always had between them. So if you are looking for super romantic, soulmates, and destiny, you are definitely going to find that here.
One of the key aspects of this story is how off-kilter Jackson feels as the lines blur for him between dreams and reality. Even as he starts to recognize that he is having these vivid dreams, he isn’t always aware he is dreaming, and his dreams sometimes mirror things happening in his waking life. So this story has a sense of keeping things off balance, both for Jackson as our POV character, and for us as readers. In the beginning chapters in particular, I definitely felt that sense of disorientation as I tried to figure out just what was happening. As Jackson starts to learn more about the situation and things become clearer for him, they do for us as well. But while we come to understand generally what is going on, this isn’t a story where things are suddenly explained all neat and tidy. The sense of blurred reality continues throughout the book and that tone really complements the overall story, giving it all a dreamy quality.
I will admit, I am a very logic driven, linear thinker and I am not sure this type of story fully fits my brain. I like answers and tidy resolution, and that is not what this book is about. But even with that, I can really appreciate how Hawthorne captures the tone spot on here and accomplishes exactly what she seems to be attempting in this story. It feels so original, so different from most other books out there, and really grabbed my attention. I loved the sweeping romance of this one and found it an engaging story.