" This was an oddly fast read for me. I just finished up a book by Jodi Picoult, and I was looking around on my shelf for what to read next. I have three books way overdue from the library, and this happened to be one of them. It being a small read, is what made me decide to pick it up. Figured it wouldn't take too long to get through, and man was I right! This author is the same one that created the Immortal Series. The Riley Bloom series is a spin off, starring the sister of the Immortal's main character, Ever. This is the 3rd book in the series and I read the other two when they came out. I didn't have the money to buy this one when it came out and I actually forgot about it. There is already for a 4th book in the series out and probably one coming up very soon. I was at the library and saw this book and remembered I had the read the first two, so I grabbed it. It is a middle school read with a 12 year old main character, and I usually like to read books a bit more mature (I like reading about relationships/love stories progressing, etc.) However this series is fun and light and I've always enjoyed them. This one is my favorite so far. Riley Bloom is a 12 year old dead girl. Killed in a car crash that took out her whole family except for her sister. She is stuck in a place called "Here & Now" where she can manifest whatever she wishes. When she first arrived there she was put to work as a Soul Catcher, which is where she goes back to the Earth plane to help other souls who are lingering, pass the bridge and into Summerland/Here & Now. What Riley wants more than anything though is to be 13. Since she was killed in the crash at age 12, she is forever doomed to never become a teenager, an age just out of her reach. In all of the books she made it very clear she hates her flat chest and immaturity level that seems to keep her so young. After her last Soul Catch (in book 2) the "Council" decides to give her and her older brother-type guard, Bhodi, a break. So he goes off to do his "cooler older kid" thing and she finds her way to Dreamland, with an attempt at getting to visit her sister Ever in her dreams to ask her how to -be- 13. She is then thrown into this coaching by some "awesome-in another life" director who teachers her how to dream jump. But when Dreamland closes she doesn't want to leave yet, having not jumped yet. So she stays there and meets a eerie boy a little older than her who does dream-weaving which has been outlawed. It is where he shoots nightmares at people to show them how careless they are on Earth. Turns out in his previous life he had parents who didn't let him do anything and the one time he sneaks away from them he is in a horrible carnival accident and dies and has never let himself live it down (ha, pun.) I expected Riley to be able to help Satchel cross over and stop torturing the living but that didn't happen in this book, maybe the next. Time wise it seemed like it was only a day before they got put on a new assignment. What kind of break is that? Although they say that "Here & Now" has no time, me being alive and mortal and what not, it seems to me that the whole book took place in one night, during after hours of Dreamland. I am a bit curious at to what happened to "Mort" who is the older guy who helped her find her way to Dreamland. When everyone was leaving when it closed, she ditched her dog Buttercup and Mort to get back in...but at the end of the book Buttercup reappears but not Mort. Hmm. All in all it was a cute read. "
— Ashlee, 1/1/2014