Book Review: Where Dreams Descend

can we just talk about how absolutely gorgeous this cover is please??? I’m in love

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not in any way affect my opinions.

There’s good writing.

And then there’s great writing.

And then there’s writing that leaves you completely and utterly in awe, absolutely filled with jealousy because you want to be able to write like that.

And then somewhere on a level way above any of that, there’s Janella Angeles’s writing

This book was . . . unlike anything I’ve ever read before, and I don’t even know how to coherently talk about it. It was . . . a literal masterpiece.

I honestly didn’t have much in the way of expectations going into this. I thought it would be fun, sure (I’m always a sucker for books about performance), but nothing more. I could not have been more wrong. Every single second of this book took my breath away. There are so many things to love about this book, and I honestly don’t see a single flaw.

First and foremost I want to talk about the writing. The writing absolutely stole the show for me. I am not kidding when I say that this book has some of the most beautiful writing I have ever read. I don’t think I’m allowed to share quotes, because I read an arc, but like . . . wow. I could tell from the very first page that Janella Angeles is an incredibly talented writer, and it just became more apparent with every page. I genuinely think this is some of my favourite writing I have read like . . . ever. Up there with Strange the Dreamer, The Sound of Stars and . . . not much else. I spent every single second of this book in complete and total awe.

Secondly, although perhaps this ties into the writing as well, is the world. I’m not sure I would say the world building was particularly complex or revolutionary, but the atmosphere of it completely blew me away. I felt like I was there. I could see it all, clear as day, and if you know me you know that’s not an easy task for me—no matter how good the world building is, I can rarely fully visualize it the way I could with this book. The writing simply transports you into this world, and makes you feel as if the stakes are as high for you as they are for the characters. The atmosphere was so good and I just jfghdkhjghfhjghf I don’t have coherent words.

And of course the characters. I absolutely loved the characters in this. They truly felt like living breathing humans.

Kallia is one of the most interesting main characters I have read in a long time. She’s so complex, and her character arc is so so amazing (and I’m really excited to see where it goes). I really appreciate how she seems like your very typical “hot lady villain”, except she’s . . . not. She gets to be the hero of the story, and instead of descending into evil (as fun as those stories are) she grows to realize just how much she cares about other people, after having been alone for so long. I truly think that was the most satisfying arc. Also she’s a badass and could step on me and I’d say thank you 

Daron was also such a fascinating character! While I certainly don’t love him as much as I did Kallia, he had so much depth, and I ended up loving him a lot more than I thought. He’s so sweet, and yet also determined and occasionally obnoxious, but he just . . . cares so much.

And of course Aaros! He was so silly and sweet, my BOY. And Canary! And omg I just loved this cast of characters so much!!

Also the romance was genuinely really good. I didn’t like super strongly ship it or anything, but it put a smile on my face, and more than that it felt . . . really healthy? This romance didn’t have the typical angst and drama that I’ve become used to in YA, and although there was certainly a lack of communication, I felt like they at least were open about the fact that they were keeping secrets. I really appreciated that about it. Also it was just cute

The feminist themes in this book were also so strong. I absolutely adored the way it addressed the way girls are so often overlooked by society, or else they’re being blamed for problems simply for being the easiest scapegoat.

Basically: read this book y’all. It’s just utterly incredible, and you should absolutely check it out when it releases this Tuesday! I am truly in awe of it, and I cannot recommend it enough.

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