Title: Trial by Dreams
Author: Jolene Buchheit
Series: The Charmed Trials
Genre: YA Greek-Inspired Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Elephantine Publishing
Julia and Vander thought their trial was over. But Demeter has only just begun wreaking havoc on their lives.
Julia finally accepted that her boyfriend is the son of a Siren and her family isn’t as normal as she once thought. But when she accidentally unlocks a power she didn’t know she had, her world dissolves into chaos once more. Now she is forced to uncover the truth about who she truly is, in order to triumph over their most important quest yet.
For Vander, the stakes have been raised as he seeks what was taken from him, torn between his need to protect Julia from Demeter and his focus on their second trial. What starts as a twisted journey across Iowa dissolves into recurring dreams that foreshadow a dark fate should they fail to work together.
As the fear of failure builds and time ticks away, Julia and Vander must learn to trust their instincts – and one another – before their reality spins into a nightmare that rips them apart.
Book 2 in the Charmed Trials Series.
About the Author
As a substitute teacher, Jolene spends her days in high school classrooms harvesting material for her Young Adult novels. She also uses it as an outlet for fangirling by showing upcoming book-to-movie trailers at the end of class, or discussing vital issues like whether Katniss should have picked Gale or Peeta.
She is committed to helping Special Education teenagers become independent adults and helping them find a way to focus on the positive especially when life gets hard. At home, Jolene loves to cuddle with her husband, two kids, and three cats—sometimes all at once—while reading Young Adult books or repeatedly watching movies based on them.
Find Jolene online at:
Amazon Author Page US: http://www.amazon.com/Jolene-Buchheit/e/B00WZ6MUTG/
Amazon Author Page UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jolene-Buchheit/e/B00WZ6MUTG/
“I’m selfish, Julia. If anyone understands the power of the mind to convince you things are real when they aren’t, it’s me.”
Ominous clouds fill his eyes before he looks down at his hands. For the first time, it dawns on me how little he has used his charm on this mission. It makes me feel ashamed for giving him such a hard time for all of the charming he has done in the past.
“I never thought about how my ability could affect others, until you asked me about it. I was just doing whatever was easiest for me, and hoping my skills would help me survive. But now I realize it isn’t my charms that I need, it’s you. You are what keeps me focused, and honestly, you are the only one who has challenged me to become a better person.”
I’ve been challenging him? It seems like being a part of his life has brought me through such amazing journeys that I’ve had no choice but to grow.
He takes a shaky breath and continues, “You’re the light in the darkness of my life, giving me something to cling to. When you get anxious, it is like my beacon of light becomes a mere candle flickering in the breeze, threatening to go out. Because of my own need for brightness, I reach out to stoke it back into a roaring flame.” He nudges my shoulder and winks. “And, boy, how it makes me happy when you roar.”
Memories of all the smartass things I’ve said to him in the past week make the corner of my mouth turn up. He uses his next words to steal my breath.
“I’m desperate to protect and save you from your anxieties, because I need you to protect and save me.”
Maintaining eye contact becomes difficult when my vision gets blurry. The tears in my eyes are different than the usual ones that fall. They aren’t carrying any sadness, just comfort and joy, like a Christmas carol has come to life on my face. I try to swipe them away with the back of my hand, but Vander stops me.
“Tears are powerful things. Sometimes they heal, not exactly like my mom’s do, but they have the power to make you feel better. Other times they help you celebrate when your happiness can’t be contained. And for me, they offer even more support, because water multiplies my powers, but tears impact them exponentially more, especially if they aren’t sadness tears.”
After my hands fall back into my lap, he reaches in his back pocket and takes out the flat vial that once held his mother’s tear he used to heal my ankle. Uncapping it, he holds it under my eye and collects the moisture from one side and then the other. Even though I’m not thrilled about crying, I wouldn’t trade this moment for anything.
I clear my throat. “What power do you think my tears hold? I don’t even know how to use the power I know about.”
He replaces the cap and puts the vial back in his wallet. “If they are anything like the mighty hold you have on my heart, I believe they could heal the world of all its problems.”
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Is it possible to fall in love with the ending of a book? That’s exactly what happened to me reading Jolene Buchheit’s Trial by Dreams. This is not to say that I didn’t enjoy the entire book, but it was something about the final chapters I found powerful. So much went into them—explanation of Julia’s panic attacks, Vander delivering quotes admirable of some of the best book boyfriends, and a question that will boggle your mind.
My new favorite character in this series has to be Taylor. She went from flighty teenager in Trial by Charms to the strong voice of reason. That’s a good thing as the trials for Vander and Julia get more complicated and riskier.
Julia lost fave status with me in this installment. I found her to be a little too fragile. Thank you Buchheit for explaining her delicate nature. It made sense.
I definitely enjoyed the mythology lessons in Trial by Dreams. Mythology was one of my favorite classes back in college. Buchheit did a good job of taxing my brain, however, as I tried to recount the names mentioned (I’ll leave it up to you to determine which ones are real and which ones aren’t).
Buchheit, always the educator, give readers an English lesson with an explanation of homophones.
I must say Buchheit is in an enviable situation. Her regular 9 to 5 gives her the ability to tap into the emotions and mannerisms of teens. It comes across strongly in her writing—an obsession with how many likes a picture on Instagram gets as if it’s a competition. Priceless.
I highly recommend Trial by Dreams. I can’t wait for the next book.
Rating: (5 Hands=Excellent, 4 Hands=Pretty Good, 3 Hands=Good)
Have you read Trial by Charms?
Seventeen-year-old Julia Wright doesn’t understand her friends’ obsession with boys. She proudly maintains her composure no matter who is in her presence – though some annoying and rude boys still manage to grate her last nerve. Then she is blackmailed into being the manager of the men’s swim team, and finds herself face to face with the worst of them all.
Team Captain Vander Thelxinoe is the typical self-assured jock. He has the ability to change people’s minds at will, only his charms don’t work on Julia. Now he’s anxious to figure out why, and the closer he tries to get, the more desperate she is to stay away – especially when he somehow awakens a side of her she never knew existed.
Their unexpected friendship puts Julia in the middle of a quest she doesn’t quite understand. As her familiar world begins to unravel around her, Julia must partner with the one person who knows how to push her buttons – and, in doing so, discovers the unbelievable truth about who she really is.
Can Julia and Vander survive the trial set before them, or will they face the extreme consequences of failure?