In Your Dreams (A Blue Heron novel)
By: Kristan Higgins
Published date: Sept 30, 2014
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
How hot is it: Totally tame.
Hero: Jack Holland
Heroine: Emmaline Neal
I’ve had this book checked out from the library since November, but I just found it under a pile of papers over the weekend, and as far as finding stuff under a pile of other stuff goes, it was pretty good. I think I’ve made it pretty clear that it’s been a pleasure discovering Kristan Higgan’s body of work, and this book was probably my favorite yet.
In Your Dreams takes us back to Manningsport, New York, which automatically makes me think of sitting by the fire in the snow wearing flannel pajamas or running through a big pile of leaves to get to a lovely steaming mug of apple cider. And not to be too on the nose, but that’s also what reading this book felt like. Jack and Emmaline are just lovely people doing lovely things. Jack is experiencing panic attacks as part of PTSD following his rescue of four kids who crashed into a semi-frozen pond. He worries that he was too late to save them as one is still fighting for his life in the hospital. Emmaline had her heart broken by the man she’d dated since 8th grade, and has struggled to people since then. When Jack and Emmaline go to Emmaline’s ex’s wedding, they fake like they’re in a relationship, and the expected hijinks kind of ensue.
If I had to make one small criticism, it would be that there was a lot of back-story for both characters, and while I thought it was necessary, interesting, and certainly added to the story, I also wanted more of their story together. I felt like the parts when they were actually interacting with each other were few, and I found myself skipping through some of the parts about Emmaline and her ex in the past. And the appearance of Jack’s ex was downright irritating, and ended up being kind of insulting to Southern people, which I guess isn’t a thing unless you live there and then it becomes tiring to see Southern people always portrayed as beautiful women who aren’t good for much outside of looking pretty and making a home. Regardless, it was a good foil for Emmaline, who is a badass who can take care of herself.
Along with peppering the novel with clever, fun, and charming dialogue, Higgins is a master at creating contemporary characters who are both relatable, yet still individual and interesting. You’re not going to find tired stereotypes here because her characters connect and change, have thoughts that make sense, and are caught up in organically occurring conflicts.. The result is a richly satisfying love story you can really sink your teeth into. I still need to catch up on the rest of the Blue Heron Series, and I’m looking forward to it.