Crack addicted mothers, abusive fathers, and cheating boyfriends are paired with money, recognition, and fame in Tonish Jones’s debut novel Daydreams (2008). Daydre Collins would have ended up in foster care if it was not for one loving grandmother. Fortunately, she has managed to go off to Berkley College of Music in Boston and major in music engineering. When she first enters her dorm, she meets the beautiful and stylish Monica who immediately embracers her and becomes a lifelong friend. Daydre supports herself by working on campus and anonymously writing songs for major recording artists. Upon graduation, Daydre works as a receptionist at a record label where she continues to secretly write songs. The story takes many twists as Daydre enters the dating world, makes new friends, and her true identity is revealed.
I first picked up Daydreams because it was described as an “urban Cinderella story” and I quickly found myself unable to put it down. There are not any slow parts that drag the reader on. In fact, some of the plot seems a bit too rushed. An example of this is when Daydre first sings on an album. First, Daydre is recording in the studio. This is immediately followed by an interrogation and her secret being let out. All of this literally happens within sentences. It’s not necessarily a bad thing; I just wanted a little more time with Jones’s characters. This short 76 page novel could be easily pulled out to a 300+ page book. Another small complaint I had with the novel were the rote character descriptions. Almost all characters are introduced with a height measurement and skin color. However, the actual characters are well developed. It’s easy to get attached and start loving her characters (or hating a few of them).
I would strongly recommend this book. Daydreams is very inspiring tale for young women trying to make a name for themselves. It shows that no matter how negative things may seem right now, we can attain our goals and dreams through hard work. While some of the subject matter is somewhat provocative, Jones does not resort to meaningless profanity on each page. Overall, Daydreams is a great and fast read. I hope Tonisha Jones goes on to write more novels.
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I received a complimentary copy of Daydreams as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team. Visit dorrancebookstore.com to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team.