March 30, 2014

Review: Chaysing Dreams (Chaysing #1)

Chaysing Dreams (Chaysing #1) by Jalpa Williby
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: August 9, 2013
Buy Links:

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Book Description:

Life…secrecy, deceit, danger…No, no! Run, escape! 

“Run!” Her inner voice is shouting. She has to run faster! She’s about to get caught! No, no! She has to get away. Please, she must escape! “Run faster!”

As long as Tess Sanoby can remember, she has always had the same nightmares, where the girl in her dreams is running for her life with an unknown force chasing her. Each time, right before the girl is caught, Tess awakens, shaken with fear and confusion. Who is the girl? What do these dreams mean?

Getting through the growing pains of high school with her best friends Jack and Kylie, and then being accepted into her dream college, Tess is excited to start her life of independence. There, she meets the mysterious trainer and mentor, Chris, and she instantly feels a strong connection with him. Unfortunately, Chris wants nothing to do with her. Although Chris continues to give her the cold shoulder, his overprotectiveness and the occasional slips of sensitivity confuse Tess. Not understanding Chris or their relationship, she is on a constant emotional roller coaster with him. Could her best friends be the stable force that she desperately needs? 

Unfortunately for Tess, the more she tries to connect the missing pieces of her life, the more obscure her past and future appear to her. To make matters worse, she realizes she has fallen hard for a man who may be her worst enemy. As passion ignites between the two, she can’t help but surrender her heart and soul to him. 

Tess is unexpectedly exposed to a world of secrecy, deceit, and danger, causing her to be running for her life, chased by the unknown. Can Tess escape and save not only herself, but also her loved ones? Or, will she be caught, leaving her no choice but to face her worst nightmare?

Chaysing Dreams is the ultimate love story, full of suspense, friendship, betrayal, tragedy, and sacrifice. In this epic tale, you will laugh and cry with Tess--a story full of twists and turns, keeping you guessing until the end.

♥ ♥ ♥

"Chaysing Dreams" by Jalpa Williby was a story with a good premise that I really wish I liked more. The writing and idea had a lot of potential, but it took a long time for the story to get moving.

The book is almost 400 pages, but Williby could have told the same story with a lot less. "Chaysing Dreams" could have been a lot shorter since most of it seemed to be filler for me instead of plot points that would actually move the story along.

We first meet our main character, Tess, when she is 15 and by the end of the book, she's graduated college and is in her 20s. That's a lot of time to cover and it could have been condensed. A lot of the scenes seemed like they were just the same thing repeated with slight variations, and could have been cut. There are moments of greatness here, and if the filler was all gone, things would have flowed a lot better.
At first, Tess herself seemed too perfect of a character to be believable at times. She was beautiful, excelled at school without trying, good at sports, and was even able to win at roulette (I mean, who can do that consistently?). Initially, I was rolling my eyes at it, but after a while, I knew that there was going to be an explanation for this phenomenon. While Williby did eventually provide an answer, it should have been explained earlier than it was. Instead of an ‘ah ha!’ moment, it was just kind of dropped on the reader without too much back up or story revolving around it.

Instead, most of the story revolved around Tess's love life. While at college, she meets this guy Chris, who is helping out her track coach and immediately feels drawn to him. Any reader knows that that ‘Immediate Connection’ is going to lead to something, and it does. I wasn't the biggest fan of Chris. He alternates from being emotionally distant to screaming at her when she goes to visit her friend at another college, and it just seemed to border on emotional abuse. I wish there could have been a bit more build up between the two instead of the instant connection that Tess feels so that they'd seem more organic of a couple.

This is the first book in a series, and I can see that. There was a lot of set up that Williby did in order to get the reader all the information they need about Tess and her friends, and about what makes her different. I might wish that some of the middle of the book was cut in order to get to things sooner, but the action did pick up toward the end of the book. Once the setup was there, Williby raised the stakes on the story and was able to get me interested.

It was a slow start, but I'm confident that book two in this series will be better. We no longer need all of the background filler of Tess growing up, so the next book can start right where this one left off (with a bit of a cliffhanger, no less), and continue with the momentum that started towards the end of "Chaysing Dreams.”

♥ ♥ ♥

Author Bio:

Jalpa Williby was born in India and immigrated to the United States at the tender age of eight. A voracious reader, Williby’s adolescence was marked by a promising academic career. After graduating with a Bachelors of Science from the University of Illinois, Williby went on to earn Masters in Physical Therapy from Northwestern University.

Her passion for helping her patients led her to a specialty in neuroscience, focusing on children and adults with neurological impairments. Juggling her time as a wife, a mother, and working full-time, her love for books never subsided. Williby introduces her debut novel, Chaysing Dreams, as she writes with her heart and soul, her passion flowing through every page.

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