Jun 19, 2021

Review--Dreaming Darkly by Caitlin Kittredge


Ivy Bloodgood’s mother is dead, and she should probably be sad about it. But she isn’t. Myra Bloodgood was confusing mix of protective and abusive, a manipulative personality who never told the truth—about where she came from, who Ivy’s father was, or why they were living their lives on the run.

Now that Ivy has been sent to Darkhaven, an island off the New England coast, to live with a rich uncle she didn’t know existed, she is forced to reckon with her mother’s past. Ivy can tell right away there are long-held family secrets buried within these walls, but when she wakes up from one of her nightmares covered in someone else’s blood, Ivy fears that whatever demons her mother battled while she was alive have come to roost in her own mind. Scared that she can no longer trust what she sees, Ivy seeks the help of a boy who thinks her episodes are connected to the sordid history of Darkhaven—but what they don’t know might kill them both.

A moody and twisty gothic mystery with an impossible romance, Dreaming Darkly is an atmospheric, fast-paced page-turner written by comics veteran Caitlin Kittredge.


I went into Caitlin Kittredge's Dreaming Darkly thinking I was going to get a YA vampire novel, so imagine my surprise when there was not a single vampire to be found! Lol. I'm not sure where I got the idea that this one had vampires in it but despite the lack, I found myself deeply riveted with the story!

Ivy has not had a good life. Her mother wasn't a good parent, she tried to kill Ivy when she was a child, so when her mother dies, Ivy isn't exactly heartbroken. Though she is being forced to move across the country to live with an uncle she didn't know existed until a lawyer told her son. It's okay though, she has just over a year until she's eighteen and then she plans on moving as far away from the little island of Darkhaven as she can get.

Ivy walks into quite a predicament when she comes to the tiny island called Darkhaven. Two families live on it, the Bloodgoods and the Ramseys. And they are natural born enemies. You don't cross property lines and you certainly don't fraternize with the other as well. So, naturally, Ivy finds herself drawn to Doyle, the charming teenage son of Liam Ramsey.

Strange things are happening in Ivy's new home. She finds herself having terrible nightmares and she's waking up in places other than where she fell asleep. Then Ivy has a nightmare involving a dead man...and the next day that man is mysteriously missing. But the weirdness is far from over, it's only just beginning. Soon Ivy is trying to uncover the mystery behind the family she never knew she had. The one her mother ran away from before Ivy was even born.

I'll admit that even though I was mislead in my belief that this was a vampire story, the creepy mystery held me riveted! This was most definitely what you call a page-turner! There was so much strangeness, so much oddity that you just had to solve the mystery for yourself. Whether it's an ancient family curse or a hereditary trend of insanity in the family, trying to uncover the truths from the lies will be fete in and of itself!

I was quick to catch onto certain things, of course, the reasons behind all these events was still a mystery yet to be solved. And while the reveal of the big why felt a little mundane after so much build-up, I still enjoyed the journey it took to get there. And minus a crook claiming he could've gotten away with it if it weren't for those meddling kids, I felt like the ending was a little a'la Scooby Doo! Which you all know how much I love that dog and show, it didn't really bother me one bit.

As far as romance goes, I can say that it was hardly there. Yes, there was the general flirting coupled with some teenage angst and drama but it had a cutesy sorta The Breakfast Club feel to it where the unlikely characters become the best of friends...or the fact that they really become friends and don't care what the other students think.

Dreaming Darkly was a surprising read, I will give you that! The title is very telling since Ivy is riddled with waking nightmares and can't tell dream from reality. This is a book that will have you second guessing yourself to the very end! It was a spine-gripping read that I devoured in nearly one sitting--real life tends to prevent the one-day reads nowadays but this is definitely a story to devour in one sitting!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars

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