Monday, April 4, 2011

Dream Smashers by Angela Carlie + Interview

Published: April 4, 2011 by DarkSide Publishing
Received: ebook from author for review
Sixteen-year-old Autumn has spent her entire life worrying about others. Her ailing grandma, meth-addicted mother, and a best friend who's always in trouble. She's spent the last few years attempted to worry less, to be carefree, without success.

Enter Evan, whose radiant attitude is an Autumn magnet. With Evan at her side, Autumn's able to let some of her worries go as they trudge through life's difficulties and fall for each other in the process.

Dream Smashers is a coming of age story about a girl who not longer wants to care and a boy who cares enough for the both of them. It's a love story, but mostly, it's about rising above the dream smashers of the world. {taken from}

Autumn Spring Winters was given this outlandish name by the mother who abandoned her & chose drugs & alcohol, instead of her own flesh & blood.  Imagine a teenage girl who only knows her mother by the wretched ghost who floats in & out of her life, only when she needs money for drugs.  Autumn was handed over to her grandmother at a young age & was given a second chance to be brought up in a "normal" household.  Autumn's life is anything, but normal.  Her disinterest in school is shared with her best friend Rainy, who is ironically a ray of sunshine in Autumn's dark depressing life.  The two of them spend countless hours together avoiding the world around them, in which they see filled with drug addicts - particularly meth-users.  Autumn knows it's a nightmare that her mother lives in & she never wants to be a part of it, thus vowing to never smoke or snort the paralyzing demon.

With the feeling of hopelessness & never finding a way out of her mother's constant re-occurrences,  Autumn meets Evan.  The two are set up on a blind date by Autumn's friend Rainy and immediately Autumn is taken back by Evan's beauty.  He holds a special air of quality around him that screams purity & honesty.  She is drawn to his likableness & his need to always make those around him feel special & wanted.  All the qualities that Autumn has never received from anyone are now being projected on to her by Evan.  Instantly the two connect & Autumn finds herself immersed in Evan's world.  She is able to forget the nightmares of her drug-addict mother & concentrate on the happiness that fills her heart every time she looks in to Evan's crystal clear blue eyes.

Autumn soon realizes that dream smashers exist; people or events that take away your own true happiness.  A rule she should have remembered, considering the world she's been brought up in.  In a series of events, Autumn's mother attempts to get clean, but only after she hits rock bottom.  The struggles that Autumn must face when her own mother, the same woman who abandoned her, reaches out for forgiveness becomes alarmingly unbearable.  The hateful words that her mother spat at her with such venom are irreversible.  Autumn must make a choice.  Rise above this disease that has infected her life for so long, or succumb to it & live in this misery that her mother has created for herself.

Angela Carlie's writing is brilliant.  I was in awe at the beautifully scripted words from page to page.  This book was definitely an emotional read for me.  How could it not be?  Immediately my heart hurt for Autumn at the unfortunate position that she had been placed in.  No child ever deserves a mother like that.  But it was the actions through Evan that really touched me.  He saw Autumn for who she was, not for what she came from & accepted her - broken and all.  This story touched on some pretty heavy topics, such as drug addiction.  The story depicted is not for the weak at heart.  Angela Carlie was able to describe each scene in such detail that I felt myself witnessing these actions as they were carried out.  Due to explicit language & drugs I would recommend this book to a more mature reader; however, the message behind this story is appropriate for teens & one that I feel anyone could benefit from.

Author Interview with Angela Carlie

With this being your first published book, when did the concept to write this novel come about?

I felt a pull to write this book about eighteen months ago. There aren't many novels on the market today dealing with meth use. I find this odd because methamphetamine use has become such a problem. The statistics are staggering. The handful of novels out there tend to make the addict the character the reader sympathizes with. But what about the mothers and fathers of the addict? What about the children of the addict? What about the grandparents?

I wanted to write a novel for the other victims of meth. The people who don't have a choice as to whether or not meth is in their life. A novel for the children, young or old, who think they don't have a say in the matter.

I usually write YA urban fantasy, so this book is extremely different from the norm for me. It was difficult in many ways because someone whom I used to be close to in my family has been an addict for over twenty years. In a way, writing this novel was a bit therapeutic for me, too.

There is a strong presence of drug abuse in this book. How do you feel teenagers will react to it? What is something you want them to take away from it?

I want teens to see what addiction looks like from the point of view of loved ones. I want them to see that drug abuse is as selfish as suicide. It's ugly, it's dirty, it not only kills the addict, but every single person in the family.

Most of all, I want teens to know that if they have an addict in their life, that sometimes all they can do is let go. It's okay to let go.

Are any of the characters in Dream Smashers based on people you know?

These characters are you, me, that person over there, him, her. They're an eclectic mix of everyone and anyone I've ever met or seen. Any writer who says the characters they come up with don't have a single trait from someone they know is probably lying. Serious. We write what we know, as the saying goes. The characters aren't exactly people I know in real life, but I do steal certain traits from what I've come to know of people in general and mixed them in a blender on high to create the smoothie they are now. Yum.

Do you have any fun quirks while writing? Any habits that must be kept to sustain the creative juices flowing?

Not really. I know, how boring.

I do, at times, wear ear buds (or whatever they're called) with music setting the scene. I can't just have music playing in the room, I must have the ear thingies on. Other times, though, music irritates me. My dog's farts irritate me. The cat meowing and trying to get on my lap irritates me. Noise in general sometimes irritate me. So, I really don't get much writing done at one sitting most of the time.

Oh, and I must always have a window to look out of while writing. I'm not sure why, though.

Which book has left the biggest impression on you?

When I was 18, I was Anne Rice's biggest fan. She was the only author I would read until I was in my early twenties. I owned every book she had written then and read many of them over and over. The Vampire Chronicles. The Mayfair Witches. Oh, I loved them.

Since then, I've read a bunch of authors (of course). No one has really left a life altering impression until recently. There's this one really cool author. His recent novel literally gave me the confidence to keep Dream Smashers true to the characters and the story.

See, I was beginning to freak out about the gritty realness of the story and even went through and deleted every single word I thought would put Dream Smashers on any hate mail list. I pretty much deleted half the novel. It wasn't real anymore. It made me sad and I felt like I was betraying the people I wanted this story to reach.

The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith stays true to the characters and the story. It's real. It's one of the best books I've read. Andrew Smith blogs, like, every day or something. He's a genius. He even runs! How cool is that? Very.

Thank you, again, for interviewing me for your blog. I hope I haven't bored your readers and that they come join the fun over on my blog ( to celebrate the release of Dream Smashers this week (April 4th - 10th). I'm going to give away some things in hopes people will help me promote the novel. I'm not much of a marketeer (I love that word. It reminds me of Mickey Mouse ears) of my own work and would love to have people help get the word out.

Peace out for now!

Thank you so much to Angela for not only gifting me with a copy of her book to read, but also for taking the time to answer some of my questions.  I hope you all will visit her website this week & give her some book lovin's!  She is a very gifted writer & I wish nothing but success in her future as an author :-)



  1. Ooh I want to read this! I have too many books to review. XD

  2. First I've heard of this book. Great interview and review. It's on my list...


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