Book Review: Dreamland by Nicholas Sparks

Posted September 19, 2022 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger / 43 Comments

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

by Nicholas Sparks
Publication Date September 20, 2022
Published by Random House Publishing Group
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Genres: Fiction / Family Life / General, Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Fiction / Women
Pages: 384
Format: ARC

***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Wish comes a poignant love story about risking everything for a dream—and whether it’s possible to leave the past behind.
Colby Mills once felt destined for a musical career, until tragedy grounded his aspirations. Now the head of a small family farm in North Carolina, he spontaneously takes a gig playing at a bar in St. Pete Beach, Florida, seeking a rare break from his duties at home.
But when he meets Morgan Lee, his world is turned upside-down, making him wonder if the responsibilities he has shouldered need dictate his life forever. The daughter of affluent Chicago doctors, Morgan has graduated from a prestigious college music program with the ambition to move to Nashville and become a star. Romantically and musically, she and Colby complete each other in a way that neither has ever known.
While they are falling headlong in love, Beverly is on a heart-pounding journey of another kind. Fleeing an abusive husband with her six-year-old son, she is trying to piece together a life for them in a small town far off the beaten track. With money running out and danger seemingly around every corner, she makes a desperate decision that will rewrite everything she knows to be true.
In the course of a single unforgettable week, two young people will navigate the exhilarating heights and heartbreak of first love. Hundreds of miles away, Beverly will put her love for her young son to the test. And fate will draw all three people together in a web of life-altering connections . . . forcing each to wonder whether the dream of a better life can ever survive the weight of the past.

Dreamland by Nicholas Sparks is a very emotional story of a farmer who enjoys music, an aspiring singer, and a woman escaping an abusive marriage with her young son.  Nicholas Sparks writes very emotional books, and Dreamland was no exception.  

Colby Mills is a farmer in North Carolina, who used to think he could have a career in music.  He was raised by his aunt and uncle along with his sister after their parents died suddenly.  When his uncle died suddenly of a heart attack, Colby knew he had to stay home and help his aunt run the family farm, and his music dreams were put aside.  After many years of running the farm, he managed to make it much more profitable, and he decided to take a three-week break, singing in a bar at St. Pete beach in Florida.   

In Florida, Colby meets Morgan Lee, and recent college graduate, spending time on the beach with her friends before they start their real life.  Colby and Morgan fall in love really hard and really fast.  But, Morgan wants to pursue a singing career in Nashville, and Colby has responsibilities back in North Carolina.  

While Colby and Morgan are falling in love, Beverly is on the run with her six-year-old son, from an abusive marriage.  Fearing for her life, and her son’s life, she makes sure she is able to escape without a trace.  She wonders if she can ever completely escape the clutches of such a controlling man.  

First, I loved Colby.  He’s a decent man at heart, who only wants a simple life, and doesn’t believe he deserves the love of such a pretty young woman.  Morgan is just what Colby needs.  She supports and loves Colby just the way he is, and wants him by her side as she pursues a music career.  She’s young, and her questions and some of her decisions are that of a younger character, but I thought that was a realistic portrayal.  

Beverly’s story was so intense and I was on the edge of my seat when I was reading her parts.  I was rooting for her and her son, so much.  And that’s all I’m going to say about her story.  

I highly recommend Dreamland to anyone who enjoys emotional stories.  I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About Nicholas Sparks

Nicholas Sparks is one of the world’s most beloved storytellers. All of his books have been New York Times bestsellers, with over 105 million copies sold worldwide, in more than 50 languages, including over 75 million copies in the United States alone.

Sparks wrote one of his best-known stories, The Notebook, over a period of six months at age 28. It was published in 1996 and he followed with the novels Message in a Bottle (1998), A Walk to Remember (1999), The Rescue (2000), A Bend in the Road (2001), Nights in Rodanthe (2002), The Guardian (2003), The Wedding (2003), True Believer (2005) and its sequel, At First Sight (2005), Dear John (2006), The Choice (2007), The Lucky One (2008), The Last Song (2009), Safe Haven (2010), The Best of Me (2011), The Longest Ride (2013), See Me (2015), Two by Two (2016), Every Breath (2018), The Return (2020) and The Wish (2021) as well as the 2004 non-fiction memoir Three Weeks With My Brother, co-written with his brother Micah. His twenty-second novel, Dreamland, will be published on September 20, 2022.

Film adaptations of Nicholas Sparks novels, including The Choice, The Longest Ride, The Best of Me, Safe Haven (on all of which he served as a producer), The Lucky One, Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, The Notebook, Nights in Rodanthe, Dear John and The Last Song, have had a cumulative worldwide gross of over three-quarters of a billion dollars. The Notebook is also being adapted into a musical, featuring music and lyrics by Ingrid Michaelson.

Sparks lives in North Carolina. He contributes to a variety of local and national charities, and is a major contributor to the Creative Writing Program (MFA) at the University of Notre Dame, where he provides scholarships, internships, and a fellowship annually. He co-founded The Epiphany School in New Bern, North Carolina in 2006. As a former full scholarship athlete (he still holds a track and field record at the University of Notre Dame) he also spent four years coaching track and field athletes at the local public high school. In 2009, the team he coached at New Bern High School set a World Junior Indoor Record in the 4x400 meter, in New York. The record still stands.

The Nicholas Sparks Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to improving cultural and international understanding through global education experiences for students of all ages was launched in 2011. Between the foundation, and the personal gifts of the Sparks family, more than $15 million dollars have been distributed to deserving charities, scholarship programs, and projects. Because the Sparks family covers all operational expenses of the foundation, 100% of donations are devoted to programs.

UK Cover:

I like the UK Cover better as it depicts the story better.

Have you read Dreamland? Do you enjoy books by Nicholas Sparks?

43 responses to “Book Review: Dreamland by Nicholas Sparks

  1. I do enjoy books by Nicholas Sparks yes, but I haven’t read one in a year or two. I know the previous one is in our Book Club, I’ll try to take it next time.

    The new one sounds good as well! He is a very good author for sure.

    Elza Reads

  2. Wow it does sound so emotional. I haven’t read any of his books or seen films based on them, as I am a bit of a wuss when it comes to anything vaguely emotional!

    I am glad that you enjoyed it 🙂

    Have a great week!

    Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog

  3. I’ve never read anything from Nicholas Sparks, but Inhave enjoyed some adaptations his books. The books sounds so good and very emotional. This was a great review.

  4. I haven’t read anything by Sparks. I’ve thought about it, though. I really enjoyed The Notebook and A Walk to Remember movies. I had no idea what he looks like! I did not imagine the picture you shared, lol. I thought he’d be much older. I’m glad you liked this. It does sound intriguing, especially the run from an abusive marriage part of the story.

  5. This book sounds really good and have added it to my to be read – I haven’t actually read anything by Nicholas Sparks although the name rang a bell and when I read in the bio about The Notebook and Dear John I remembered where I heard the name before as I have seen those movies.

    Parts of the plot also remind me of the most recent A Star Is Born movie – I guess the small-town country setting and Colby being an aspiring singer but will check this out 🙂

  6. Are there people out there who don’t enjoy Nicholas Sparks? I am really looking forward to getting to this book, it sounds as amazing as I would expect it to be. Wonderful review, Wendy.

  7. I’ve watched some of the film adaptations of Sparks, but never read one of his books. I think I’d be on the edge of my seat worried about Beverly too. I wonder how their stories intersect.

  8. This does sound like a story that’s very intense with emotions. Nicholas Sparks is so good at that kind of story. Excellent review!