An addictive read for teens that, on the surface, looks fairly light fare, but actually deals with some difficult and very relevant issues. Siobhan Curham most recently came into the spotlight as the author who assisted vlogger Zoe Sugg (Zoella) in writing her bestselling, Girl Online, and there are definite similarities. Both deal with the price of internet infamy, and online bullying.
The Moonlight Dreamers is a story about friendship, it is about being true to yourself, and finding the courage to follow your dreams. It contains a multitude of important messages, from how an act of rebellion can have disastrous consequences, to how if one seeks to fulfill their dreams, it is important to take initiative with the first steps. One of the things I loved about it was that the girls were all so different, and it was more about finding the confidence: to compete in a poetry slam, to talk to the boy she fancied, rather than the outcome.
It is the story of four girls, Amber, Maali, Sky and Rose, all very different but with one similarity: they are all Moonlight Dreamers.
Amber, with her two fathers, struggles to fit in at High School, where several of her peers have turned against her. She seeks solace in the words of Oscar Wilde, whose poem inspires her to start the Moonlight Dreamers: a secret society for girls like her, those that feel the don’t quite fit in and are proud of the fact.
Shy, sweet Maali is one of the kindest and most generous girls you might ever met, she loves to take photographs and only wishes she knew how to talk to boys, one boy in particular.
Sky is a poet, and she loves living with her father on their riverboat, but their peaceful life is about to be turned upside-down, when her father moves them in with his girlfriend. Now, not only does she have to share her good-hearted father, but she has to cope with the resentments of the girlfriend’s daughter, Rose. Beautiful Rose, pushed to be into modelling like her mother, secretly dreams of baking cakes, and staying out of the limelight.
Written in multiple narrative, interspersed with emails and Tumblr posts, with a couple of poems and a recipe thrown in for good measure, The Moonlight Dreamers is a tale that will find resonance for many a modern teenager.
Reviewed by Angela Oliver
The Moonlight Dreamers
by Siobhan Curham
Published by Walker Books