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Dream Student

Narrated by: Heather Jane Hogan
Series: Dreams (DiBenedetto), Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 33 mins
4 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Summary

College junior Sara Barnes thought her life was totally under control. All she had to worry about was her final exams, Christmas shopping, applying to medical school - and what to do about the cute freshman in the next dorm with a crush on her. Everything was going according to plan, until the night she started seeing other people’s dreams.

It’s bad enough that Sara is learning more than she ever needed to know about her friends and classmates, watching their most secret fantasies whether she wants to or not. Much worse are the other dreams, the ones she sees nearly every night, featuring a strange, terrifying man who commits unspeakable crimes. Now Sara wonders if she’s the only witness to a serial killer - and the only one who knows when and where he’s going to strike next.

Dream Student is the prequel to the Dream Doctor Mysteries. 

Also by J.J. DiBenedetto:

The Dream Doctor Mysteries (all ten books!)

Betty and Howard’s Excellent Adventure (narrated by Doctor Who star Nicola Bryant!) 

The Jane Barnaby Adventures (three books so far!)

Finding Dori (part of the Welcome to Romance collection!)

Mr. Smith and the Roach (coming soon!)  

©2013 James DiBenedetto (P)2013 James DiBenedetto

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  • Helen
  • Paignton Devon
  • 21-07-19

great book

Everything was going according to plan, until the night she started seeing other people’s dreams.
loved this audio book very much lots of suspends well written by By: J. J. DiBenedetto
Narrated by: Heather Jane Hogan who brought it all to life

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  • Wanda
  • 11-11-13

A fresh spin!

I remember being at university and how I always afterwards wondered how on tv can people get a degree and play the entire time?

It drove me nuts. In this books the students actually does put in the time and I loved that.
Our main protagonist is a pre-med student with a problem. She keeps having nightmares. Not any old dreams, tragic murder scenes play off infront of her night after night.

While balancing study, friends, a social life and a brand new boyfriend she needs to figure out why she is dreaming of a serial killer and if she can do something about her dreams....especially once she knows that her dreams are reflections of what happens in the real waking world.

A fun read!

The narrator did a pretty good job in making the characters come to life, each with a unique voice all their own!

WaAr

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Samantha
  • 04-11-13

I got this for my husband and he loved it.

Where does Dream Student rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is a good novel and I will be getting book two.

What about Heather Jane Hogan’s performance did you like?

She's a great reader, she handles the different characters fine, no problem keeping up with the storyline.

Any additional comments?

I could have done with out the cursing.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Elisabeth Carey
  • 01-03-19

A solid, enjoyable mystery

Sara Barnes is a college junior, a pre-med focused on her goal of becoming a doctor, with her life totally under control.

At least, until the dreams start.

Not her own dreams. She never remembers her own dreams. Suddenly, though, she's experiencing other people's dreams. Some are her friends and fellow college students, which does have its problems, but not nearly as alarming as the other ones, the dreams of the serial killer. The killer's face seems vaguely familiar, but the real problem is, she sees he face of the victim in the dreams, and after the dream where the man is driving around in a car, the girl whose face she saw is found dead the next day.

These are not just awful nightmares. She's really experiencing this killer's dreams. She can't ignore it, and who can she tell? What can she do?

She tells her best friend, her roommate, Beth. She tells her new boyfriend, Brian. They are awesome friends, and there's not a scrap of lazy writing about it. DiBenetto totally makes me believe in the steadfast loyalty of Sara's boyfriend, and her best friend, when she is asking them to believe something absolutely, totally crazy, that she knows she would have a hard time taking seriously if it weren't happening to her. He makes me believe in the basic decency of their fellow students, even the ones they have some degree of conflict with.

When another series of dreams ends in another young woman being found dead, Sara knows she has to find a way to do something. When she realizes that one of her classmates is the probable next target, and is able to give her just enough of a warning that she takes the right precautions, she becomes even more driven to find the man and stop him, somehow.

It's the academic year 1989-90, and there are not cell phones everywhere, nor is the internet a big thing yet. At several points I found myself thinking, "why don't they just..." I remembered that no, even a decade or so after my own college years, these things aren't a part of daily life yet. When they realize they might find vital information by checking someone's court case records, the only option the is to figure out what courthouse the case was in. Heck, I had to do that kind of research myself--and I steadily and determinedly encouraged the lawyers I worked for to adopt the marvels of the internet and subscriptions to the right services as they came available. I was a law librarian, in roughly the time that Sara as a pre-med college student is trying to figure this out, without being able to explain to anyone who can help why she needs to know.

As far as I can tell, DiBenedetto, in writing this book set twenty years earlier, didn't drop a single ball on what is pervasive now, and either non-existent or still limited or expensive and not part of student life, at a time we don't, most of us, thing of as "the old days."

I believe, like, and respect the characters. The plotting, but even more, the careful, textured daily life of the period, is extremely well-done. All in the service of just a good, enjoyable mystery with elements of fantasy and romance.

And that's fantastic.

Recommended.

I may have originally received this audiobook as a gift from the author. I really don't remember. I am, in any case, reviewing it voluntarily.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Carrie Hisler
  • 07-06-19

Dream Student

At first I wondered how I would like because it seemed slow paced. Then I realized that it was purposeful. I ended up really liking it. Great characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Willow Star Serenity
  • 14-04-17

Loved it

The story was amazing! The characters were so hilarious and witty! The narrator did a fantastic job.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Duawana Wilson
  • 08-04-16

good read

The stroy moved along at a steady pace. Some suspense I didn't figure out the bad guy which os unusual for me. I would recommend this to my friends. I cant wait to read the next book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • kate
  • 26-07-15

Awesome series! Paranormal meets romance meets YA

Would you consider the audio edition of Dream Student to be better than the print version?

The dream student series is about Sara, a young college student whose dreams reveal prediction of accidents that really happen. One of her dreams is about Brian, who eventually becomes her boyfriend.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Dream Student?

I loved the moments when Sara solves the dream of the teen that is murdered.

What about Heather Jane Hogan’s performance did you like?

I thought Ms Hogan was spot on in voicing the characters. She made Sara sweet and vulnerable and Brian masculine yet endearing.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Romance, Paranormal. YA.

Any additional comments?

I received this audio book in exchange for an unbiased review via Audible.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • LilMissMolly
  • 14-07-15

Entertaining Paranormal Murder Mystery

Any additional comments?

Dream Student by J. J. DiBenedetto is an entertaining paranormal suspense novel set in 1989. The story centers around Sara who is a pre-med student in her junior year of college. A few weeks before 1st semester finals, Sara starts to see into the dreams of a serial killer. Most of the book is focused on finding the identity of the killer, and then finding out where the killer is keeping his next victim.

I really enjoyed the overall plot and after I got into the rhythm of the story, just had to finish it. What I didn't understand is why Sara and her college friends never went to the police? I understand why they didn't after the first murder, but after the second murder and after they find out a few facts about the killer, they should have tried to talk with the detective investigating the murders - even if they feared no one would believe them.

This story is narrated by Heather Jane Hogan, who did an admirable job. There is definitely a problem with the speed of the recording; it's as if someone purposefully slowed it down to stretch out the length of it. I started off listening to the book at 2x speed, but later sped it up to 3x. Once the recording is sped up, you can differentiate voices and discern different tones and tempo in Ms. Hogan's performance, which was very good. I received a copy of this audio in exchange for an unbiased review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • MeDi
  • 22-09-14

Strong female character

Any additional comments?

I loved this book. It has a beautiful love story, there's suspense, there's action, it's beautifully written and certainly not boring.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Leiah
  • 04-06-14

As published in Audiobook Monthly Magazine

My review of Dream Student by J.J. Dibenedetto was published in Audiobook Monthly Magazine!! How Cool Is That? And here is my review of Dream Student:


Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. – Edgar Allan Poe



Sometimes I find it harder than at others to begin a book review. Normally, when I am done with a book I can hardly wait to sit down and begin writing. The words are already there in my head, waiting to spill out upon the page. Dream Student was different for some reason. Oh, I don’t mean that in a bad way. Far from it. To tell you the truth, given the capability, I would have this book placed into the hands of every high school girl out there, just to show them what they can achieve with their lives, should they merely try. Ludicrous, I suppose, but I would give a lot to have had Sara as an example growing up. And maybe that is why I had more difficulty starting this review. Is that longing I feel, or sadness at my own limited belief in myself at her age? Sara feels so very real . . .

Sara is a premed student, studying hard and spending time with her roommate Beth. Life is going good – her parents are awesome, though far away, her friends are all working hard right alongside her, and all is well as she begins studying for her MCATs. Only, things are beginning to go wrong.

For Sara is dreaming.

Sara rarely remembers her dreams. She has no idea that she’s had more or less the same dream two or three nights a week since the beginning of the semester.

Sara’s is a dreamscape, at first, of wandering the dreams of others. We all know those dreams – the ones where you show up for class in your underwear, or you dream of the cute guy in your biology class who doesn’t know you exist. And it is in her dreams where she first meets Brian, a student she doesn’t even know – but who is dreaming of her. At first, she doesn’t believe that what is happening could possibly be real. Until, that is, she actually meets Brian, a very real Brian who lives in the dorm next door. Meeting Brian is a wonderful thing. But as for the other dreams, well, Is there a word for dreams that are worse than nightmares?

But how can Sara believe her dreams are real? Why would she? She is a medical student after all, a logical, realistic woman with logical, realistic beliefs that leave no room for the “woo-woo” stuff. But then, as her dreams are brought to brutal reality, she knows that things are very much as they appear – dreams of horror, dreams of pain. And Sara, Brian and Beth are the only ones who can stop what is happening. But how?

Dream Student, pulled me in, kept my attention and didn’t let go. A blend of the logical and the absurd, the frightening and the hopeful, it kept me listening well into the night. I have to laugh, as I spent one evening, though a raging lightning storm, breathless as I followed Sara and her friends through terror. What better atmosphere?

I received Dream Student from the publisher in audio format, and while I would normally be thrilled to receive it in this manner, I do have to admit that I was quite disappointed with the audio quality. The narrator is Heather Jane Hogan, who has at least twenty different audio performances for Audible.com to her record. I can’t say that she is my favorite narrator, but she isn’t my least favorite by any means. This is simply a matter of taste. Her reading style is a bit childlike in style, but she is not a poor narrator. However, I was appalled by the substandard quality of the sound recording. Within the first few sentences I pulled up the other books in the series from the Audible site and listened to the clips. In my admittedly extensive experience with audiobooks, they are just as poorly recorded as this. The only way I could listen to the book was to ramp up the playback to 2x speed, otherwise the recording sounded like Ms. Hogan was either purposely recorded at quarter speed, or she was reading a lullaby to a fractious infant. Frustratingly, since I can’t speed up my tiny Sansa player, this tied me to my Nook for the nearly twelve hours of the recording. So, no gardening, sewing, or anything else while I was listening, as I couldn’t carry my Nook around strapped to my arm as I can with my Sansa. To say this was disappointing is somewhat of an understatement. The ability to listen to books while doing other things is the whole point of my obsession with Audio books – of which I have over two hundred.

While the recording quality is poor, I do highly recommend Dream Student, and I am looking forward to reading the others in the series. Sara is the girl I wish I could have been back when I was in college. She is strong, capable, loving and very much a role model for young women. The story is rather unusual in the writing style, dreamlike while remaining frank and honest – unusual but appealing. If it weren’t for the poor recording quality I would not hesitate to give it five out of five stars. As it is, if you don’t have an audio book reader which allows you to speed up the recording to at least 1.5, I would recommend that you indulge yourself with the e-book edition. Whichever format you choose, it is a book that is well worth spending your valuable reading time enjoying.

This book was provided to me by Audiobook Monthly Magazine. All thoughts and statements are my own.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful