Dreaming Darkly

Dreaming Darkly

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, t...

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Title:Dreaming Darkly
Author:Caitlin Kittredge
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Dreaming Darkly Reviews

  • Kathy Martin

    After her mother's suicide, sixteen-year-old Ivy Bloodgood finds herself on a small island in Maine living with an uncle she didn't know she had. First thing she's told is to stay on the Bloodgood part of the island and leave the Ramsey part of the island alone. But then she meets Doyle Ramsey. He is someone she can talk to when things are getting scary and creepy with her uncle.

    Ivy is having hallucinations - seeing strange things, finding dead bodies and bones - and is told that she has a herit

    After her mother's suicide, sixteen-year-old Ivy Bloodgood finds herself on a small island in Maine living with an uncle she didn't know she had. First thing she's told is to stay on the Bloodgood part of the island and leave the Ramsey part of the island alone. But then she meets Doyle Ramsey. He is someone she can talk to when things are getting scary and creepy with her uncle.

    Ivy is having hallucinations - seeing strange things, finding dead bodies and bones - and is told that she has a heritage of mental illness. Her grandmother was confined to a mental hospital and killed herself there. Her mother had always been off. She tried to drown Ivy in the bathtub when Ivy was young. She did drugs and took out her anger on Ivy. She dragged Ivy from place to place and workd as a grifter and con artist. Her childhood made Ivy resilient, but it also made her unwilling to trust anyone.

    Ivy has never known who her father was. She decides to see if she can solve that mystery and track down anyone who might have known her mother before she ran from the island. Her explorations lead her to the grandmother her uncle said was dead. The grandmother is in a mental institution with paranoid schizophrenia and the beginnings of dementia. That her uncle lied to her gives her reason to doubt most of what he tells her.

    This was a creepy story. The descriptions of Ivy's hallucinations were chilling. Ivy really needs to rely on her resilience to find out what is really going on in her new home. Doyle's assistance is a vital part of her quest. I really liked Ivy. I admired her strength. I also like Doyle who was a good kid in a tough situation.

    Fans of creepy stories and Gothic mysteries will enjoy this one.

  • Jerico

    Well, at least, in my opinion. This book is way better than what I expected it to be; gritty, surprising, heartrending, mind-boggling and overall phenomenal. I seriously had no love of and expectation from this before I started s

    Well, at least, in my opinion. This book is way better than what I expected it to be; gritty, surprising, heartrending, mind-boggling and overall phenomenal. I seriously had no love of and expectation from this before I started spending my time with it. Much to my surprise, I fell deeply in love with how brave and smart the direction of the plot had gone to. The amount of badassery in this spectacular gem never once failed to amaze me. It only has taken me to a mysterious place full of brooding schemes and conspiracies that kept me intrigued and on board the whole time I was poring over all the details, as if every word counts. It left me immersed so deeply that I have completely forgotten how time flies so fast and days go by without any warning. It did not only that, but it also undeniably consumed me whole.

    The overall plot was extremely fast-paced and some events had left me highly strung. I would not take into account what exactly pushed me in that state so as not to give out any spoilers. At first, I had some worries that it might make me slightly uncomfortable because of the first line stated in the book.

    It left me wondering what lies ahead for my delicate heart or if my subtle psyche can handle the heaviness of the subject. But then, moments after plowing through it, I found myself craving for more and totally enmeshed in how quaint and gripping the story had become. Be forewarned, albeit rather discretionary, that you must keep the lights on when you plan to read this at night. Every event stood out and decisions made by the mc left me impressed so much so that I cared for her more and more every chapter I moved on to. The story is both satisfying and terrifying. It ended way better than I ever imagined. Suffice it to say, the story made me want to come and visit Darkhaven Island, if there ever exists one. I could use some little exploration for refreshment any time of the day.

    The writing is smooth, fairly detailed, and easy to understand. It did not leave any trifling details and every chapter had something new to offer. It was simple and straightforward, without having to stress more than enough details just to be able to get things clear and perspicuous for the readers to actually take in. Everything was explained thoroughly and the history mentioned was just about adequate to further support the overall storyline of the book. The writing is also eloquent and nearly impactful that it provoked me into feeling something every once in a while, be they anger, resentment, worry or upset. It got me engrossed, captivated and lured into figuring out Darkhaven Island and what lurked behind its dwindling richness that was once filled with glamour and effervescence.

    The book has a slightly different take on its main character, Ivy Bloodgood. She knew how to make her way around people, con her way out of every difficult situation and stand up unswerving to what she believed in, whenever circumstances required her to do so. Although at times she could get pretty annoying due to her stubborness and whiny comments on anything she was not happy with, I got truly absorbed in supporting her decisions all the way through to the finish line unwaveringly. Plus, the romance that developed in the story is both cute and on point it was like I was being tickled until my breathing gave out from having to laugh sheepishly. I loved the way the two got themselves involved with each other's affairs whenever they were caught in some critical situations. Also, I would have to express my great love and enthusiasm of the railleries between the two that was quite humorous and appealing. There were also times when dialogues came off as hilarious in the middle of some threatening predicaments.

    Other supporting characters were very pleasing to know more, especially Ivy's good friends Betty and Valerie, different when it came to some of their personalities and preferences but both portrayed goodwill and compassion in their own distinctive ways. I only have so much love for them. The fact that Betty's character arc reminds me so much of Betty La Fea; geeky, with huge, dark-rimmed glasses, silent type at first but really resembles an explosion when one gets to know her more, loves to talk so much so that she overshares series of non sequiturs without noticing, is enough to make me love her at such a great deal. I admit it though, just wrapping my head about it makes it agonizingly sidesplitting and absurd I cannot even get my mind off of her since. Valerie, on the other hand, for the help she had offered and given Ivy while they were on a little trip to uncover something that I should not share at your own disposal because, 'spoilers and everything.' I also adored Officer Brant for showing his deep concern with Ivy's well-being in some parts of the book and when the ending revealed something about what he did for a certain someone, I admired him even more. Everyone else's character arcs were also interesting to follow but some left me scarred for life. But hey, isn't it a good indication that you must also follow my path and devour this book right this instant? If not, then I do not know what else will do.

    Now, the worldbuilding. The island setting was so grand, mystifying and new compared to the ones I have read that align with this mind-bending genre. Delving into it was quite haunting and at times felt so surreal. It was being depicted as a place that is filled with danger and ominous signs here and there, no matter how sequestered it is from the rest of civilization. Darkhaven Island shown in the book is also the kind of island that is fascinating to wander about because the author did not reveal too much specific details at the start concerning what brought about the frightening aura the place itself congealed. It remained a mystery to me up until everything was wrapped up in the end. The setting also made me try hard to be stoical for what felt like a long time because I was so eager to decipher the mystery behind the deaths and apparent nightmares that were seemingly caused by strange occurrences or entities or any other reasons there could possibly be. I loved every last bit of it being spooky and imaginative. It was everything I never thought I needed in a YA mystery book. Hats off to Kittredge for this brilliantly written literary piece! I loved it down to its last line and I am certain you most probably will too.

    So what are you waiting for, dear readers? Douse yourselves in a satisfying treat and read this book if you haven't already!

  • Julia (ten_thousand_books)

    Synopsis-

    Ivy Bloodgood’s mother is dead, and she should probably be sad about it.

    But she isn’t. Mariah Bloodgood was a 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

    Synopsis-

    Ivy Bloodgood’s mother is dead, and she should probably be sad about it.

    But she isn’t. Mariah Bloodgood was a 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.

    “You deal with your issues when s child is involved,” Simon replied. “You don’t pass them on.”

    I loved this book! Who doesn’t love a good mystery though? I will admit that the ending came a little too fast. It could have been stretched out a bit more but other than that it was awesome! And that plot twist near the end. Holy cow!

    5/5 Stars!

  • Stacee

    This sort of synopsis is exactly the sort of thing I love to read so I was all in.

    I liked Ivy. She’s resilient and tough, but secretly a marshmallow. Doyle and Valerie and Betty were all great secondary characters I loved the (mostly) supportive female relationships.

    Plot wise, it was okay. It started out strong, but my interest quickly started to fade once I realized that I was more than half way through and nothing had really happened. The explanation slash reveal was sort of lacking; however

    This sort of synopsis is exactly the sort of thing I love to read so I was all in.

    I liked Ivy. She’s resilient and tough, but secretly a marshmallow. Doyle and Valerie and Betty were all great secondary characters I loved the (mostly) supportive female relationships.

    Plot wise, it was okay. It started out strong, but my interest quickly started to fade once I realized that I was more than half way through and nothing had really happened. The explanation slash reveal was sort of lacking; however there were a couple of things that did surprise me. It’s those things made this a 3 star rating instead of 2.

    Overall, I would have liked a bit more tension and more from the ending, but it was interesting enough to keep me reading.

    **Huge thanks to Katherine Tegen Books for providing the arc free of charge**

  • Shelley

    *Source* Publisher

    *Genre* Young Adult, Thriller, Suspense

    *Rating* 3.5

    *Thoughts*

    Dreaming Darkly is a story about cursed families, dead bodies, feuding neighbors, and scary mansions that hold all sorts of mysteries. 16-year old Ivy Bloodgood (will be 17 during the story) has just lost her mother, and now finds herself on a creepy island called Darkhaven along with an uncle she's never known, a house keeper who is straight out of a creepy horror novel, a mansion that is crumbling into the ocean, an

    *Source* Publisher

    *Genre* Young Adult, Thriller, Suspense

    *Rating* 3.5

    *Thoughts*

    Dreaming Darkly is a story about cursed families, dead bodies, feuding neighbors, and scary mansions that hold all sorts of mysteries. 16-year old Ivy Bloodgood (will be 17 during the story) has just lost her mother, and now finds herself on a creepy island called Darkhaven along with an uncle she's never known, a house keeper who is straight out of a creepy horror novel, a mansion that is crumbling into the ocean, and a neighbor who is eager for Ivy to run as fast as she can away from the Darkhaven and its bizarre history before it's too late.

    *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews*

  • Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)

    3.5 stars

    Ivy Bloodgood is aged beyond her seventeen years thanks to a rough childhood with a mentally ill mom with a transient lifestyle.  

    Ivy is shocked to learn after her mother's suicide the surprising secrets that were kept from her; most of all that she has an uncle Simon on Darkhaven, an island off the coast of Maine, living in the crumbling Bloodgood mansion.  Her mother's childhood home will now become her own.

    As soon as Ivy steps foot on Darkhaven there is a sense of foreboding.  The cr

    3.5 stars

    Ivy Bloodgood is aged beyond her seventeen years thanks to a rough childhood with a mentally ill mom with a transient lifestyle.  

    Ivy is shocked to learn after her mother's suicide the surprising secrets that were kept from her; most of all that she has an uncle Simon on Darkhaven, an island off the coast of Maine, living in the crumbling Bloodgood mansion.  Her mother's childhood home will now become her own.

    As soon as Ivy steps foot on Darkhaven there is a sense of foreboding.  The creepy housekeeper Mrs. MacLeod doesn't exactly make a great first impression and is quick to lay down some ground rules:

    The Ramsey family has lived on Darkhaven as long as the Bloodgoods though there is a serious feud between the two that spans generations.  Of course Ivy immediately wanders the island without considering its property lines and runs into Doyle Ramsey, the resident cocky high school guy and sworn enemy of her family.

    It's Doyle who begins to share with Ivy the history of the Bloodgoods and the Ramseys, which includes some cold-blooded murder and a good old-fashioned curse.

    Ivy begins an uneasy friendship with Doyle while trying to get her uncle Simon to open up with the truth about the family curse and her mother's illness.  Simon seems to be just as skilled as her mother with keeping secrets so she enlists the help of Doyle to find out the truth... and quickly, because Ivy fears she's beginning to battle the same inner demons as her mother.

    was an impressive YA gothic mystery full of family secrets, curses, and rumors that had me glued to my reading chair!  I loved the atmosphere and the mystery.

    I'm going to sound like a broken record here if you've read several of my previous reviews in the YA genre:  my only complaint is that the story suffers slightly because of the fast pace and lack of character development.  We get a lot of history since it's important to the plot but would've been even better with more detail.  Also, the instant attraction between Ivy and Doyle is believable but the trust Ivy immediately places in Doyle is tough to believe because of her past; I would've appreciated further character development.  I adore that the author didn't give us a romance because it would've been completely out of place in this story.

    If you need a creepy gothic mystery in your life, this book is worth picking up!

    Thanks to Katherine Tegen Books and Edelweiss for providing me with a DRC in exchange for my honest review.  

    is scheduled for release on April 9, 2019.

    For more full reviews, visit

  • Jackie

    *3.5 stars*

    Family secrets and hidden treasure lurk in the shadows of this small island town setting up a gothic style mystery with deadly consequences.

    “Dreaming Darkly” brings Ivy to a small island off the coast of Maine where she is to live with her Uncle after her mother’s suicide but things quickly unravel as she learns of a longstanding curse upon the family and a bloody feud that goes back generations with the neighbors and it doesn’t take long before she’s confronted with the horrors of

    *3.5 stars*

    Family secrets and hidden treasure lurk in the shadows of this small island town setting up a gothic style mystery with deadly consequences.

    “Dreaming Darkly” brings Ivy to a small island off the coast of Maine where she is to live with her Uncle after her mother’s suicide but things quickly unravel as she learns of a longstanding curse upon the family and a bloody feud that goes back generations with the neighbors and it doesn’t take long before she’s confronted with the horrors of the past as she races against those who wish to destroy her future.

    This book was doing so well up until the final act and it’s a shame that it falls into the usual traps of the horror type genre which took a solid book and turned into something of a cliché.

    I really enjoyed the unreliable narrator component to this and how it managed to blur the lines to where you weren’t sure if this was indeed a family curse or undiagnosed mental illness and that back and forth between science and fantasy really helped create this tension as you tried to make sense of the weird occurrences happening around Ivy and her mother before her.

    The feud aspect was less Romeo and Juliet and more Hatfield and McCoy’s as we quickly learn this fight goes back to the islands origin and has left plenty of bodies in its wake as both sides struggle to hold onto power and fortune no matter the cost. Though there’s some red herrings in this that plot wise didn’t go very far or matter much in the overall plot it was interesting to see how far each of the surviving members were willing to go both in turning the other way or gearing up to fight when the time came.

    Like I mentioned above this book is great during the first two parts and it’s not until you start getting answers that it all falls apart but that being said it’s not a bad read especially if you’re home alone and the weather is dark and dreary and you’re looking for a good scare.

    **special thanks to the publishers and edelweiss for providing an arc in exchange for a fair and honest review**

  • Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)

    It was a quick read, and I did enjoy it.

    RTC

  • Giselle

    3.5 stars

    Gothic mystery novels are a favorite of mine, and Dreaming Darkly is an eerie novel that, albeit a bit predictable and dramatic at times, was an exciting read overall.

    After the death of Ivy's mother, she's sent back to her family's old manor on a private island off the coast of Maine. When she gets there, she finds that not everything and everyone is at it seems, and strange dreams start feeling a bit too real. I found this story really intriguing from the very first page. Ivy's life w

    3.5 stars

    Gothic mystery novels are a favorite of mine, and Dreaming Darkly is an eerie novel that, albeit a bit predictable and dramatic at times, was an exciting read overall.

    After the death of Ivy's mother, she's sent back to her family's old manor on a private island off the coast of Maine. When she gets there, she finds that not everything and everyone is at it seems, and strange dreams start feeling a bit too real. I found this story really intriguing from the very first page. Ivy's life with her mom, her mom's mysterious past, her family's history are all really interesting. I found myself flying to the pages to find out every detail I could about this ominous family tree. This mystery aspect is done really well, with a good combination of twists and turns that are scattered throughout.

    The atmosphere in the book is fantastic as well. The imagery of this secluded island full of secrets and lies and murders is vivid and hair-raising. It makes the story all the more intense as you know these characters are isolated from the real world. Left on their own with family members who are essentially strangers. Strangers that she keeps being warned about...

    So why did I not rate this 4 stars? While I enjoyed the moody, dark vibe in this book, I found the story itself to be quite predictable. While I never figured out all the details, I had a good idea from pretty early on what was happening to Ivy - why she was having these hallucinations and lucid dreams. I kept wanting to scream at her for being so trusting, especially after living the life she lived with her mother - she should have known better. I also found her outbursts to be a bit melodramatic. She's portrayed as a hard-ass, tough-skinned scam artist who lived a rough crime-filled life, yet she reacts like a 6 year old when someone calls her names.

    All in all, Dreaming Darkly is dark and cryptic, with a terrible family secret that will leave you turning the pages.

  • Finn Longman

    This was ... pretty compelling, I guess, and intensely creepy in places. I didn't love how it handled mental illness in general, even if the plot resolution went in a better direction than it might have done from that point of view. I mostly enjoyed the style, and found it atmospheric and engaging, but my overall impression was a little mixed.

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