Dream On is not a book I'd normally read, but I'm truly glad I did. It isn't chick lit, it isn't a saga, it isn't comedy, it isn't a 'be true to your principles and you'll be rewarded' novel, it isn't even a love story, it's a combination of all these things and more. You're drawn into the narrative because you like the people, and Terry Tyler must be wise beyond her years to recognise the absolute truths behind human motivations and emotions. In a similar way to how Tony Parsons portrays family life (though he writes from the perspective of a man) Terry Tyler can outline a person's predicament, set forth seemingly insoluble problems for her characters, but, just as in life, solutions arrive of their own accord, often in the most surprising ways. The novel sums up the injustices we all face, the dichotomy of struggling with prosaic aspects of life when you're trying to follow your dream. But most importantly of all she can make her characters step right off the page into your mind.
I liked one of the protagonists, Dave, particularly - always aiming for his dream of musical success, talented, clever, yet torn between paternal love and mundane responsibilities, with the prospect of future golden possibilities, his choice made all the more daunting when the reappearance of the love of his life, beautiful talented Ariel Swan, seems to promise him a golden future. I also liked Janice, the lovely long-suffering mother of his son Harley, and I very much liked Max - I won't say who he is, you'll have to read the book to find out.
All kinds of things are touched on in this book: the gritty underbelly of the music business, social media, its uses, abuses and drawbacks, the glamour and misery of TV talent shows, and the dreadful injustices of life, where the most unlikely people are rewarded and the most laudable, well intentioned, or highly talented folk so often remain unsung heroes. However the strength in this book is the likeable characters, who stay with you long after the book is finished. And like all good books, you wonder what will happen to them afterwards, and ponder on how, if they'd made other life choices, their futures would probably have led in other directions. Heartbreaking in some parts, I was especially struck by the the cruelty of these stark choices: do you follow your dream, or do you face up to the responsibilities of the here and now? The book is quite sexy in some parts too, but not overtly erotic, just realistic.
All in all it's very easy reading because the characters are nice to get to know, to understand and most of all, to like. If all Terry Tyler's books are as good as this one, I'll have to read them.