Published: 16 March 2021
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure, Romance
Available as: Hardcover, E-book, Paperback
The Place Beyond Her Dreams is a fairytale based on aspects of West African culture. The story opens with the main character, Ona, being introduced to a boy named Okem. Ona lives with her grandparents and her grandfather agrees to raise Okem at the request of his relatives. After her grandfather passes away, Ona falls into a deep sleep from grief and enters an alternate dimension called Luenah where she meets her grandfather again. Her grandfather tells her that in exchange for being an Eri, one who can enter Luenah, she must give a gift back to Luenah by finding her purpose in life. As Ona strives to find her purpose in life, she must also choose who she wants to marry. There is abuse in the story.
This text reminds me of a mix of The Great Gatsby and Romeo & Juliet. I would recommend this book to young adult readers who enjoy fairytales and stories with female protagonists. I enjoyed the level of detail that the author put into explaining how Luenah relates to the real world. I also related with the main character’s lack of experience in love and it was interesting to see how she grappled with defining love in her relationships with Albert and Okem. One element that could be added is a glossary. While I did not feel that the unfamiliar words reduced my immersion in the text, I did also tend to gloss over the new words to continue engaging with the story.
Overall Rating: 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌗
4.5 – Would read again
Ending: 🌕🌕🌕🌕 – 4/5
Plot: 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌗 – 4.5/5
World-building: 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌕 – 5/5
Characters: 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌗 – 4.5/5
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