Once She Dreamed by Abbi Glines
Part One - Published October 10, 2016
# of pages: 107
Average Rating: 3.6/5
My Rating: 4/5
Part Two - Published December 8, 2016
# of pages: 99
Average Rating: 3.72/5
My Rating: 2/5
Summary According to Goodreads
Everyone in the small country town where Sammy Jo Knox had been born and raised, never left. They made their life there. Got married, had kids, lived in the same houses that were always there along the streets that never changed. The whole white picket fence and tree swing might look good on greeting cards but in real life it was boring, at least to Sammy Jo.
When Sammy Jo was a little girl she began dreaming of something bigger. Brighter. Something that wasn’t her town. She wanted to see the world and experience it all. Just how she was going to do that she had no idea. Because if her momma had her way, she’d marry one of the boys in town and be spitting out babies and going to church on Sunday with them all lined up in a row.
The day Hale Christopher Jude III walked into the bakery she worked at, she knew he was it. That part of life she was missing. He smelled of foreign places and exciting things. He represented all the bright lights she dreamed of and simply put, she hoped he was her way out of this place.
What Sammy Jo didn’t realize was things that appear perfect… aren’t. And chasing her dreams could lead to something very different.
I am a huge Abbi Glines fan, but these weren't some of her best works. It was overall very problematic for me, and I ended up enjoying the first part more than the second.
In the first part I loved reading about our main character Sammy's friends and family, but I didn't connect so much with her. She had huge aspirations and seemed like a strong character, but she was very naive, and very easy to manipulate. She continually talked about her dreams and how everything was coming true but she never had to do anything to get there. A rich guy found her attractive and willing, and she was blinded enough by his attention, and followed him like a puppy. I had been hoping to see more character growth and development in the second part, but she didn't learn much at all.
The general of the plot had potential to be successful, but I think it was too rushed to peak. The second part took on a completely different tone from the first, and although it fit with a "twist" in characterization, I didn't enjoy it. I am a huge New York lover and a big dreamer myself, but even I wouldn't make the kinds of decisions that she did. It is so important to emphasize hard work and passion, something she didn't find even at the end.
Speaking of the end, that epilogue was pointless. I understand the need for it, but it wasn't done in a way to give justice and closure. It felt random and rushed, and could have been developed a bit more. I had to read those pages a couple of times just to be sure I understood what had happened.
Overall, I was really disappointed with this duology overall, and although I generally recommend Abbi Glines novels, I would skip these ones.