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Dream Girl

Dream Girl

4.6 11
by Lauren Mechling

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“Charm galore.”—Kirkus Reviews

Claire Voyante has been having strange visions ever since she can remember. But the similarity between her name and her talents is purely coincidental. The name is French and unlike the psychics on TV, she can’t solve crimes or talk to the dead.

But that all changes on Claire’s 15th birthday, when


“Charm galore.”—Kirkus Reviews

Claire Voyante has been having strange visions ever since she can remember. But the similarity between her name and her talents is purely coincidental. The name is French and unlike the psychics on TV, she can’t solve crimes or talk to the dead.

But that all changes on Claire’s 15th birthday, when her grandmother gives her something a little more extraordinary than one of her old cocktail dresses: a strange black-and-white onyx cameo on a gold chain. It’s not long before Claire’s world becomes a whole lot clearer. And a whole lot more dangerous.

“Plenty of entertainment.”—Publishers Weekly

“Lauren Mechling weaves a hilarious tale out of mystical dreams, high school terror, and haute couture. . . . A fun, fast-paced, totally engrossing read.”—Kristen Miller, author of Kiki Strike: Inside Shadow City

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

The coauthor of the 10th-Grade Social Climbers series, Mechling brings a lively awareness of girl-on-girl dynamics to this light mystery. There's also an extrasensory twist-the heroine, the haplessly named Claire Voyante, has visions, although she rarely knows what to make of them. On Claire's 15th birthday, her grandmother-a showgirl who married well-presents her with an old necklace, saying, "When I wore [it], all my dreams started to come true." Claire is so busy adjusting to her ultra-competitive new school, however, that neither the necklace nor the dreams she begins having make much impact on her. The story hinges on Claire's friendship with Becca Shutterworth, a fabulously rich new classmate; Becca's attractive older brother serves as Claire's heartthrob, and his devious girlfriend helps carry out a nefarious scheme targeting the Shutterworth family. While the mystery element is too obvious and readers may grow impatient for Claire's visions to affect the plot, the foundation is solid-the majority of Mechling's main characters seem both cheerfully idiosyncratic and recognizable, well-observed denizens of the Manhattan setting who deliver plenty of entertainment. Ages 12-up. (July)

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KLIATT - Myrna Marler
This is one of those books that feel like a guilty pleasure: that is, it's not exactly deep. It's about a 15-year-old daughter of professors with a rich socialite grandmother named Kiki who passes along to her, as well as secondhand Chanel dresses, a cameo that helps harness her psychic powers. Oh yes, and the heroine's name is, seriously, Claire Voyante. One wonders what kind of responsible parents would do that to their child? At any rate, Claire has just been forced to transfer from her cozy and freethinking private school to a public school for brilliant teens where she finds she doesn't quite fit in. She makes a new friend, though. Quite improbably, one of the wealthiest girls in the world, heiress to a ketchup fortune, is also attending Hudson incognito, and Claire is introduced to the world of the super- super rich, and also to her friend's brother Andrew, whom, she quickly realizes, is exactly the right guy for her. However, like most perfect guys in the world of romance novels, he has a beautiful but duplicitous girlfriend. Not too surprisingly, Claire's psychic powers help her unmask the girlfriend as the evil tool of the rival heirs to the legendary ketchup recipe, stop a plane crash, and avoid a kidnapping, all of which ignites Andy's grateful adulation. The question of why the girlfriend would leave the perfect Andy in favor of the ugly and not-so-rich archenemy is never answered but it's good for Claire that she is so inexplicably devious. The book is full of an odd assortment of quirky but likable characters; it's fast-paced and good escape reading. Reviewer: Myrna Marler
Children's Literature - Anita Barnes Lowen
Claire Voyante has just turned fifteen. She is grudgingly starting a new school; if she waited a hundred years, she still would not want to talk about the super competitive Hudson High. As her name suggests, she has been having strange visions or dreams ever since she was little. Her dreams are mostly stupid and meaningless and have only gotten her into awkward situations. Right now Claire is too busy fitting into her new school and growing her friendship with Becca Shutterworth, one of the fabulously wealthy Shutterworths of ketchup fame, to pay too much attention to her dreams. Maybe she should. Why is her friend, Becca, receiving almost daily text messages about what she is wearing; who is watching her and why? Who is Rye, the always turning-up-like-a-bad-penny girlfriend of Becca's brother? Before Claire knows what has happened, she is caught up in a centuries-old feud between two families, a feud that appears to be turning deadly. Do not judge this book by its sweet, covered-with-roses jacket cover. It is filled with a wonderful assortment of oddball family members and friends and a heroine who has both feet on the ground and sometimes, her head in the clouds. This is a thoroughly enjoyable read. Reviewer: Anita Barnes Lowen
Kirkus Reviews
After a strained beginning, this faux-glamour, almost-realistic novel picks up charm galore. Claire Voyante has vivid dream visions of no consequence-the visions' details appear later in real life but lead nowhere. Until, that is, she makes a new friend who's in danger. At glum Henry Hudson High in New York City, Claire's lonely and new and bullied by an ex-friend, so she latches on to Becca, a funky-dressing "ketchup heiress." Oddly, Becca's wealth dazzles Claire despite Claire's weekly visits to her own rich former-socialite grandmother, who resides at the Waldorf-Astoria and passes down high-fashion name-brand gowns. Grandma Kiki's gift of a cameo necklace brings Claire's visions into starker clarity. She steps neatly into a detective role, jet-sets to Paris and London and exposes a mole who's placing the ketchup royalty (Becca's family) in great danger. Although the slight fantasy element (the clairvoyance) feels awkwardly extraneous, Claire's offbeat family and lighthearted mystery-adventure-with romance included-are abundantly appealing. (Fiction. 11-14)
From the Publisher
Review, The New York Times Book Review, September 12, 2008:
"Claire Voyante . . . has a curious talent for seeing into the future, but no control over it."

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

A Supposedly Beautiful Mind

"Claire!" Dad screamed down the airport hallway. "Zeep zeep!"
He was doing his best to sound authoritative, but with his French accent, he reminded me of PepŽ Le Pew. My entire family had stopped walking and was looking at me as if I were personally responsible for how grumpy and tired they all felt after our eight-hour flight home. Mom made an exaggerated yawn, and my little brother, Henry, weighed down by his enormous backpack, crumpled against her legs.
The girl with the puppy emerged from the bathroom and cast me a wary glance. She coasted ahead of me, and I couldn't help taking one last look at the pink lock dangling off her bag. It was definitely the same one I'd seen in my mind before we'd boarded. Unfortunately, that was all it was.
It didn't mean a thing.
"I'm coming!" I screamed.
I'd been having visions ever since I was little, but they were usually stupid and meaningless, like Henry holding a green umbrella with a frog on it or, say, a bright pink lock--things that I'd later see in front of me but that never lead me to anything groundbreaking.
There was one time I saw something worthwhile: a picture of a tabby cat napping in a fedora. When I saw the same image on one of my grandmother Kiki's hatboxes, I peeked inside and found bundles of carbon-copied letters between Kiki and my mother from the time my mother was still in college. Suddenly everything made sense--my parents and Kiki didn't clash regularly just because of a difference in lifestyles, as they'd led me to believe. There had been a massive falling-out. Kiki had violently disapproved of Mom's getting engaged to her "penniless French professor," and when my parents went ahead and eloped, Kiki wrote my mom a soap-opera-worthy letter saying something along the lines of "Being excluded from my only daughter's wedding has been more painful than you, who do not yet have children, can imagine. I don't expect I will ever fully recover."
This revelation was huge--and not only because it explained so much about my family. It also gave me reason enough to believe that my next vision might lead to another monumental discovery. A hope I was hanging on to for dear life.
I never said a word to Kiki about the letters, but she already knew all about my visions. I had to tell her--the second you so much as think about a secret you're keeping from her, she sniffs it out. And she wasn't too weirded out when I told her. She said it was my parents' fault since they were the ones who'd given me my name. "You don't do that to a girl whose last name is Voyante," she'd moaned. "Not that Claire isn't a lovely name on its own . . ."
For their part, my parents said they'd named me after my dad's great-aunt Claire, who died in a Parisian heat wave the summer I was born. My little brother, Henry, is legally Henri, or as Dad pronounces it, On-ree. My mom, who thinks she's French, tries to pronounce it the French way, but she forgets at least half the time.
Down at baggage claim, Mom was channeling her inner Frenchwoman. "Voile! There it is!" she cried, waving her Evian bottle across the carousel as if her luggage might be looking for her, too. Even when she's shouting, Mom's voice is light and girly, the polar opposite of my own husky rasp.
"You see it?" Dad asked. He squinted and perched on his tiptoes to look past the crowd. "Ah, there's mine, coming right along behind yours!" And then he pulled Mom in close and kissed her, as if their suitcases' being next to each other were the most romantic thing in the world.
I guess that's the way it goes when your mom isn't just beautiful but hot. And we're not talking hot-for-a-mom, here. She's unfairly, across-the-board hot, with huge drowsy eyes and chopstick-skinny limbs.
As fate would have it, I look like my dad, or at least the way he would look if he were a fifteen-year-old girl and not a middle-aged French professor. I'm short and blond, with a Cheerio-shaped mouth, a flat chest, and a megabutt--I'm keeping my fingers crossed for future developments. The only way I've figured out to wear my puffy hair is in a high ponytail. Most people say that the most distinctive thing about me is that I have one green and one hazel eye, but I think my friend Louis nailed it when he said I'm always scrunching up my nose like a confused duck. Attractive, I know.
As we gathered our baggage and headed toward the exit, we could see our friend and neighbor Cheri-Lee Vird waiting for us in her teal Honda at the curb. "Yoo-hoo!" She stuck her bright red bob out the car window. Mom and Dad don't believe in paying for cabs (or, for that matter, new books or name-brand cereal) and always arrange to have somebody pick us up at the airport. Cheri-Lee is generally that somebody.
"Sorry if we kept you waiting," Mom said when we were all squished inside the car. We had more luggage than the trunk could hold, so Henry sat on my lap in the oh-so-comfortable elbow-jutting-into-spleen configuration.
Since she'd taken us to the airport at the beginning of the summer, Cheri-Lee had done some decorating on her car. A flock of red plastic swallows was pinned to the felt covering the ceiling, and she'd affixed turquoise roses to the steering wheel. Over the last year she'd started to go through a crafty phase, dip-dying old nightgowns and attending potato-stamping seminars. Looked as though the party wasn't over yet.

From the Hardcover edition.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
Review, The New York Times Book Review, September 12, 2008:
"Claire Voyante . . . has a curious talent for seeing into the future, but no control over it."

Meet the Author

Lauren Mechling is the coauthor of all three 10th Grade Social Climber books. She lives and writes in New York City. You can visit her at www.laurenmechling.com.

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Dream Girl 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Claire Voyante (yes, that is her real name) has had strange visions ever since she was little. She's never been able to do anything with them, but that all changes on her fifteenth birthday when her grandmother, Kiki, gives her a beautiful cameo made out of onyx and ivory on a gold chain. Pretty soon she starts having these strange black and white dreams.

While these dreams start occurring, Claire is in a new school and has made a fabulous new friend, Becca. Becca happens to be part of a very rich family and she has a very attractive brother named Andy, but he has a beautiful, stuck-up girlfriend. When Claire starts having her dreams, she's afraid that they might have something to do with a family that has always had it out for Becca's family, and she's worried that they might be in danger.

With her powerful cameo Claire might actually be able to solve this mystery! At least that's what she hopes.

DREAM GIRL was a really cute book. It was even a great sort of mystery. I actually wasn't even sure how the book was going to end, but I did like the ending. Ms. Mechling gives her characters such strong and humorous voices. Claire and Kiki were my favorite characters. I love how they acted together. And I also thought the flirting between Andy and Claire was totally adorable.

Basically, this is just a really fun and light read. And isn't the cover adorable? I fell in love with it instantly!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Claire Voyante has been unfortunately named. Sure, she¿s been having strange dreams and visions since she can remember, but they¿ve never led her anywhere. Besides, the name is French. But on Claire¿s fifteenth birthday, her fashionable grandmother Kiki gives her a strange cameo made of onyx and ivory and tells Claire to wear it at all times. Suddenly, Claire¿s visions become clearer, although black-and-white. And though she¿s become very sleep-deprived due to these dreams, she starts to follow her hunches as her grandmother Kiki told her to, and to her surprise, she finds herself in the middle of a dangerous and old feud between two families. So, if Claire can just survive the horrors of her new high school, she just might be able to use her talent to save some lives. Dream Girl has a little bit of action, romance, and mysticism, all of which fit together perfectly. Claire¿s dreams, though random, were very interesting to read, and I was always wondering where they would lead her next. I also really liked Claire¿s character though she was a little insecure at times, she learned to trust her instincts, which led to new friends, adventures, and, unfortunately, enemies. I really enjoyed how Claire had to use her wits to follow each new clue, and it was pretty exciting to read along as Claire snuck around. It was also pretty interesting to see Claire¿s grandmother Kiki¿s lavish lifestyle as well as Claire¿s international exploits. Another plus was the other wacky characters in the story who kept the plot amusing. Together, the unique plot and characters really made Dream Girl an amazing story. Dream Girl was definitely a satisfying and thrilling read that I recommend to all readers. Fans of stories with high style, high school, and high mystery will enjoy this novel. I hope there will be a sequel to this fantastic story, or at least another great novel from Lauren Mechling.
Makayla Adams More than 1 year ago
you have to read this wonderful book everyone in the family will love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
writingirl_15 More than 1 year ago
First and foremost I have to say that I really hate the cover of this book (what is the girl LOOKING AT?) lol- it just bugs me. But the story is very good. Although it did have some flaws, (i.e. when Kiki told the main character, Claire, that she had some psychic talents of her own, Claire wasn't even suprised, though the readers are to believe this is the first time Kiki told Claire. And maybe it is just me but I think Andy acts kinda weird.) but the good things in this book definatly outweighs the bad. Although the author did leave some loose ends that I hope she ties up in the next book- like where did the necklace originally come from? And how come it helps with clairvoyants dreams/visions? Dream Girl is told in the first person narrative by Claire Voyante, and I really grew to like her. Even though the "bad guy(s)" in this book were pretty obvious, it kept me turning the pages until the very end. To me, it was more a book about the life of Claire and how she dealt with and figured out her dreams. I will most likely buy the sequal, Dream Life
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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dholland08 More than 1 year ago
The novel Dream Girl definitely relies on it's original, likeable characters to keep the story afloat. It's narrated by Claire Voyante, aptly named due to her psychic visions. Unfortunately all of those visions have never helped her in life and usually end up making her feel awkward. Claire is starting a new school, full of overly studious, unfriendly classmates and strict teachers. It's a far cry from her previous haven at her alternative private school. Then Claire's grandmother- Kiki, an ettiquette obsessed socialite who doubles as her best friend- gives her a cameo necklace for her fifteenth birthday. When Claire wears it she starts having eerie, seemingly meaningless black and white dreams. Meanwhile she is being bullied by her former best friend and finding a friend in Becca, a stylish ketchup heiress who also feels out of place at their school. One reason I enjoyed this book was I could relate to Claire so well. The details about her over crowded apartment, love of all things Agatha Christie, and slightly dysfunctional family made her seem all the more real. But after one hundred and fifty or so pages of building up the story and introducing characters, the story fell flat. Once the three hundred year old feud between Becca's family and their rivals was introduced and it became clear that Claire's dreams were leading her to help them, the story tapered off. The mystery surrounding this feud seeemed half-hearted and the plot seemed like an afterthought. The villains were all cliche and Claire's psychic dreams became redundant. But towards the end the story picked up once more, as our sleuth's escapades took her across western Europe. The details of high fashion and literature give this story class and the ending was sweet if predictable. Dream Girl's conclusion seems open to the possibility of a sequel, and if one is published I'll be sure to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is supposed to be about a clairvoyant, but it's so much more than that. It's an exciting mystery set in New York and it's full of the most hilarious characters--my favorite was Becca, the sarcastic ketchup princess. I just got it and I've already read it twice.