Something sinister is going on in the little town of Nightshade, California. Jessica Walsh and her band of friends each have gifts--reading people's thoughts, seeing the future, being female warriors who protect the town. When Jessica sees a ghost horse on the beach, the first murder is reported.
A rude painter shows up in town with a show of his gruesome paintings and a new owner buys Phantasm Farms, a local horse farm. The girls have to find out who or what's killing people and soon!
After a visit to Phantasm Farms, Jessica thinks that the ghost horse, the nightmares, the painter and the strange girl who can talk to horses are all tied together. Something is killing people with fear. Dreams begin haunting her friend Eva but she can't remember what the terror is exactly.
Caught up in the case, Jessica has to juggle her high school classes, her relationship with hot boyfriend Dominic and his burgeoning music career, her very crowded family home, the arrival of her older brother from college, and policing the town of Nightshade from evil. Residents in Nightshade aren't sleeping and Jessica has to get to the bottom of this mystery.
Dead is Just a Dream is a delightful paranormal read with a little Beverly Hills, 90210 and The Secret Circle mixed in. There's the rich kids and fancy cars and there's the circle of paranormal friends who live "normal" lives when not chasing evil or destroying monsters.
Marlene Perez has the teen scene down pat and readers will fall under her spell. Cover art with the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) skull may be off-putting to some readers--the kids attend a huge party on The Day of the Dead at a mansion. While the cover isn't that "girl-y" or romantic, fans of the series will read this book.
Highly recommended grade 7-up. No language. Just sweet kisses...oh, and murder.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive moentary compensation for this review.