ARC Review: Your Dream For Me by Alison Schaffir

*I was given a copy of Your Dream For Me in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Level Best Books and Alison Schaffir* 


Seventeen-year-old Scarlett, unlike her theatrically gifted parents, is not one to spend time near a spotlight. Scarlett dreams of becoming a renowned fashion designer, where she can flex her creative talents away from a crowd. So it’s no surprise when she sneaks into her school’s costume shop to explore the racks. Unexpected, however, is coming face-to-face with Nathaniel Wilder, a talented theatre student who piques a new interest.

With fashion still as her main priority, Scarlett vows to learn how to make a 50s-inspired dress for her best friend, Macie. After all, she needs a strong portfolio of work to help her get into her dream school, the Fashion Institute of Technology. The one problem? She has no idea how to operate a sewing machine. Thanks to Nathaniel’s encouragement, Scarlett decides to shadow the school’s drama teacher to practice her skills, hoping to fuse her passion for fashion with theatre…and be closer to him for the spring play.

Scarlett’s designs are unfolding, but a distressing event involving Macie shakes everyone in Scarlett’s world—causing their friendship to falter and Nathaniel to unexpectedly pull away. With building stressors threatening the rest of the year, including a rival who wants to tarnish Scarlett’s reputation, Scarlett must rely on her determined spirit and newfound sewing skills to keep her fashion dreams—and her most important relationships—from unraveling.


When I read the synopsis of Your Dream For Me I knew I needed to read it. I love books about theatre and the fact that this one is about an aspiring fashion designer working in her school’s theatre department sounded amazing. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite what I hoped.

Firstly, Scarlett has a classic case of ‘not like the other girls’ or quite possibly ‘I’m better than everyone else in this school because I don’t want to act like a teenager’. She makes a comment about not wanting to participate in the school dance because she doesn’t like how everyone else was dancing. It was a weird thing to comment on. 

She genuinely wasn’t a very likeable character, too stubborn and never let anyone explain themselves. Which could be classic teen selfishness, but it was worse than that. She goes off at Nathaniel for not asking her to prom before he can explain himself. It got very annoying and repetitive how often she wasn’t happy with people. 

The main issue for me was how two dimensional the characters were. I hardly knew anything about any of them other than their basic appearance and one hobby they have. Throughout Your Dream For Me there was little to no character development and I found that I really did not care what happened to any of them. Especially Scarlett and Nathaniel, I had no desire to see their relationship grow as it had no build up so I wasn’t at all invested. 

The use of time in this book was very strange. The pacing seemed way off. I thought everything was happening in the space of a few weeks but apparently, it was months. Characters would exchange a few lines of dialogue and then suddenly hours had passed. This happens a few times and it felt unnecessary and potentially a little lazy. These are the moments where you are supposed to develop relationships and character traits but instead, they say two things and then it’s over. 

I doubt if you learned how to use a sewing machine a week ago you’d be able to make a whole dress. It wouldn’t have made a difference to the story if Scarlett was able to sew from the start, it would make her perfectly designing and sewing a dress on her first attempt more believable. 

The overall concept was pretty interesting and I liked all of the theatre references. Your Dream For Me was also a pretty quick read so that was a positive. Unfortunately, this was not the right book for me, there wasn’t any issue with the actual writing, it’s pretty well written. But the execution was not great for me.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

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