YU+ME Dream, a webcomic by Megan Rose Gedris, starts out telling the story of a young misfit named Fiona, who doesn't have friends and whose only escape from her real life is when she dreams. She meets a girl named Lia and a boy named Jake, and finally discovers what it's like to have people care about her wellbeing— but also gets herself into all sorts of social entanglements and finds out something new about herself. If you've heard of YU+ME before, you probably know that it does not continue to tell this same story. Gedris took a huge storytelling risk, and without spoiling the plot, nobody is exactly the same as one would believe. This works well sometimes— a character whose mannerisms turn out to be very different than one first assumes forces the reader to question their prejudices— but always is at least interesting. Even innocent Fiona isn't exactly as you know her. If a reader's open to different kinds of stories and is a fan of multiple genres (or simply does not judge a work by genre), then YU+ME Dream will be a pleasant surprise. On the other hand, there are many readers of YU+ME that enjoyed the high school story, but were completely turned off by the story that Gedris really wanted to tell. If you prefer realism to fantasy, you might still want to give it a shot, but if you're very strongly attached to realism and can't identify with characters in a fantasy setting, or if you just hate fantasy in general, you're probably not going to like the way YU+ME goes. There's obvously a twist, but the nature of that twist isn't obvious, so some readers may feel cheated. The story goes on, and continues to have emotional significance for the characters involved, but if a reader doesn't like the new fantasy elements, they may not be able to remain attached. The comic does have many good things going for it, regardless of genre. Gedris' art starts out lovely and continues to improve and evolve, morphing from a shojo manga inspired style to something entirely Gedris' own. The writing is also excellent, and I for one can't wait to see what happens next. In short, YU+ME is like a delicious cup of tea. If you only like coffee, you're not going to like it, especially if you're going in on the assumption it's coffee. But if you don't mind tea, it's definitely worth a try.
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