The Dream Where the Losers Go.


204 pages
ISBN 978-1-55143-455-1
DDC jC813'.54





Reviewed by Allison Sivak

Allison Sivak is a librarian in the Science and Technology Library at
the University of Alberta.


A powerful, somewhat fantastic novel that sits between science fiction and contemporary realism, the 1999 work The Dream Where the Losers Go has been rereleased. The protagonist, Skey, lives in a transition house for teenage girls who have addiction and self-harming issues; she has not been to school since her suicide attempt several months ago — and although she has earned the privilege of going back into the “outside world,” she still doesn’t know why she tried to kill herself.


While she’s happy to have earned some freedom, she is nervous about seeing the rest of her old gang, the Dragons. Will they accept her back? Will her boyfriend Jigger still want her? And what is her strange attraction to the self-described “loser” Lick in her classes?


Skey’s parents have all but abandoned her while she is going through these problems. And her reality is blurring, as Skey has recurring dreams about being lost in a dark maze with a mysterious boy who cannot tell her his name.


Goobie writes surreal stories with great confidence, and this book provides a compelling mystery. In contrast, many of the problems that Skey faces are all too darkly real, which grounds the novel for adolescent readers. Once Skey discovers the reason behind her suicide attempt, the book winds up a little too quickly, considering the weight of the issue she faces.


Goobie writes deftly of the complexities of teenagers discovering their sexualities. A difficult and sometimes disturbing read, but recommended.


Goobie, Beth., “The Dream Where the Losers Go.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 16, 2024,