Joy Holley

Dream Girl

Publication date:
11 May 2023

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Alice wants a heart-shaped bed. Mary, Genevieve and Angelica want to know the future. June says she wants Lena to rescue her from a rat, but really she wants Lena to make out with her. Eve wants to get Wallace alone at the strawberry farm. Olivia just wants to leave the haunted boarding school and go home.

Bittersweet and intimate, comic and gothic, Dream Girl is a collection of stories about young women navigating desire in all its manifestations. In stories of romance and bad driving, ghosts and ghosting, playlists and competitive pet ownership, love never fails to leave its mark.

Dream Girl is a winning concoction – sweet, heady, funny, tight, sharp – wittily charting the lightweight antics of “unattainably hot” girls, wearing its love-bites saucily and watching its crushes play out with wry sidelong glances. Its stories start as they mean to go on – with charm, chic, laughter, skill and sting.’ —Tracey Slaughter

‘These funny, original stories are the new cool girls of fiction. You’ll want to sit next to them.’ —Emily Perkins

‘I imagine travelling back in time and giving myself this book, Dream Girl. At sixteen. At twenty.  What a world-changing read it would be to me then.’ —Naomi Mary Smith, Takahē

'Dream Girl by Joy Holley might just be Aotearoa's sexiest, dreamiest, most swoonsome book.' —Donna Robertson

‘A tender and liberating book.' —Emma Hislop, RNZ

'Heart-shaped beds, rats in the cupboard, strawberry picking and old abandoned schools under moonlight – Dream Girl is a collection of curiosities all displayed beautifully for our consumption.' —Damien Levi, The Spinoff

'Dream Girl will surprise and enthral, as every story is as satisfying and entertaining as the last.' —Bella Sexton, the Post

Joy Holley lives in Pōneke. Her writing has been published in journals and anthologies in Aotearoa and overseas, including Starling, The Pantograph Punch and Sweet Mammalian. She completed her MA in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters in 2020.

Cover: Lily West

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