The Daydreams (Hardcover)
On Our Shelves Now
A deliciously entertaining novel about the stars of a popular teen show from the early 2000s—and the reunion special, thirteen years after their scandalous flameout, that will either be their last chance at redemption, or destroy them all for good.
Back in 2004, The Daydreams had it all: a cast of innocent-seeming teenagers acting and singing their hearts out, amazing ratings, and a will-they-or-won’t-they romance that steamed up fan fiction forums. Then, during the live season two finale, it all imploded, leaving everyone scrambling to understand why.
Afterward, the four stars went down very different paths. Kat is now a lawyer in Washington, DC. Liana is the bored wife of a famous athlete. Noah, the show’s golden boy, emerged unscathed and is poised to become a household name. And Summer, the object of Noah’s fictional (and maybe real-life) affections, is the cautionary tale.
But now the fans are demanding a reunion special. The stars all have private reasons to come back: forgiveness, revenge, a second chance with a first love. But as they tentatively rediscover the magic of the original show, old secrets threaten to resurface—including the real reason behind their downfall.
Will this reunion be a chance to make things right? Or will it be the biggest mess the world has ever seen? No matter what, the ratings will be wild.
About the Author
Laura Hankin is the author of Happy & You Know It and A Special Place for Women. Her musical comedy has been featured in publications like The New York Times and The Washington Post, and she is developing projects for film and TV. She lives in Washington, DC, where she once fell off a treadmill twice in one day.
“The perfect novel to complement the return of cargo pants, platform flip-flops, and all other things Y2K…Forget Watch What Happens Live or even The Hills: This book is what you wish you could see on live TV.”
“Historical fiction books have the *best* stories. You saw it with Daisy Jones & the Six and you’ll see it again in this Laura Hankin page-turner… Expect lots of scandalous secrets, drama, and OMG moments in this fictitious exposé.”
“Those who like their beach books with a lot of drama will find what they’re looking for—and then some.”
—Wall Street Journal
“...[O]ne of our favorite single-sitting, cover-to-cover reads.”
“Once again, Laura Hankin has blessed us with a book so riveting that I emerged on the other side sweaty, exhilarated, and fully needing this to be real life.”
—Samantha Bee, comedian and host of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
“Catnip for anyone who feels deeply about the private lives of popstars. If you wanted Britney free, read this book. If you wanted Justin Timberlake to pay for his crimes, read this book. Juicy and heartfelt. I couldn't put it down.”
—Emma Straub, New York Times bestselling author of This Time Tomorrow
"A delicious behind-the-scenes look at stardom and the scars it leaves behind. Part mystery, part soap opera, all fun – this delightful book will give you a jolt of nostalgia while dispensing insightful commentary about being a young woman in the spotlight."
—Elissa Sussman, bestselling author of Funny You Should Ask
"Dishy and delicious with a sharp feminist bent, I stayed up until 2am finishing The Daydreams. If you've ever said 'Justice for Britney,' you will absolutely love this book."
—Kate Stayman-London, bestselling author of One to Watch
"I tore through The Daydreams with the breathless excitement of a preteen at a pop concert (and with a touch of nostalgia for the early 2000s!). Smart, incisive, and addictively fun. This is truly the book we need right now.”
—Katharine McGee, author of the New York Times bestselling American Royals series
"...[S]o much fun to read and thoroughly unputdownable. I’m telling all my friends to read it!"
“90s kids and anyone looking for a darkly satirical take on the entertainment world won’t want to miss this one.”
“Juicy, immersive…Think Daisy Jones and the Six, but with an irresistible Y2K backdrop.”
“What Daisy Jones & The Six did for 1970s nostalgia, Laura Hankin’s The Daydreams does for everyone who came of age during the Britney/Justin/Christina era. It’s wildly entertaining, surprisingly twisty, fierce, smart and absolutely pitch perfect.”
“Addictive, twisty and so much fun, The Daydreams had me hooked from the opening number. This big-hearted book sharply examines the true cost of fame through the eyes of four former teen stars embarking on a reunion special. The early-noughties nostalgia is truly delicious but, as always with Hankin’s writing, it’s the beautifully rendered relationships that are the real heart of the story.”
—Ella Berman, author of The Comeback
"With all of Laura Hankin's razor-sharp wit and incisive social commentary, The Daydreams exposes the many ways in which the media uses and discards its female stars, and manages to be both undeniably timely and steeped in perfectly rendered early 2000s nostalgia...Darkly humorous, big-hearted, and totally impossible to put down."
—Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, author of The Girls Are All So Nice Here
“This firecracker of a novel had me riveted from the first page. If you remember the aughts fondly, you'll fall head over heels for this nostalgic read by Hankin. I absolutely loved it.”
—Elissa R. Sloan, author of The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes
“The Daydreams sucked me in so thoroughly, I forgot I was reading a novel instead of a juicy stack of 2000s tabloids. Hankin pulls back the curtain on Hollywood's darkest secrets with plot twists that made me race toward the deeply satisfying ending. This perfect beach read is a nostalgic delight!”
—Hannah Orenstein, author of Head Over Heels
“Hankin delivers a sparkling story of lasting friendships amid the pitfalls of celebrity culture… Readers won’t want to put this down.”
“I devoured this book in less than a day. Hankin infuses so much humor and character into this story while also focusing on timely issues present in our society…”
—Thoughts From a Page
"This book is addictive, hilarious, twisty, and better than a stack of juicy tabloids."
“Told through alternate timelines, journal entries, tabloid articles, and soliloquies, the narrative is well-paced and surprising as it takes unexpected turns. ... Perfect for readers looking to reminisce about the early 2000s teen pop star scene, Hankin’s latest novel (after A Special Place for Women) is a compelling page-turner and a must-read.”
“Full of dishy drama that reads like a behind-the-scenes look at any number of Disney/Nickelodeon shows of the era, Hankin’s latest will appeal to fans of Elissa R. Sloan and Ella Berman.”
"A deliciously entertaining novel…"
—The Nerd Daily
“Wildly entertaining but still manages to tackle some important themes, like the media’s treatment of girls and young women in the 90s and early 2000s and the trauma that childhood stars are forced to grow up carrying.”
—Katie Couric Media