By: Ryan La Sala
Magical Realism, LGBT, YA
A few weeks ago, Kane Montgomery was in an accident that robbed him of his memory. The only thing he knows for certain is that the police found him half-dead in the river. The world as he knows it feels different―reality seems different. And when strange things start happening around him, Kane isn’t sure where to turn.
And then three of his classmates show up, claiming to be his friends and the only people who can tell him what’s truly going on. Kane doesn’t know what to believe or who he can trust. But as he and the others are dragged into increasingly fantastical dream worlds drawn from imagination, it becomes clear that there is dark magic at work. Nothing in Kane’s life is an accident, and only he can keep the world itself from unraveling.
Reverie is an intricate and compelling LGBT young adult book about the secret worlds we hide within ourselves and what happens when they become real.
I fully appreciated the originality of this book. The concept of dreams entering reality, that a few with the ability to take control to keep others from harm, was great. I even appreciated the underlying social commentary, the subtlety with which Mr. La Sala speaks of real issues buried in this fantastical story. While I didn’t like Girls of Paper and Fire because of the forced-down-your-throat way of telling, Reverie allows the story to make its point; allows the characters organic growth as they stumble and search and find the courage to be true.
On its surface, Reverie is a great story. That is enough to make the book worth reading. From page one, there is the overlying sense of urgency to find out what is going on that manages to maintain throughout, even as we’re swung back-and-forth between who might really be the villain, including the one whose central to the story. The question of how friends are made, how social boundaries might be crossed, and how those friendships make us better people is central to this telling.
There was something missing that kept me from giving this book 5 stars. Possibly, that missing thing was simply because of Reverie’s reading level. As a YA book, there is a line. There was also the lingering idea (in my mind) that this might have easily been a little darker, a little more horror or thriller that might have ramped it to the next level. Either way, Reverie is a great read.
Happy Reading 🙂