Reverie – Ryan La Sala

The act of crushing a dream can’t be minimised. At best, it’s mean. At worst, it’s murder.

I need to stop getting sucked into book hype vortexes. I keep expecting too much and winding up disappointed, unsure if the let down is real or a result of the height of the pedestal I placed the book upon before I read the first sentence.

“Reveries are what happens when a person’s imagined world becomes real. They’re like miniature realities, with their own plots and rules and perils.”

I absolutely adored the concept of Reverie and I love the design of the cover. I liked a lot of the sequences in the book, even though they felt disjointed at times, and thought the individual reveries I visited were very imaginative. So, what went wrong?

My main problem with this book was its characters. I never connected with any of them and, because of that, I wasn’t emotionally invested in what happened to them. I wanted to laugh with them, cry with them and be concerned for them, but I walked alongside them numb.

“You’re more powerful than you know.”

I would have loved to have loved or hated various characters but in all honesty there are still two characters that remain interchangeable to me. I know both of their names but throughout the book, unless I was reading a description of one of them, I couldn’t remember which one they were.

“Every reverie has a plot. If you don’t follow the rules of the reverie, you risk triggering a plot twist, and plot twists can be pretty deadly for people trapped inside reveries.”

There were so many elements I loved: a drag queen sorceress with her teacup, a character that has a much loved copy of Roald Dahl’s The Witches, pain transformed into power, subtitles appearing in a reverie whenever another language is spoken, and creations like a “gigantic nightmare horse-spider”. It should have all come together for me but it didn’t, and I’m gutted.

I’ve seen some glowing reviews of this book and I’m having major book envy; I wish I’d experienced the book the way they did. I’d encourage you to read some 5 star reviews. I hope you love it as much as they did.

Content warnings include mention of bullying and suicidal ideation.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

All Kane Montgomery knows for certain is that the police found him half-dead in the river. He can’t remember how he got there, what happened after, and why his life seems so different now. And it’s not just Kane who’s different, the world feels off, reality itself seems different. 

As Kane pieces together clues, three almost-strangers claim to be his friends and the only people who can truly tell him what’s going on. But as he and the others are dragged into unimaginable worlds that materialize out of nowhere – the gym warps into a subterranean temple, a historical home nearby blooms into a Victorian romance rife with scandal and sorcery – Kane realizes that nothing in his life is an accident. And when a sinister force threatens to alter reality for good, they will have to do everything they can to stop it before it unravels everything they know. 

This wildly imaginative debut explores what happens when the secret worlds that people hide within themselves come to light.

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