Reverie by Ryan La Sala

Posted 01/17/2020 by Charli in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Reverie by Ryan La SalaReverie by Ryan La Sala
on December 3, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, Friendship, LGBT, Magical Realism, Social Themes, Young Adult Fiction
Pages: 416
Format: Hardcover
Source: Personal Library
four-stars

A B&N's YA Book Club Pick * Walmart Buzz Pick * Indie Next Pick * Book of the Month Club YA Box
A "joyously, riotously queer" (Kirkus) young adult fantasy from debut author Ryan La Sala, Reverie is a wildly imaginative story about dreams becoming reality, perfect for fans of Adam Silvera and Laini Taylor.
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.
Praise for Reverie:"This outstanding debut novel will light readers' imaginations on fire...Imaginative, bold, and full of queer representation, this is a must-purchase for YA collections."—School Library Journal *STARRED REVIEW*"This fantasy offers readers something wonderfully new and engaging...a gem of a novel that is as affirming as it is entertaining."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books"The story's many LGBTQ characters are prominently represented and powerfully nuanced."—Publishers Weekly"A darkly imagined, riveting fantasy... thrilling."—Shelf Awareness"Joyously, riotously queer... The themes of creating one's own reality and fighting against the rules imposed by the world you're born into will ring powerfully true for many young readers."—Kirkus Reviews


When the Barnes & Noble book club chose this book for the January book club, I was a little leary. I actually had this book from NetGalley and just couldn’t get into it. I tried for months to get into the book and just couldn’t do it. But, I hate to miss a book club, so I bought the book, hoping getting it in a physical copy would help. It did, but so did finally just sticking to it and getting through the first portion of the book.

I’m going to say this now – the only character I actually like is Ursula. The main character, Kane, is so annoying I want to reach through and just smack the daylights out of him. His thing of not being able to remember anything about his accident or who he was/what he was like before the accident, asking people what he was like or who he was before the accident, and then not believing them drove me bonkers.

Adeline’s attitude of seeming to be better than everyone is also annoying, Sophia’s overprotective character makes me cringe, and Elliott spends most of his time trying to impress Ursula. Poesy is a whole other ball of wax… let me tell you. I still don’t know if Poesy is biologically male and a drag queen, biologically female and dressed as a man for Kane and Poesy’s first meeting, or if Poesy is simply supposed to be unknown in gender – Poesy is referred to as “he” once or twice, “they/them” at other times, and “she” at other times. It’s a bit confusing and seriously easy to mis-gender Poesy because it’s hard to keep track of gender on that character.

The writing is done very well. The editing not so much. There are several places were words are misspelled, the wrong words are used, and where words are missing, but that’s a double edged issue – writing and editing. I mean, honestly, you’d think the editors would have noticed.

The story in and of itself is very creative. It gives a whole new perspective on “our own little worlds” and what could happen if those worlds managed to escape into reality. If you’re looking for a YA fantasy with major LGBTQ+ rep, I suggest you read this book. If there’s a sequel, I’m definitely going to read it.

four-stars