Author: Ryan La Sala
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Edition/Pages: Ebook, 416 pages
I received an arc copy of this from Sourcebooks via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I won’t lie this book is hard to summarize….
Kane can’t remember what happened the night of the crash. All he remembers is being found in the river while a town landmark burned.
Then Kane finds himself dragged into a magical dream world with 3 strangers who claim to be his best friends. They also claim it’s their job to unravel this worlds. Kane must unravel the truth about what happened the night of the accident while the dream worlds threaten to become a new reality.
➸ POV – 3rd person from Kane’s POV
➸ Kane Montgomery: High School Junior, Brother, Gay, Recently involved in a car accident that he can’t remember
➸ Content Warnings: Talk of suicide, Homophobia, Bullying
This was one of the most unique concepts and worlds I’ve ever read. But because of that, I was confused AF for a solid 70% of this book. And I think by the last 30% I didn’t necessarily have a better grasp on the world so much as I’d come to terms with the confusion.
There were so many things this book did right – amazing representation and inclusion, an ambitious plot, unique world and magic. And I loved all of those things. But my favorite part of this was the villain! They was so layered and multidimensional to the point where I actually questioned if they were actually evil. As their motives were revealed, I began to sympathize and understand how and why they got to this point. Which is always the mark of an amazingly developed villain!
However, I don’t think this ambitious story was perfectly executed. So much was left un- or under- explained. How do Reveries come into existence? Why? How does Kane unravel them? And more often than not, the explanation for these was simply – and it happened! Which was frustrating and underwhelming as a reader.
But I think the awkward pacing of this story was it’s biggest downfall. Not only did this have way too many unexplained plot lines, but the character arcs were clumsy. Since this is told from Kane’s POV and for most of the story he doesn’t remember or like anyone, the side characters are significantly underdeveloped. And any relationships that bloomed felt out of no where. I didn’t become attached to anyone because I didn’t know who they were.
Overall I thought this book tackled some really important themes and had one of the most unique plots I’ve read. But it fell a little short in the execution for me.