Book Review, Fiction, Review, Young Adult

Book Review: ‘Reverie’, by Ryan La Sala

5.00 avg. rating (99% score) - 1 vote

About the Author, Ryan La Sala:

Ryan La SalaRyan La Sala has always lived on the partition between the real and unreal. He writes about surreal things happening to real people, and his stories are almost always queer. His first book, REVERIE,  focuses on the worlds we build within ourselves—our dreams and our delusions—and how they warp our reality. You can read an interview about it here.

La Sala grew up in a quaint suburb of Connecticut with his three siblings and three parents. He studied Anthropology and Neuroscience at Northeastern University in Boston and now works atop an antique movie theater at a digital design agency in Somerville, MA. He lives in a house festooned in decorations from past theme parties, where the TV alternates between Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Kingdom Hearts, and Sailor Moon. If not writing, Ryan is doing arts and crafts with his roommate, lounging around on gym equipment while listening to publishing podcasts, or listening to NPR while cooking. He loves CATS the musical unironically.

La Sala is represented by Veronica Park at Fuse Literary.

About the Book, ‘Reverie’:

All Kane Montgomery knows for certain is that the police found him half-dead in the river. He can’t remember anything since an accident robbed him of his memories a few weeks ago. And the world feels different – reality itself seems different.

So when three of his classmates claim to be his friends and the only people who can tell him what’s truly going on, he doesn’t know what to believe or who he can trust. 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 only he can stop their world from unraveling.

Reverie is a YA contemporary fantasy novel about what happens when the worlds we hide within ourselves become reality, and how far we’re willing to go to confront our darkest dreams. It features a diverse cast of queer teens doing their best to master powers that spawn from their greatest fears, to defeat a sorceress determined to tear apart reality and start over on her own terms.

Review of ‘Reverie’, by Ryan La Sala

Reverie by Ryan La SalaThere are two reasons why this book was a great read.

The first is that La Sala is a good writer.  The book is engaging from the very first page, the characters are full of life, the plot is thick and alive.  Some little bits of the book dragged a very tiny bit, but it could be because I wanted to know what was going on now, and anything that kept me from figuring it out, even the book itself, became an enemy.

Who knows, really.

The second if the metaphor of this entire book as a coming-of-age, self-discovery book.  The way that things that were always there were suddenly visible to Kane made me think, time and again, about the way we yearn to be something until we wake up one days and realise that what we were the entire time.

La Sala offers readers a lot to think about, and as readers of my reviews know, that’s the one thing I appreciate the most about a book.  Each reverie is an opportunity to find out more about a character, but also about our own relationship with the imagery in each reverie.  These events are spontaneous pop-ups born in any person’s imagination and that swallow everyone around them—except Kane and his friends, who not only remain aware of the fact that they are caught in a reverie, but can help resolve it quickly and without any long-term consequences.  Reveries are such a great opportunity to think about our own daydreams, helping readers identify the real story behind the ones we tell ourselves.

Final Thoughts

Fighting the status quo has never been as important as it is now, what with the terrible consequences of the status quo of the last 60-70 years we have been told is “reality”.  La Sala’s book is not only entertaining, but can offer the opportunity to readers to think about the rules that are imposed on us, the same ones that are leading us into an increasingly terrifying chaotic world, and to arise to change it, Greta Thunberg-style, for the better.

Connect with the author on Twitter.

Check out more of my YA book reviews here; fiction book reviews here; and all book reviews here.

5.00 avg. rating (99% score) - 1 vote

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