Reverie by Ryan La Sala
“Kane absolutely did not want to fight the Dreadmare. He wanted to kiss the Dreadmare. Maybe.”
I decided to read this book for the Big Library Read which occurred this month. I’ve been in a couple “general” book clubs (i.e. not specific to one genre, like mystery), and had come to the conclusion that any book picked for a book club type event would always be some form of realistic fiction or nonfiction. Imagine my shock when I began reading Reverie and my instincts immediately began screaming “YA contemporary fantasy!” As soon as I got over my surprise I was immensely pleased. My favorite genre, finally getting some of its due!
Not only that, it was represented by a fantastic book. Being an avid reader of the genre, I often find myself running into books that, while thoroughly enjoyable, do bear similarities to some of their peers or predecessors (including my own works, I fear). This book, while instantly recognizable as contemporary YA fantasy, had an original spin I had never seen before. It took a few chapters for the fantasy element to show up, but once it did it was there to stay.
Aside from gushing about my favorite genre, I loved the intense point of view in this book. Often I find first person stories more enjoyable than third person, because first person puts you squarely in the mind of the protagonist(s), which I personally love. Third person, even limited, tends to hold the reader at arm’s length, reminding you that the protagonist(s) isn’t actually you. Not so with Reverie. Although written in third person limited, the point of view was so tight and focused on Kane, I sometimes forgot it wasn’t first person while reading. Bravo to Ryan La Sala for that!
I usually take at least a week to read a book, especially if I want to savor the world and characters before having to let them go. In this case, since I was reading the book for the Big Library Read, and because I didn’t find out about the event until late in the game, I binge read it in four days. And maybe the high action, high stakes plot also kept me riveted to the book a little bit. Okay, so that was a lot of it. Having the fate of reality (whatever that actually is) in the balance is right at the top of the “high stakes plots” list.
This was definitely one of my favorite, mind bending books I’ve read this year. I’m thrilled Reverie got picked for the Big Library Read, both because that’s how I discovered it and because I hope more people find this book. I’m also looking forward to seeing what Ryan La Sala writes next. Even if it’s not fantasy. (Alright, so maybe I already looked up what his next book is…) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️