“Reverie” brings you through dreams

Shruthi Narayanan, Assistant Arts and Entertainment Editor

“Reverie” by Ryan La Sala is an imaginative urban fantasy book filled with great messages and diversity.

After its release on Dec. 3, 2019, the book featured on many prominent book lists, garnering well-deserved hype.

Many of its main characters, including the antagonist who is a drag queen sorceress, are LGBTQ, bringing some much needed diversity to the book world. This is a major leap in the right direction, as back in 2011, two authors were actually asked to “de-gay” their books, and even as late as 2013, only about 30 books about LGBTQ issues and characters were published by mainstream publishers. With rampant homophobia still present in certain areas of the U.S., it’s important for teenagers to have LGBTQ characters they can relate to.

The book begins by describing what happened during the last night the main character, Kane, spent with his sister Sophia before he lost his memory and was found by a lake by the police. Throughout the book, certain inexplicable events keep happening, such as the gym warping into a subterranean temple and a nearby historical home blooming into a Victorian romance rife with scandal and sorcery. Kane doesn’t know who to trust, but his friends continue to be there for him all the same. He and his ragtag group of friends are pulled into the fantasy worlds that reflect their hometown’s residents dreams. 

Their world keeps on unraveling, and the long-hidden secrets come to light. The interpersonal relationships between characters are explored in an engaging way, and the reader doesn’t know who to trust. As the plot progresses, the mysteries of Kane’s amnesia and other inexplicable events develop, enthralling readers with the magical world La Sala has created. 

While the plot can be slightly predictable at times, it is still captivating and filled with heart. It can be hard to follow the plot at times as the characters, locations and events constantly change, but these fluctuations reflect the true theme of the book: dreams may seem simple and safe on the surface, but darkness exists underneath.

With relatable themes such as finding your own place in the world, following your dreams and confronting authority, this book is definitely not a waste of a read. Dreamland can be mysterious at first glance, but if you peel back the layers far enough, you might be able to recognize the uncanny parallels to your own life.