I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Lucid by Jay Bonansinga
on April 28th 2015
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Source: the author
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Lori Blaine is not your average seventeen-year-old high school student. Cool and iconoclastic in her dread-locks and natty thrift shop garb, with an IQ that’s off the charts, she is the ersatz leader of a pack of Goth kids that circle around her in the halls of Valesburg Central like a school of pilot fish. Lori speaks softly, but when she does speak, people have a tendency to listen.
But Lori Blaine has one problem: The door.
Lori’s dreams are haunted by this strange, recurring symbol. The door is always there on the periphery… beckoning to her, daring her to see what might be waiting for her on the other side. Finally, at the urging of an overzealous school psychologist, Lori Blaine decides to face her fears. The next night, she goes through the dream door… and immediately plunges into a shattered looking glass world in which nothing is as it seems and evil awaits around every corner.
But when Lori fights back, all hell breaks loose.
The first thing that caught my interest was the cover, but in the end, I read it purely because of the author. I’ve been a huge fan on the Walking Dead novels, telling the Governor’s backstory. Those are written with Robert Kirkman, and I was never sure how much of the story was his, and how much was Bonansinga’s. This was my chance to get a peek at Jay’s writing skills all on his own.
Was I impressed? Yes and no. Bonansinga definitely took on a gigantic challenge with this book. Lucid really is thinking outside the box. Literally. Anything is possible in our dreams, and I think he captured that perfectly. The main character, Lori, is a lucid dreamer, meaning that she’s aware within a dream and can therefore manipulate it. The story really did stretch the limits of reality to a breaking point, and had my imagination working overtime. Obviously, this made the story unpredictable… BUT it also made the book hard to follow at times. Not only that, but because most of the book took place inside Lori’s head, there wasn’t a lot of time for secondary character development. Her friends were mentioned a few times, and her mother had a handful of scenes. Even the romantic interest smacked of instalove because there wasn’t enough interaction between them, not enough dialogue. It’s a good thing that I really enjoyed Lori as a character. Her IQ is off the charts, but she takes care to fly under the radar, even going so far as intentionally getting lower grades. She’s fiercely loyal to her mother, and is also fearless. Overall, I felt empowered living inside her head for the length of this book.
I found there were some odd contradictions throughout the story. Most of them were small, like describing daffodils as the wrong color, clothing spontaneously changing mid-scene, or my personal favorite, when she woke up in the hospital and had to pee… but had a catheter in. The largest, however, was the absence of religion. Bonansinga introduces an archangel, but not once questions the existence of God. I felt like this left a gap in the story, leaving me desperate to know more.
In the end, I did enjoy the story. It was liberating to leave reality entirely behind and to delve into a personal darkness.