Sunday, July 19, 2015

Lucid by Adrienne Stoltz, Ron Bass Review

"What if you could dream your way into a different life? What if you could choose to live that life forever?

Sloane and Maggie have never met. Sloane is a straight-A student with a big and loving family. Maggie lives a glamorously independent life as an up-and-coming actress in New York. The two girls couldn't be more different--except for one thing. They share a secret that they can't tell a soul. At night, they dream that they're each other.

The deeper they're pulled into the promise of their own lives, the more their worlds begin to blur dangerously together. Before long, Sloane and Maggie can no longer tell which life is real and which is just a dream. They realize that eventually they will have to choose one life to wake up to, or risk spiraling into insanity. But that means giving up one world, one love, and one self, forever.

This is a dazzling debut that will steal readers' hearts."


There are a few things I always dislike about mental diseases. Some of them are impossible to catch until it is too late. Some of them are so nasty that they seem to pry the life out of patients and their families. They always tear apart people's minds, and Lucid's Sloane and Maggie are no exceptions to that rule. Last of all, mental diseases are always heartbreaking to hear, read, or see. 

Maggie and Sloane are two characters who lead different lives. Maggie is a rising actress, and Sloane is in high school and dealing with the death of her best friend. Despite their differences, they are greatly similar. They have similar personalities, and their circumstances (like new love) are parallel to each other. The two girls dream of one another at night, and from the way they narrate their tale, their ability sounds supernatural and mystical.

(However, it is not mystical at all. The description of this book is most certainly misleading, and there is not a supernatural element present.)

The plot starts strong, and the story doesn't even seem disastrous in the very beginning. Readers are given a look at Maggie and Sloane's normal lives and problems. But when realities blur and nothing seems to be concrete, everything is questionable and everything could be either a lie or a truth. The book greatly underlines and circles how unreliable Maggie and Sloane are as narrators, and even at the spiraling, sudden, and shocking ending of Lucid, I don't trust the words in Maggie or Sloane's perspective.

The world building of Lucid is confusing at first. The idea of our two narrators as one person is confusing from the beginning to the end. Who is the real narrator? Which girl is living a dream and which girl is living her real life? Is Sloane real? Or is Maggie real? Thus, unreliable narrator. Lucid requires a lot of deep thinking and musing, but even with all of that, there is absolutely no way to find the truth.

The ending is one of the most curious parts of the book. It provides clean answers but also a long of room for unreliableness. Questions will most definitely pound into readers' heads, and it will take a long time to discern between truth and lies. Still, Lucid's ending remains satisfying and hopeful despite Maggie/Sloane's dire situation.

Overall, Lucid is an interesting take on a certain mental illness. Maggie and Sloane are curious characters, and their unreliable way of narrating is what makes Lucid works. I will recommend this to anyone who loves unreliable narrators. 

Rating: Three out of Five

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