Review: Reverie by Ryan La Sala

Reverie is a queer contemporary portal fantasy that kept surprising me as I read it, mostly in good ways.

Reverie CoverAll Kane Montgomery knows for certain is that the police found him half-dead in the river. He can’t remember how he got there, what happened after, and why his life seems so different now. And it’s not just Kane who’s different, the world feels off, reality itself seems different.

As Kane pieces together clues, three almost-strangers claim to be his friends and the only people who can truly tell him what’s going on. 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 when a sinister force threatens to alter reality for good, they will have to do everything they can to stop it before it unravels everything they know.

This wildly imaginative debut explores what happens when the secret worlds that people hide within themselves come to light. (Goodreads) Goodreads

I received an eARC of Reverie via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Reverie is one of the most unusual novels I’ve read in a long time. It’a book where portal fantasy meets inception, which is a really great combination. It was like La Sala had a lot of alternate universe ideas and found a way to work them all together into a cohesive plot that kept me rooted to it.

It needs trigger warnings for memory loss, false memories, police involvement, queerphobic and homophobic microaggressions against the main characters, and the disappearance of minor characters.

Our main character, Kane, is kind of a dick for the entire novel. He has many reasons to be because pretty much everyone around him is hiding things from him and he has no memories of most of them. I’d be a dick, too, if that was my reality.

Poesy was a hell of an antagonist, and I can’t get into why without spoiling just about everything. However, if you want a great villain, you are in for a treat here. I also loved that there were background characters that were queer women.

Personally, I would have loved to have seen a little bit more delving into the background of the loom and the existence of the reveries, but in such a fast-paced novel, I can see why La Sala chose not to. I also wish there was a queer man in Kane’s life that he could have turned to other than Poesy because he desperately needs an adult he feels comfortable talking to.  I hope Kane finds one soon.

While there were a few things I didn’t love about this, it’s still a great book and one that I think a lot of people are going to love. You can pick it up on Amazon, Indiebound, or Book Depository through our affiliate links!


Title: Reverie

Author: Ryan La Sala

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Length: 416 Pages

Release Date: December 3, 2019

Rating: Recommended

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Representation: cisgender gay author, cisgender gay main character, wlw side character, wlw minor character


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