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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: Lucid by Adrienne Stoltz, Ron Bass

Title: Lucid
Author: Adrienne Stoltz, Ron Bass
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Publishing House: Razorbill
ISBN: 9781595145192
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked


What if you could dream your way into a different life?

Sloane is a straight-A student from a small coastal town. 

Maggie is a glamorously independent up-and-coming actress in New York.

The two girls couldn't be more different - except for one thing. At night, they dream they're each other. They live each other's lives, they know each other's secrets. They each fall in love. But their two lives have never converged - until now.

Which life is just a dream? Which is real?

Eventually, they will have to figure out the answer, or risk spiraling into insanity.

But for one girl, that means giving up everything - her life, her love, herself - just when she finally has something worth holding on to.

          (Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


It's not so much as a secret that I love books that make me think. These kinds of books garner high ratings from me, most especially when I'm stuck in a loop, just thinking about what I've read. Imagine this. It's been five minutes since I had just finished the book. My mind had just been folded and refolded many times over, and my heart has long been rendered numb. Sunlight was streaming in, homework had to be done, and the only thing you could hear was the gentle hum coming from the fan. And my soft murmur of wow. That's how good Lucid is.

Sloane and Maggie are two very different personas inhabiting two vastly different worlds. Where Sloane resides in a town so small that had just been rocked by a death of a well-liked teenager, Maggie lives it up fabulously in New York, like the ultimately posh sophisticate that she is. Despite their distinct personalities, Sloane and Maggie are each other's secret - when either girl dreams, they dream of living the other's life - and it's definitely something they'd want to keep to themselves. Sloane knows exactly how Mystic, Connecticut will respond to her erratic behavior, and Maggie can't risk dirtying her reputation right now, especially when she's this close to getting a role in a television series. Just as Sloane and Maggie are comfortable with being best friends, the two girls fall in love, and they're finding the parallels of their lives getting harder and harder to ignore. Now that both of their lives are slowly converging and turning into a horrible mess (or is it?), they must come to terms if either is a fantasy, a reality, and maybe even have to decide if any girl should stay at all.

I loved Maggie. She was very much in control of herself, and you could even say that she wielded her grasp on it like a weapon. Maggie is very much confident, and gives off a mature vibe, which she undoubtedly has harnessed from taking care of her little sister, Jade. If there's anyone who could take the world by storm, it is people like Maggie, who exudes confidence, even if she hesitates in the love department. Sloane would be the more   normal (by societal standards) of the two girls, so it's not a surprise that I'm not exactly jumping up and down for her. The only thing that Sloane has to look forward to right now is the attention of a boy who shares the same interest in F. Scott Fitzgerald's works. Maggie and Sloane, Sloane and Maggie - different as night and day. The love interests Bass and Stoltz introduce vary in their appeal too. We are introduced to Thomas, Maggie's older suitor, but we also meet sweet and witty Andrew whom I was all flipping the pages for. Gordy, Sloane's childhood friend, is pretty much stuck in the friend zone, where as the new guy, James, catches Sloane's attention simply for being gorgeous and her literary equal. However, while I have no biases against guys who are both gorgeous and smart - seriously, who would? - I just couldn't see why Sloane was in over her head with this guy. Most of the time, he acted like he was playing some sort of cat-and-mouse game with her, and I just couldn't connect him with the guy that Sloane is making out to be.

It is during the last thirds of the book that things begin to go haywire. This part, while confusing, is definitely interesting, as the authors will not bother to spoon-feed you with the current situation. Lucid will bother you and make you draw your own conclusions, and I surmise that people will have different interpretations of what has actually transpired.

The ongoing battle with identity fits the target audience quite nicely, as teens are expected to be confused during this age with regards to identity and ambitions in life. Maggie and Sloane both want something that the other has, and while one is a little shaky, but mostly confident about herself, the other is still stuttering and bumbling about her life decisions. The novel is aptly called Lucid, as both the reader and the main characters themselves cannot distinguish which girl is the real deal. The reader is invited to learn a lot about these two female protagonists, but will have a hard time differentiating the facts from the make-believe. I must admit that even I myself am both stumped and mystified at how much I am bent around both Stoltz' and Bass' fingers. The complexity of the subject matter these two authors offer is delicious, intriguing, and confusing.
"I'm practicing," she says. "For when you're far away and I have to pretend we're together."
 "When that happens," I tell her, "if that happens, we both have to work very hard at understanding something. We're not pretending we're together. We're realizing that we actually are together in the ways that count the most." - p. 339
But more than trumping the readers and leaving them stupefied, Stoltz and Bass do not deviate from their intent, and that is to deliver a solid attempt at reconciling love, acceptance, death, and with it, rebirth. 

Bass' and Stoltz' writing is impeccable and riveting, which is hardly surprising as they have written screenplays together for years, and Bass is in actuality, an *Academy Award-winning screenwriter. 

If you're the type who rereads books because they take a different meaning the second or third time around, I'd strongly urge you to pick up this thought-provoking novel. While I do not have the luxury of rereading books as I do currently have a lot in my to-read pile, you have my word that I will sneak this one in between my other reading sometime, and catch up again with Maggie and Sloane. 

*Reference: IMDB


  1. Great review, Michelle. Lucid sounds like my sort of book, I'll have to add it to TBR list.

  2. I agree this is totally a book you have to reread once you know the ending! I'm so happy that you enjoyed it I thought it was so good! Great review!

    1. Thanks, Giselle! Glad to know that you enjoyed it too.

  3. What a lovely review, you have me wanting to pick this up now. I love a book that makes you think and draws you in with its writing.