Saturday, April 9, 2016

ARC Review: Dreamers Often Lie by Jacqueline West

Title: Dreamers Often Lie
Author: Jacqueline West
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication date: Aprill 5th 2016
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Jaye wakes up from a skiing accident with a fractured skull, a blinding headache, and her grip on reality sliding into delusion. Determined to get back to her starring role in the school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Jaye lies to her sister, her mom, her doctors. She's fine, she says. She's fine. If anyone knew the truth - that hallucinations of Shakespeare and his characters have followed her from her hospital bed to the high school halls - it would all be over. She’s almost managing to pull off the act when Romeo shows up in her anatomy class. And it turns out that he's 100% real. Suddenly Jaye has to choose between lying to everyone else and lying to herself.

Troubled by the magnetic new kid, a long-lost friend turned recent love interest, and the darkest parts of her family's past, Jaye’s life tangles with Shakespeare's most famous plays until she can't tell where truth ends and pretending begins. Soon, secret meetings and dizzying first kisses give way to more dangerous things. How much is real, how much is in Jaye's head, and how much does it matter as she flies toward a fate over which she seems to have no control?
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)

My thoughts:

This book was trippy as heck. I want to read Dreamers Often Lie because I have a huge love for anything psychological and messed up but this novel was just one confused bundle of words. There were moments wherein I would find myself enjoying the scenes and then the moments passes because I get all kinds of confused again. Even after finishing the book, I still don't really even know what the whole plot is; all I have are fragmented pieces that I don't really even know how to put together.

I felt so bad for Jaye as I was reading all the things she was going through; other than having a head injury and hallucinating Shakespeare and his characters, she also had typical high school drama (emphasis on boy drama) so she did have a lot on her plate. But what was really so interesting in being in her head is that you get to experience firsthand the slow unraveling of her mind, it was so fascinating seeing her memories war with each other and it really makes you wonder if a lot of the things you're reading is actually true. But unfortunately, being in Jaye's head was so much more fun(?) than having to experience her everyday life. Even though her mind was kind of messed up, it was so much more straightforward than what was happening outside.

Writing-wise, I'd give Jacqueline West a thumbs up and half. There were moments where the prose was stunning, like I'd just bask in the darkness and intricacies of her writing but there were also times wherein everything felt disjointed. The shifting scenes and personalities bothered me a bit and kind of paused my enjoyment of what was happening. Also, I still have a lot of questions. A lot. I don't think I'm ever getting them answered since this is looking to be a standalone but seriously, that ending was really unsatisfactory. It wasn't one that would make a reader not his/her head because it was genius, no, it'll just confuse you and make you wonder if you bought an unfinished copy.

All in all, I appreciate Jacqueline West's effort (I know this is her first YA novel) and the uniqueness of Dreamers Often Lie made it an interesting read. Did I love it? No. Did I like it? I liked it enough (if only I wasn't so mind-effed by the end of it). There were parts of this book that really shined (scenes wherein Jaye would interact with Shakespeare and his characters) and there were parts that really just didn't belong (Pierce, why are you even in this book?) but the writing and those special scenes were enough to pull this book up. Don't bother looking for a plot though, because there isn't one.


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