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Thursday, September 3, 2015

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Review: Lucid by Jay Bonansinga (Curiously and Curiously)

Lucid by Jay Bonansinga

Jay Bonansinga
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Permuted Press
Reviewer: Sophia

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.

Created by the New York Times bestselling author of The Walking Dead: Descent.... Lucid is a mind-bender of a contemporary supernatural thriller for young adults.
Review copy provided by the author via Xpresso Book Tours – thanks!

Lucid is really weird – it's not exactly a book with contents that I usually come across. The last time I actually read a book that dealt with dreams was The Vault of Dreamers. Lucid kind of... throws in dreams and nightmares together when Lori Blaine's psychologist encourages her to finally go through a door reoccurring in her dreams for years. When Lori does, she is plunged into another world entirely where danger lurks around every corner.

Bonansinga writes in a different style than what you might be used to. As I read Lucid, I felt like I was watching an episode of a TV series, or just merely an actress reading a script. While Lori is our main character most of the time, the author shifts outside of the character's thoughts every so often and focuses on the dialogue and actions of the people around her. There's are a few moments where it's almost as though there's a narrator observing everything going on but accidentally slips up and quickly tries to fix everything by repositioning the camera. Meanwhile, the characters, or "actors," pretend not to notice.
     They swerved around the body, which lay in a heap near the shoulder—giving it a wide berth—and then roared off into the night.
     They never saw the body behind them casually sit up, rise to its feet, and walk away.
     “I promise I’ll tell you everything,” Lori was saying, searching through the glove box, as the damaged Geo chugged down a hill.
I've also never seen so many caps in a book before. I don't mean the first letter in every sentence, I mean the I'M YELLING AT YOU THOUGH INTERMASPACE kind. (Or my brain is raging at a book. It's not necessarily one I didn't finish.)

Lucid is very action-packed and vivid, but I don't really feel like this is a stand alone. There's a pretty solid ending, but there may be a subtle loose end or two (I'll have to mull it over in my brain). The dream world, however...

I'm still very confused.
I know there are five stages of sleep: brain activity slows down in the first, brain activity is everywhere in the second as the body transitions into the third stage, where brain activity is low. The fourth stage is similar to the third stage as the body prepares for the fifth stage, which is known as REM, or rapid eye movement, and dreams come alive.

I totally summarized that part. I probably came across this on a boring day and didn't remember anything but rapid eye movement is where dreams occur. REM is also a unit of measurement measuring the amount of radiation absorbed by human tissue. *drum rolls* I promise I'm not showing off.

Anyhoo, back to this whole dream world thing Bonansinga built Lucid on. According to the book, there are three dimensions. There's WAKEworld, which I assume is when all of us are awake and slouching in office/desk chairs (or curled up with a good book); REMspace, which I assume is the dream world and where you dream; and then there's LIMBOspace/LIMBOworld, which, knowing the word limbo, it's the middle world between dreams and wakefulness.

I get the gist. But I don't understand how this whole LIMBOspace/LIMBOworld works. I mean, is it connected to that in-between where you're not living or dead, because it's connected to comatose states? What happens if Lori actually "ran out of time?" She'll be a vegetable, most likely, but if she runs out of time... is she a vegetable forever until her body is just a pile of bones and dust somewhere? But then what happens when you are a pile of bones and dust somewhere? Do you continue existing in this LIMBOspace, or do you just disappear?

I could be over thinking this and taking it a curious step further than what is actually necessary (I would still wonder about that connection to comatose states though). Lucid has mind-boggling and creepy moments throughout the book, but it's really just similar to someone trying to stop demons entering the real world. Bonansinga just takes it from a dream level rather than an inferno one. Points given for a unique take on an overused plot.

3.5 Owls

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Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.