Cover image for Reverie
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397 pages ; 22 cm.
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Kane Montgomery was found half-dead in the river. He has no memory of what happened, and why his life seems so different now. The entire world feels off, reality itself seems different. Three almost-strangers claim to be his friends and the only people who can truly tell him what's going on. As unimaginable worlds 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. A sinister force threatens to alter reality for good, and Kane and his friends must stop it before it unravels everything they know. --


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"An outstanding debut...[that] will light readers' imaginations on fire."--School Library JournalSTARRED Review

"A fever nightmare of epically queer proportions."--Mark Oshiro, author of Anger Is a Gift

Inception meets The Magicians in this wildly imaginative story about what happens when the secret worlds people hide within themselves come to light.

All Kane Montgomery knows for certain is that the police found him half-dead in the river. He can't remember anything since an accident robbed him of his memories a few weeks ago. And the world feels different--reality itself seems different.

So when three of his classmates claim to be his friends and the only people who can tell him what's truly going on, he doesn't know what to believe or who he can trust. 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 only he can stop their world from unraveling.

Author Notes

Ryan La Sala grew up in Connecticut, but only physically. Mentally, he spent most of his childhood in the worlds of Sailor Moon and Xena: Warrior Princess, which perhaps explains all the twirling. He studied Anthropology and Neuroscience at Northeastern University before becoming a project manager specialized in digital tools. He technically lives in New York City, but has actually transcended material reality and only takes up a human shell for special occasions, like brunch, and to watch anime (which is banned on the astral plane). Reverie is Ryan's debut novel. You can visit him at

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up--La Sala's debut novel captures the magical, enthralling, and sometimes unsettling feelings that can come when our dreamworlds consume us. The story opens after a strange "accident" that leaves Kane Montgomery nearly dead and with no memories of the previous weeks. Kane quickly discovers, however, that nothing that has happened to him was an accident at all, and that reality is much more complicated than most people could fathom. As people's fantasies begin to bend reality in ways that threaten to destroy Kane's loved ones, it is up to him and the Others--a group of friends with extraordinary powers--to unravel these warped realities and save the world as they know it. This outstanding debut novel will light readers' imaginations on fire. La Sala's ability to create not just one fantasy world, but many smaller ones within it, is impressive. In these worlds, or reveries, La Sala cleverly weaves together characters' deepest desires and fears with eccentric and sometimes absurd elements that perfectly capture the way it feels to dream. These worlds would be nothing, of course, without a strong cast of dynamic characters to navigate them. From teen heroes to the evil sorceress, each character in the novel exudes both vulnerability and immense power. VERDICT Imaginative, bold, and full of queer representation, this is a must-purchase for YA collections.--Lauren Hathaway, University of British Columbia

Publisher's Weekly Review

Gay high school junior Kane Montgomery does not remember stealing his father's car and crashing it into an abandoned mill in East Amity, Conn. But after paramedics pull him from a river--and with a missing person to account for and facing possible arson charges--Kane accepts the help of the frightening, charismatic psychologist Dr. Poesy in uncovering what happened. As the events leading up to the car crash begin to surface, Kane encounters reveries, dreamlike fantasy worlds conjured by East Amity's citizens, and meets the Others, classmates with the ability to enter and manipulate the reveries. Slowly, Kane discovers his own powers within the reveries, but when the dreams prove unmanageable, threatening the balance between reality and fantasy, Kane must make difficult decisions that affect friends, family, and a new boyfriend. With a nod to Roald Dahl's The Witches, debut author La Sala weaves compelling tension into the elaborate reveries' richly drawn, if occasionally overwrought, worlds. Still, La Sala's portrayal of Kane's friendship with the Others is heartfelt, and the story's many LGBTQ characters are prominently represented and powerfully nuanced. Ages 14--up. Agent: Veronica Park, Corvisiero Literary Agency. (Jan.)

Kirkus Review

A teenager fights to keep a series of baroque fantasy worlds from tearing his reality apart.Something terrible happened to Kane Montgomery at the old mill in his Connecticut hometownor he did something terrible there; but with his memory of the night gone, even he couldn't tell you what. Now Kane has to prove that he's stable enough to go back to school, a task made infinitely more difficult by visions of spiderlike monsters and mysterious encounters with a glamorous, overtly queer person named Dr. Poesy. When Kane and his friendsbullied Ursula Abernathy, queen bee Adeline Bishop, golden boy Elliot Levi, and gorgeous, moody Dean Floresare pulled into a series of immersive fantasy worlds generated by the minds of their town's residents, Kane must figure out whom to trust and whom to save before fantasy destroys reality completely. The narrative and aesthetics are joyously, riotously queer, reveling in moments of sensuality between Kane and other boys as well as in Dr. Poesy's drag-queen ensembles and the over-the-top fantasy worlds. Adeline and Dean are brown-skinned, Elliot is Jewish, and LGBTQ secondary and background characters suffuse the story. While the plot is predictable, the story's many pop-culture influences feel derivative, and the prose often rings hollow and thesaurus-happy, the themes of creating one's own reality and fighting against the rules imposed by the world you're born into will ring powerfully true for many young readers.A colorful, queer fantasy pastiche. (Contemporary fantasy. 14-18) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Kane doesn't remember stealing his dad's car, crashing it into the old mill, or being pulled out before the fire could envelop him. Dr. Poesy, in charge of Kane's clinical evaluation, warns that there's more to the incident and that Kane may be pursued over things he doesn't remember. As Kane learns more about his past including his friendship with three other classmates and their group, the Others he discovers reveries, imagined worlds brought to life that pull in everyone nearby, as well as his ability to stop them. As the reveries become more common and less stable, Kane must determine whom he can trust his so-called friends or Dr. Poesy? Fantasy fans will appreciate the complex and immersive world building behind reveries. The cast of mysterious characters adds to the story's shadowy atmosphere, while Kane's interactions with his friends and sister add a humorous and caring layer. A unique, clever fantasy with a strong protagonist that will leave readers hoping for a sequel.--Selenia Paz Copyright 2019 Booklist