Sunday, May 5, 2013

Review: Lucid by Adrienne Stoltz

Title: Lucid

Author: Adrienne Stoltz and Ron Bass

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Forget everything you've been told about Lucid. Everything. I'd be hard-pressed to come up with a title of a novel I've been more mislead by, and not in a good way. Lucid promises to be an original, mind-boggling, and paranormal tale of two girls who can't discern their reality from their dreams, much like what happens to Leonardo DiCaprio's wife in "Inception." Lucid, I have to admit, certainly delivers on this front, but only during the last twenty percent of this novel. For the other eighty percent, we are slowly flipping the pages, bored senseless by the normalcy of the two lives we are presented and if, you're like me, banging our heads as Adrienne Stoltz has managed to cleverly weave two love triangles in one. While Lucid is by no means an excellent novel, its ending saved it from being a disappointing one.

Maggie and Sloane have the same name, but they could not be two more different individuals. Maggie is a teenage actress living in Manhattan with a widowed mother who is more careless than responsible and a beloved younger sister who Maggie dotes on, but also takes full care of. Sloane, on the other hand, has a loving family, a younger brother, a best guy friend who is always there for her, and a normal school life. In fact, the only tragedy to hit her life is the death of Bill, a childhood friend. For Maggie, romance enters her life in the form of Andrew and Thomas while Sloane is torn between James, the enigmatic new guy who wins her heart with his intellect and good-looks, and her life-long best friend, Gordy. What makes Sloane and Maggie connected, though, more than just their names is the fact that they dream of each others lives at night and now, they can't tell who is real and who is simply a figment of their own imagination.

Quite frankly, it took me awhile to get into Lucid. If I hadn't been reading this on a read-along, I most probably would have abandoned it at its half-way point. Each chapter switches from the perspectives of Maggie and Sloane and at first, I found myself zooming through Maggie's chapters to get to Sloane. Maggie, as an actress, is aloof and distant from the reader for much of the story, failing to form the immediate emotional connection that Sloane garners because of the normalcy of her life. As the novel wore on, though, I found that I began to care for both heroines and the stark differences between their narrations were very clearly felt, which is an obvious plus point in the direction of this debut author.

Unfortunately, though, the eighty percent of this novel shrouded in dullness is also filled with angst. We have Maggie, who likes Andrew, who has a girlfriend. We also have Thomas, who is an agent, who likes Maggie, who is seven years younger than him and isn't even a legal adult. Ew. On the other hand, we have Sloane, who is besotted with James - and I don't completely blame her - but he, too, is rather mercurial. Although Gordy is never a viable love interest because of the attention Sloane lavishes on James, our feelings towards James oscillate from love to hate rapidly. One of the most unique aspects of this novel is that by the end, some of this makes sense. My mixed feelings towards James, for instance, are perfectly explained and kind of mind-blowing in their subtle genius. Others, though, are merely present for drama, angst, and for the sake of prolonging the novel longer than it needed to be. Folks, the beginning of this story is not a fun ride - not at all.

Thankfully, though, the plot slowly gives away to a descent into madness. We see aspects of Maggie's life crop up in Sloane's and vice versa and, at first, we aren't sure what to think. When the ending arrives, it is stunning and explains so much - but not enough. It seems to be too obscure for me to fully fall in love with this novel, yet decent enough that I did like it. Nevertheless, I can only recommend Lucid to the most patient of readers, those who can barrel through angst and love triangles to finally get to the rather genius ending within. And, to them, I simply say this: good luck.

A huge thanks to Jasprit for reading this along with me! Without her, I would have undoubtedly given up and never been shocked by the utterly brilliant ending. :)


  1. Great review Keertana.. I felt much the same way. Several times on the way through, I wanted to abandon it because it just felt like hard work and I wasn't invested in either of the main characters. I agree that the last 20% or so picked up and the climax was great, though. Still have conflicting feelings over the ending - I wanted just a tiny bit more resolution - even though I'm usually okay with ambiguous endings.

  2. Sounds like there are way too many characters in this story, especially as the number is doubled due to the two girls.

    It also reminds me a little of Between the Lives, but I found that easy to follow whereas Lucid sounds a bit confusing and slow.

    Sorry it was an average read!

  3. I DNF'd my last book and am tempted to DNF my current read too. I have absolutely zero patience at the moment, so I'm not sure if this one is for me (most likely not!). I'm glad that it eventually picked up and the ending impressed you. It's a shame the first half wasn't as compelling though. Lovely review, Keertana! I think I'll skip this one for the time being. :)

  4. Yeah, I hated the ending. It felt rushed and I could tell that they had written themselves in a corner they didn't really know how to get out of so bam! There were also logistical problems that I kept on wondering about. For example, it is only possible for one place to night and the other to be day if people exist on two different sides of the earth. These two were far from each other but still in the same country. At the most, they'd have a four hour difference rather than a 12. Still, I did like the writing a lot though the romance with the 'normal' girl was far too cheesy for my liking.

  5. In spite of your issues I find that I'm intrigued by this. I'm wondering what this brilliant ending is and how Maggie & Sloane's lives are intertwined. Wonderful review. :)

  6. Aww, it's a shame that the first part of this book is so dull. I saw this at my library a few days ago and I snatched it up. Hopefully I'll have the patience to slog through the beginning, because it seems like the ending is really worth it. Although I'm not quite sure if all the angst and love triangles is going to be worth it. Because seriously, one love triangle is bad enough as it is, but two?! I don't know about that...

    Fabulous review, as always Keertana!! <3

    -Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life

  7. *sigh* I have to agree with you. I wanted so much to like this book, I wanted it to blow my mind, but it was, for the most part, just contemporary!!! And I didn't want to read contemporary, especially essentially plotless one.
    The last part, however, I loved, but in a way, that only made things worse because it showed me what the book could have been.
    Ah, well. You can't win them all.

  8. Girl, the reviews for this book were just all over the place! It's a shame that it wasn't until the last 20% that it turned into a mind-boggling book. And TWO love triangles? Ehhh... I don't know how to feel about that. The way you describe the characters makes me a little wary. I think I'll pick this one up when I honestly have nothing else to read. Thanks for the beautiful review though, Keertana!

  9. Aww, I really was excited for this one. The synopsis really was intriguing. Great review as always, Keertana. :)

  10. The best part of Lucid was unfortunately the last 20%, it's a shame as this book did have a lot of potential. But I think I found myself invested a lot into this story, especially with Sloane and thus enjoyed it a bit more than you did. But I think Lucid has definitely left me wanting more books with parallel stories. Thanks for reading this with me too, I would have been utterly baffled, if I wasn't able to dissect the ending with anyone! Wonderful review! :)

  11. I'm thinking that this novel will never end up in my hands. I'm not really a fan of alternate-reality stories in general, and your review makes it sound as though the most important aspect of each girl's life has to do with their individual love triangles (well, and maybe the dreams they end up having of one another). I'm glad at least you were able to enjoy the ending, however!

  12. No way could I deal with this love story. Too many contenders. I do think the concept is interesting, but I don't really like alternate realities and this sounds like one with several different stories, and I don't think that I could deal with that. With your high rating despite your problems, it sounds like it ends up being really interesting and rewarding by the end but I don't think I could make it there.

    Also, I'm always frustrated when a blurb is misleading. That can definitely affect my expectations big time.

  13. I was really confused by this book as well! Since the majority of the book is just two different girls dealing with two different love triangles, I got bored and kind of upset, since that was NOT what I’d been promised. The ending did make up for a lot of things, though, and I genuinely didn’t see it coming, but I would have liked more creepiness earlier on. So I definitely agree with this review!

  14. All the reviews for this book are so wildly intriguing, hah. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU'RE ALL TALKING ABOUT. So I guess I need to read it, especially if you say that delicious "madness" word in regards to the end. :D

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  15. Yeah...I never was dying to read this one, but now I can safely mark it in the not for me category. A 20% payoff at the end wouldn't be worth the angst and boredom for me and quite frankly I'm impressed you rated it as highly as you did.

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