Book Info: YA mystery, Audiobook received for review from Penguin Audio. Running time: 9 hrs, 46 mins. Read by: Jessica DiCicco and Emma Galvin
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
Lucid is the brainchild of veteran screenwriting team Adrienne Stoltz and Ron Bass, and it’s quite a crazy reading experience. You know when you go to see psychological thrillers at the movies, and you leave and your mind is blown and you are maybe more than a little confused? That’s how I felt about Lucid. I didn’t always understand what was going on but I was completely fascinated. I’m still processing this one.
This is the kind of book you want to experience with an open mind, without knowing all the twists to it, so I’m certainly not going to spoil it for you. What you need to know is Lucid is a dual POV mystery about two girls who dream each other’s lives every night. It’s the kind of book where you don’t know if you can trust the narrator or not so it’s pretty unsettling.
There are two protagonists in Lucid, and they each have their own pseudo love triangle. Maggie lives in NYC with her mother and sister. She’s very independent and dreams of making it big as an actress, and she helps take care of her little sister due to her mom’s hectic job. Sloane, meanwhile, lives in Mystic, Connecticut and has a big family and close friends. She’s very studious and wants to attend college at Columbia. Maggie leads a more glamorous life, and is kind of a unique YA character, while Sloane’s life was more familiar to me. Both girls lead interesting lives and I was caught up in both of their stories.
One of the interesting things to me is that both girls know about the dreams and question their sanity, wondering which girl is the dream and which is real. They even think about the other girl’s life and comment on things that have occurred in their own lives. As the reader I did not know whom to trust and wondered who was driving this crazy train. It’s an interesting puzzle to try to solve especially when there are several game changers. The authors do a great job with giving strong voices to the two protagonists and making them have distinct personalities. I cared about both girls and worried about how things would turn out for them.
With the authors’ screenwriting background it’s no surprise that it reads so much like a well-crafted mystery thriller. I’m not smart enough to pick up on all the clues to figure it all out, but after I finished the book I went back and listened to the last few chapters and the beginning over again. This is one book I wish I read in a read-along or book club because it would be great to talk it over with someone to make sense of it all. It starts to make you doubt your own existence after awhile!
To line up with the dual narrative of the book, the audiobook also has two narrators. The readers do an outstanding job getting to the heart of their characters, something especially challenging when their stories are so intertwined. Jessica DiCicco reads the Maggie character, and I had to look her up because her voice is so familiar to me. (She is a voice actress famous for Adventure Time, and many other animated shows) She gives Maggie a lot of layers and I was impressed with her performance. Emma Galvin reads the more low-key Sloane character and also delivers a well-nuanced performance. Their voices are different from each other but their style meshes well.
The only thing I wasn’t too enamored of is the ending. I was so anxious to get to the end to see the big reveal and I have to say it was kind of anti-climactic. The third act of the book started getting very confusing, and like I said I had to re-listen to parts of it. The ending does have that air of mystery and I think readers are left to formulate their own conclusion. Even though I was a little under-whelmed with the ending, I thought the story was really creative and original, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Bass & Stoltz have up their sleeve next.