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Dreamers Often Lie Hardcover – April 5, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—This Shakespeare-influenced novel centers on an unreliable narrator meandering her way through high school, with concussion impairing her cognition. Jaye hit her head on a family skiing trip, and ever since waking up in the hospital she's been visited by Shakespeare himself, as well as some of his creations including Hamlet, Ophelia, and Romeo. Jaye tries to keep their presence in her life a secret as she processes the recent death of her father and rehearses for the school play, as Titania in Midsummer. She also has to navigate the romantic feelings of her former best friend, who was implicated in her father's car accident, and the attention of a handsome, rebellious boy with a checkered past who just transferred to her school. A healthy chunk of dialogue is directly quoted or paraphrased from Shakespearean plays, particularly Hamlet, and Jaye herself mirrors elements of the tragic Dane. She is melancholic and dramatic, and the story is peppered with her hallucinations. Readers are left wondering how trustworthy she is. Is she really seeing Shakespeare's spirit? What is the mystery behind her father's death? Which memories and thoughts are authentic, and which ones are symptoms of a concussion? VERDICT This novel has many questions and few answers, which is true to the Shakespearean influence and makes for a unique reading experience.—Kyle Lukoff, Corlears School, New York City
Praise for Dreamers Often Lie
"If you liked the trippy hallucinations of Black Swan, you'll be mesmerized by Jacqueline West's eerie new YA romance."—Entertainment Weekly
"Engrossing . . . A dizzying new twist on one of the Bard's most famous plays."—Kirkus Reviews
“Utterly beguiling . . . Jaye is a fiercely headstrong force and West’s writing is lyrical, lilting, [and] spectral.”—Booklist
“Both moving and humorous . . . West’s use of quotes from Shakespeare’s various plays is restrained but perfectly timed . . . [Shakespeare’s characters] shine as they come to life in the twenty-first century.”—BCCB
“West’s middle-grade ‘The Books of Elsewhere’ series made the New York Times bestseller list because of its unusual psychological depth as well as its effective plot. ‘Dreamers Often Lie’ also uses unusual sources of depth, conveyed in rich language. . . . The moral ambiguity and deep questions of [Shakespeare’s] tragedies are woven into the story, as Jaye [tries] to hold onto her own life while well-meaning people try to take it from her. . . . Resonant.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top customer reviews
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I don't often review books for one reason or another but I felt compelled to on this one. I am so rarely drawn into a story this deeply and the level of complexity of this story has led me to begin reading the book a second time already. If that isn't a seal of approval I don't know what is. This book is, in a word, awesome.
One Word: confusing
Color mr perplexed.
Jaye, suffering from a severe head wound, is the ultimate unreliable narrator. She's hallucinating, losing time, has some retrograde amnesia and she's not always honest. As character, she had many dimensions, but I think most were due to mental illness and brain injury. Other readers might have different interpretations and I suspect Jacqueline West has this in mind.
Much of DREAMERS OFTEN LIE felt disjointed and miss the mark for me. If Jaye's head injury and skull fracture were so severe, I have a hard time believing the doctors would have missed that her condition was more severe than she let on, which leads me to believe a preexisting mental illness.
Jaye was a rebel and rule breaker, so why did she obey her sister and not her mother?
Her parents marriage and father's death--red herrings or important? And Pierce's role?
And the ending, don't get me started, I'm not sure if West wanted an "aha" or a "wtf" from readers. I know that I felt gypped. I love a good plot twist, even a surprise ending, but not an ending I don't understand.
I have never read anything by Jacqueline West before so I was really excited to start this book. Oh, and how about this cover? This cover is so beautiful yet so mysterious! I had no idea what the book was even about until I began reading! The story is very unique and completely different from anything I have ever read. Which is always a good thing! I love reading books that are different and Now days, a lot of books are starting to become very similar.
Dreamers Often Lie is about a girl named Jaye. Jaye happens to be in a very horrific accident that put her in the hospital. Jaye has a frontal lobe injury which can affect a persons memory, personality, and physical functions. Jaye begins to mix up real life and her dream life. Jaye is the star of her school play, A mid Summer night's dream, and I think the stress of the play and the possibility of not being well in time, plays a big factor in her Shakespearean hallucinations. Jaye begins to see Characters from Shakespeare's plays in real life, which starts to really take a toll on her. Jaye refuses to tell anyone about her hallucinations. She just wants to be normal again. Jaye rekindles her friendship with pierce, an old family friend, and also meets a new boy, Rob. Rob just so happens to be the Romeo from her dreams. It takes a while for her to believe he is really real at first. Jaye starts to like Rob, but it is hard for her to be open about it because Pierce absolutely despises him. What will Jaye do? How can she make such big decisions? She isn't even fully healed yet! How will she handle her hallucinations? Will she ever learn what is real and what isn't?
Dreamers Often Lie was really well written and fun! I loved being in Jaye's world surrounded by Shakespeare's characters. This book feels like it would have been really hard to write. The author did an amazing job bringing back Shakespearian characters and she did an awesome job making them feel real! Jacqueline didn't change the characters at all, it was like her characters were the same exact characters I used to read about in my english classes in high school. The author really did take on a hard task when writing this book, and I can honestly say that she completely nailed it! woohoo!
I did have to read this book very carefully though! If one speed reads, or does not pay close attention, I can see the reader becoming easily confused. The relationships drove me insane throughout the book! I really do love me some love triangles! But for some reason this one just drove me completely bonkers. Sometimes I liked Rob and other times I liked Pierce! I still do not know who I like more!
The only problem I had with this book was the ending. It was definitely an open ending, which is okay! I am all for leaving books open and letting the readers minds wander. But my problem is that I'm not completely sure I even understood what happened. I obviously can't go into detail about it because I would hate to give the ending away for anyone! My advice would be to pay very close attention when reading the end and maybe you will be a little more confident in what you think happened, than I am.
Overall, very good book and extremely well written. Like I said before, you have to be a really good writer to pull off a book like this.
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