ARC Review: Dreamers Often Lie by Jacqueline West

Title: Dreamers Often Lie
Author: Jacqueline West
Publisher: Dial Books
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Hardcover, 354 Pages
Publication Date: April 5th, 2016

Summary: Jaye wakes up from a skiing accident with a fractured skull, a blinding headache, and her grip on reality sliding into delusion. Determined to get back to her starring role in the school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Jaye lies to her sister, her mom, her doctors. She's fine, she says. She's fine. If anyone knew the truth - that hallucinations of Shakespeare and his characters have followed her from her hospital bed to the high school halls - it would all be over. She’s almost managing to pull off the act when Romeo shows up in her anatomy class. And it turns out that he's 100% real. Suddenly Jaye has to choose between lying to everyone else and lying to herself. Troubled by the magnetic new kid, a long-lost friend turned recent love interest, and the darkest parts of her family's past, Jaye’s life tangles with Shakespeare's most famous plays until she can't tell where truth ends and pretending begins. Soon, secret meetings and dizzying first kisses give way to more dangerous things. How much is real, how much is in Jaye's head, and how much does it matter as she flies toward a fate over which she seems to have no control?

I received a finished copy of this book before its publication in exchange for an honest review, and I was very intrigued right off the bat. I want to be an English major, so naturally anything involving Shakespeare and the great works of literature interest me -- so I'd like to thank Dial for sending me this book to read, because I really liked it! (Plus, that cover -- isn't it pretty? *heart eye emoji*)

As the summary explains, Jaye hits her head during a skiing accident, and from that moment on, she finds herself able to see Shakespeare's famous characters, and even Shakespeare himself. Not even just see them -- several times throughout the novel they talk to her, or touch her, or push her or come near her, etc...and they're as real as any of the other people around her. 

It just kind of sucks that she's the only person that's allowed to see them.

There are some things that I liked about this book, and some things that I didn't. I've decided to start with the things that I didn't like so I can then follow up with the things I did like and wrap up the review on a positive note. 

(There are some minor spoilers in this paragraph so please skip to the next one if you haven't read the book yet!) What I really, really didn't like about Jaye was that she was basically a magnet for bad decisions. She had some good qualities about her, but the fact that she kept making the wrong choice again and again and AGAIN, even after just swearing to not make the wrong choice again, got really old really fast. She would literally promise her mother that she wouldn't make the wrong choice again for the umpteenth time, and then less than 24 hours, she'd be back out with Rob or out on her own or drinking coffee or doing something that she wasn't supposed to. And then she'd get caught. And then she'd be back at square one and do it all over again. I get that she's a little damaged after her accident and her common sense skills may not be all there, but...come on man, that's just simple logic. DON'T DO THE DUMB THING FOR THE THIRTEEN THOUSANDTH TIME.  

(Okay, major spoiler about the ending ahead, so I don't recommend reading this paragraph either if you haven't read the book yet.) The ending of this book really threw me for a loop, but not in a good way. It just ends so abruptly, but it ends in a way that there could NOT be a sequel and just leave everyone hanging like that and it would work. But I don't want to be left like that! They get in a freaking accident, Rob almost dies, and then he's not dead, and that's that? The mark of a good cliffhanger is when it leaves you with just enough questions to make you wonder without getting frustrated, but this book left me with WAY too many -- What happens to Rob and Jaye and Pierce? What does Pierce do after he followed them? Did they ever figure out what was wrong with Jaye's head? What does her mother say? What happens with the play? What happens with the rest of Jaye's life? WHAT HAPPENS WITH EVERYTHING?! They literally crash the car and then Rob opens his eyes and smiles and the book ends. What??!?!

Okay. *Deep breathing* Now that my mini-rants about those things are over, it's time to talk about what I did like about this book. Because this review is not a trash-fest, and there ARE things about this story that I enjoyed.

I definitely found it interesting when Jaye saw all of the characters and Shakespeare himself. Having read most of those stories, I was familiar with them, and it was interesting to see them make an appearance in a Young Adult book. I also really liked Rob, but I hated Pierce from the get-go, and wished that Jaye had thought to cut him loose from the first moment that it becomes apparent that he isn't the golden boy that everyone thought he was. 

Rob was a good kid, and he made Jaye happy, so I didn't understand why she didn't stand up for him more and tell her mother about all of his good qualities, instead just agreeing not to see him anymore (and then, of course, breaking that). But he was definitely my favorite character from the entire story. He was filled with energy and life and made Jaye happy in ways that nobody else had, and I definitely preferred Jaye being with him over being with Pierce.

All in all, Dreamers Often Lie was an original and interesting read about love and loss, a little bit of mind tricks thrown in, and struggling to do what you want in a world where everyone is telling you to do something different. I found this book super interesting and I definitely recommend picking it up and giving it a try! (And you already know that if there's a sequel, the English nerd in me will be ALL over that.)

Once again, I'd like to thank Dial for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review!

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