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The Fourth Wall

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  53 ratings  ·  23 reviews
When Marin was little and monsters chased her through nightmares, she learned to weave her own dreams. Her mother called the lucid dreaming a gift, and when an accident takes her mother and leaves her baby brother an empty shell, Marin uses this gift to spin a new reality for herself. One without time or sorrow. A world without memory.

But just when Marin thinks she’s safe
Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 10th 2014 by WiDo Publishing (first published May 19th 2014)
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This was an interesting story, but it wasn’t quite what I was expecting.

Marin was an okay character and I felt really sorry for her after losing her mother the way she did, and the troubles she was having with her father and brother.

The storyline in this was good, but I did find it a bit confusing. I expected this to be a paranormal/fantasy story, but it was more like a contemporary story, and I began to wonder if the paranormal stuff was just Marin’s way of
Noa Bash
Nov 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Short:
I was very interested in reading this book since lucid dreaming has always interested me. This did not disappoint. I loved the chapters where you would go inside of Marin's dreams and see and experience what she saw. The characters were not that great, but the were enjoyable enough. This was pretty good, quick read, but not like the best book ever.

The Good:
The lucid dreams were fascination. I loved seeing exactly what Marin thought of, and the extent to her creativity. Her dreams were
Ruth Fox
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Fourth Wall tells the story of Marin, a young girl who experiences vivid dreams in which she is entirely lucid. She is able to use these dreams to escape the heartbreaking reality of her life, in which she is still reeling from her mother’s sudden death, and dealing with her younger brother’s retreat into an uncommunicative state.
Marin is pulled out of her comfort zone when a school counsellor enrols her, unwillingly, in a group of her peers. Marin isn’t sure she fits in with these other tro
Dwayne Gill
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel is why I like to occasionally pick a random book to read

This novel falls outside of what I typically read, but I’m glad I stumbled across it. It’s a very well-written and inspiring story that keeps one wanting to read another page, then another chapter. The subtle descriptions in this novel were wonderful and challenged my own imagination to think harder, and deeper. I’m not sure why this author hasn’t published anything since. This was a great read.
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great novel that shows the importance and influence of dreams on every day life. A story that accurately impresses on the reader the toil the death of a parent can take on a child's life. I found the dream sequences extremely imaginative and effective.
Susan Brower
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The language of the book is beautiful. The authors portrayal of grief was mesmerizing. This is one of the few books I would re- read. I think teens, young adults and adults would enjoy this book.
Cheryl Lopatka
Just ok for me

This story took place mostly in Marin's mind. It might speak to someone else differently, but I found it hard to stay interested.
Mary Fan
Jul 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
15-year-old Marin has been lucid dreaming since she was little, when her mother told her that her ability to control her dreamscape was a gift. After a tragic accident claims her mother's life, she uses her power over her dreams to create a fantasyland to escape into. In addition, her mother's death has caused her baby brother to regress inexplicably, while her father struggles to care for them both alone.

When she's advised by a counselor to join group therapy at school, Marin is initially skept
Renee Roberson
Jul 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"Her mother once called it a gift. Ten years ago, when Marin was five, a little girl with a big imagination and a closet full of monsters. At night she could dream them to life. She watched them creep from corners and spun them down through in her consciousness in all their wretched glory."

From the opening pages of The Fourth Wall, the author's powerful use of imagery drew me in. I felt like I could physically feel the ache of loss permeating through Marin's entire being. I wanted to weep for bo
Katherine Hajer
Jun 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Every death is different, and so is every mourning. The impact can be as subtle as realising the man you always said hello to at the coffee shop hasn't been there for a while, or as dramatic as the toppling a government.

For Marin, the teenage protagonist of The Fourth Wall, the impact is close and life-changing. Her mother's death has meant new responsibilities, a nearly-catatonic baby brother, and a father exhausted by grief and by trying to hold what's left of his family together.

Marin has one

The Fourth Wall is one of those books where I read the blurb and think I know what I'm getting into but once I start reading, I have no idea! This is a good thing! After a while of reading similar books, The Fourth Wall is a welcoming change. If I had to tell someone what it was about, I'd tell them "it's about a young girl cursed or blessed (depending on how you view it) with the gift/curse of lucid dreaming to overcome the death of her mother and her broken family". In a nutshell that's ex
Carrie Lahain
In THE FOURTH WALL, Elizabeth Maria Naranjo gives readers a touching and creative meditation on the nature of grief and emotional healing.

Marin has always had a unique dream life. She has the gift of lucid dreaming, meaning she is fully aware as she dreams and able to take action. After a car accident takes her mother's life and leaves her family in tatters, her dreams offer solace and sanctuary. This is fine until the unexpected intervention of a school psychologist--and contact with peers who
Crystal Otto
Jun 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Fourth Wall is listed as YA but deals with some very grown up topics. I really struggled through the first few chapters. Not because they weren’t well written. Elizabeth’s writing is gorgeous with just the right amount of description and dialogue. The reason I struggled was the reality of her writing. She drew me into the Marin’s life in such a way I found myself wondering “what if” about my own life.

It’s quite a gift to write fantasy so well it wraps itself around reality. There were times
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This story was beautifully written. What an amazing debut! The characters were so believable, I almost felt like an intruder into their very realistic lives. There is nothing more you could ask for, as a reader, than to be so engrossed you have an emotional stake in the lives of the characters, of the story.
There were a few different spots, however, within Marin's dream state that tripped me up as to whether she had woken up, or exactly where she was or which state she was in. Even still, it too
Charity Bradford
Nov 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-fantasy
This was a surprising read for me. I didn't know what to expect, and this was a little out of my normal reading. Naranjo creates compelling characters striving to deal with a tragedy and find a new way to live their lives. Well, living might be a stretch. Marin and her dad are merely existing as they try to care for Marin's little brother. Worrying about his well-being and lack of progression since the death of Marin's mom is easier than dealing with their own loss.

Marin's dream world has protec
Heidi Weinmann
Jul 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
This debut YA novel by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo kept me interested and involved from page one. Marin has lost her mother in a terrible accident and her life has been turned upside down. Her father now works nights, and her young brother is slipping away. Marin retreats to her dreams, which she can control. Her mother told her that her "lucid dreaming" is a gift, but increasingly it feels like a curse. Marin goes through changes at school that involve a counselor, a group of friends, and of course ...more
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is listed as a YA novel, but I found it very well written and definitely a good book for adults. This book pulled me in from the very beginning and had me yearning for more. I had such strong feelings for the teenage girl Marin and her family and the pain they had to endure. I really wanted to be able to comfort her and give her strength and courage to go on. I don't want to give anything away but would highly recommend this. Have a box of tissues at hand for some of the rough parts though ...more
Elizabeth Keen
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a really compelling book. Marin, the main character, copes with the tragedies in her life by creating elaborate lucid dreams at night and retreating into herself during the day. I thought that the author did an amazing job of maintaining a dreamlike tone throughout the book, even during the scenes where Marin isn't dreaming, which created a nice tension and build to the climax. This is a fairly simple story, but it's also elegant and thoughtful and has a nice fantasy element. The ending ...more
Scott Keen
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Fourth Wall was a compelling novel that was profoundly sad at times. We see the aftermath of a family trying to cope with difficulties that life brings them. One of my favorite parts of the book is the love the father shows his children, and the struggle he goes through as he tries to do what is best for the family. That resonated with me and was quite moving. I think Naranjo has a gift with language. It is very vivid and evocative. While Naranjo could have made Marin very cynical and jaded, ...more
Georgiann Hennelly
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The fourth Wall is a y/a book. Marin learned to weave her own dreams when she was little. But when an accident takes her Mother and her Baby Brother is an empty shell. Marin weaves a new reality for herself one with out sorrow or time. But just when she feels safe the Monsters come back and turn her dream world into a nightmare. In order to heal herself and her family Marin must face the truth and conquer the Fourth wall. A truly fascinating read. I look forward to reading more books by this aut ...more
Jul 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that makes you think. Lucid dreaming hmm. Getting over the loss of a mother at a young age that is so tragic. I like a few quotes from the book and saved them. One about the fourth wall I won't quote the whole thing here but just a portion : “I get it,” Marin said thoughtfully. “So in the movies , that’s why actors never look in the camera? Because—” “They’d break the fourth wall,” Greg said, nodding. “Magic gone.”

Good job Ms. Naranjo!
Sep 08, 2014 rated it liked it
I reviewed this book here:
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Elizabeth grew up writing short stories and bad poetry before escaping the cold winters of Wyoming and settling in the Sonoran Desert. She lives in Tempe, Arizona, with her husband and two children. She still loves to write, but fortunately gave up on poetry. THE FOURTH WALL is her first novel.

Elizabeth's short stories and creative nonfiction have been published in Brevity Magazine, Superstition R