Novel Project Story Analysis– Subliminal

It’s happening!  It’s happening!  The novel project is happening!  

Unfortunately, I will not make it to class tomorrow.  *goes in the corner and sobs hysterically*  But I would really love to hear your opinion on this.  Please tell me any thoughts you have!

Title: Subliminal

Author: Eira Conall

Genre: Dystopian

Audience: Young Adult



Rowan Atreus/ Lacey Gorse— Due to her dirty blonde hair, brown eyes, and average height, nothing about this mid-teen girl’s appearance really stands out.  At the beginning of the novel, Rowan is thrown into a prison cell where she loses all her memories.  A few days later, she is released and put into the Auroran Learning Institute (ALI), where she is given the name Lacey Gorse.  Confused and disoriented, Lacey struggles to uncover the truth of her past while trying to learn the rules of surviving ALI.

Rowena Dare—Tall, dark haired and blue-eyed, this girl is impossible not to notice and even harder to say no to.  Although she is a few years older than Lacey, she takes immediate interest in her.  Rowena strongly discourages Lacey from doing anything to recover her memories, adamantly reassuring her that there is nothing in her past worth remembering.

Kenning Chase—This confident, strong, popular boy prefers to go by his last name, Chase.  Although ALI has no official leaders, people clearly look up to him.  Similarly to Rowena, Chase believes the best thing Lacey can do is try to forget her past and find a new life at ALI.

Ella—A quirky, clever Asian girl, Ella becomes Lacey’s roommate.  Usually found with a book, she claims she doesn’t care in the slightest what people think of her.  Which is fortunate, considering most think her to be rather odd.  Although she doesn’t speak much, she always has something important to say.

The Aurorans— They’re the mysterious people group behind Auroran Learning Institute.  Although they do teach classes and occasionally step in to establish order, they’re mostly absent.  Perhaps even invisible.  Yet it doesn’t take long for Lacey to discover the Aurorans keep much stricter control than it would appear.

Point of View

The story will be told by a third person omniscient narrator in present tense.

(I don’t think I’ve ever read a book in third person present tense, so I wanted to try it.  If it sounds weird I might drop it.)


Everything takes place a few hundred years from the present, but the exact date won’t be important.  Most of the action happens in Auroran Learning Institute (ALI).

Plot Outline

In the distant future, a mysterious group of people found the Auroran Learning Institute (ALI), a home they give to the twenty percent most talented young people.  Rowan Atreus, an imprisoned girl with amnesia, finds herself placed here and is renamed Lacey Gorse.  Those around her tell her to put aside her past and embrace her life at ALI, where she’s free to become who she wants.  Yet as she searches for clues to her past, she uncovers dark truths that make her question how free ALI really is, who she is, and everything she thinks she knows.


Character vs. society

This is probably the most key conflict, since every character experiences it in some way.  The Aurorans leave subtle clues as to how everyone should act, what should interest them, and who they should be.  The clues and pressures vary from character to character, as does the characters’ reactions.

Character vs. himself

Again, this is one all of the main characters will face as they decide who they are and who to become.

Character vs. character

Lacey wants to recover her memories, but Rowena tries to stop her.  This is a more minor conflict.


What pressures does society put on us and what lies does it tell us?

What is true freedom?

How do we know the truth about a person?

What are we enslaved to?

How do we measure our own worth?

Literary Devices

Allusion—Rowan’s last name, Atreus, is also the name of a cursed family from Greek mythology.  This hints that her family history was not a happy one.

Bildungsroman—Getting fancy here.  This is a literary device where the protagonist grows throughout the entire story, usually starting with being removed or chased away from his/her home.  After being removed from her home and placed in ALI, Rowan will undergo a process of growth throughout the book.

Irony— All of the inhabitants of ALI are told they’re free and can become who they want to be while they are actually receiving constant instructions on who to be.


Write a paragraph of your opinion of this story and why. Rate it as 1-5 stars, 5 being the best.

I do not know how I came to create this monstrosity, this insanity.  An idea came into my mind, and I’ve been molding it, throwing in my mind, heart, and life experiences until it came to this.  At times it feels as if it writes itself, at times I struggle with the smallest details.  Through all this, I’ve come to care deeply for it.  With all my heart, I hope that in the end you’ll love it and rate it five stars, and that I will, too.  You might not like it or find it strange, and please tell me your honest opinion.  But by the end, my hope is that it will change our lives.


15 thoughts on “Novel Project Story Analysis– Subliminal

  1. Third person present tense…. Pardon my immediate focus on the technical details, but I couldn’t help myself. That will be an interesting way to write. And an omniscient narrator huh? I look forward to seeing good use out of that. =P Sounds like a great story. Amnesia is always fun to toy around with, and dystopian learning institutes never turn out well. XP I can automatically visualize a dozen ways this could go, and none of them are pleasant, with increasing degrees of darkness. XD

    ~Michael Hollingworth
    Disce Ferenda Pati – Learn to endure what must be borne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your thoughts! I’ve thought of a lot of different ways it could go too, but I have to actually choose how it turns out. 😛 I won’t give spoilers, but there will be darkness involved…


  2. Wow, Sarah. This is going to be something! I can tell you’ve definitely been stewing on this for a looong time! How many years has this scheme been in the making? Just reading the analysis gives me shivers, so I know it’s going to be prodding and gripping and, of course, well-written. 🙂 ❤ Hope I can keep up with this as it comes along!


      1. It’ll definitely probably help that you’ve been planning it for a while. I didn’t really determine mine until the week we had to turn in the outline, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to go with it….


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