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Book Reviews
February 7, 2009 posted by Nikki

Wake – Lisa McMann

Have you ever wondered what your dreams mean? Well, Janie does, because her life is one huge dream after the other.

Except the dreams aren’t her own.

Janie is gifted – or cursed, depending on which way you look at it – and has the ability to step into other people’s dreams. Its something she can’t control, though, and she often finds herself being ripped out of her own consciousness only to be sucked into the dreams of those sleeping around her. And it seems that everyone around her hides their deepest, darkest secrets in their dreamland. She knows things about the kids around her that no one else does, but she can’t tell anyone because everyone would just think she’s crazy, right?

Wrong.

Cabel doesn’t think Janie is crazy, but he does know that something is quite right with her. Although she tells him nothing initially, he seems to understand that there is, in fact, something to tell. Cabel starts looking out for Janie and eventually, he finds himself in a bit of a predicament. You see, Cabel has some secrets of his own – secrets, which, if they were to be revealed, could destroy everything he has worked for.

That’s the pesky thing about love, though. It always seems to pop up at the most inopportune times. Often, it forces people to make very hard choices indeed. But Cabel isn’t having it, not this time. He wants the best of both worlds and does everything in his power to ensure that he can have a future with Janie. The question is, will Janie let him in?

She’s scared of her powers, and because she has spent her whole life shutting people out, including someone like Cabel in her life is going to take a bit of work. But as the novel progresses, it becomes clear that Janie can’t do this for much longer alone, and she’s actually a much more valuable player than she ever expected to be – in anything.

Wake is a short, punchy read that will have your head spinning from the very first page. It’s a unique story idea, and the narrator’s voice is raw, edgy and above all – it’s real. Wake is full of characters that remind me of teenagers found out in the real world. The people in Wake (for the most part) are doing things that kids everywhere are doing, too. Lisa McMann should be commended on her bravery, as she leaves nothing to the imagination. In an age where so many young adult novels are sugar-coated, McMann chooses an honest approach, instead.

Wake is a diamond in a sea of broken glass. I can only hope its brilliance is repeated in the upcoming sequel, Fade.

For those of you that are interested, we’ve been reading Wake in our bookclub on the forum this month. Click here to join the discussion.

Rating:: ★★★★☆

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4 Comments

  • Great review as always Nikki.
    Dead-on about it being a short and punchy read.
    Sneaky of you to throw in this “she’s actually a much more valuable player than she ever expected to be – in anything.”

  • It was very good.I am working on FADE.I diffently say to give this book good reviews.

  • Elizabeth Loftus is a leading figure in the field of eyewitness testimony research. ,

  • So the profanity, use of JesusChrist and God as expletives and references to twisted sex appearing in a book for middle school kids doesn’t bother anyone… The reading level of the novel itself is middle school- the content, absolutely not. Interesting concept, poorly executed. The author should challenge herself to write well, as opposed to depending on gutter-speech for its ‘shock value’.

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