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Wake by Lisa McMann

January 22, 2010

Wake by Lisa McMann
published by Simon Pulse March 4, 2008

Seventeen-year-old Janie is plagued by an unusual “gift.” Whenever someone is sleeping nearby, she has what appears to be a seizure and is sucked into the person’s dream. Dreams of falling, naked in public dreams, embarrassing sex dreams about a classmate whose breasts are suddenly the size of watermelons. She’s lived through all of them. Some of the dreams she experiences are harrowing, and she feels helpless, wanting to help the dreamer.

Wake offers a fascinating premise and a likeable character, who is struggling to battle these demons while trying to break away from the environment of poverty and alcoholism in which she was raised and attend college next year. Her writing style is simple, throwing out the narrator’s thoughts and experiences in small chunks. I really like the pacing in the novel; it kept me hooked. And while the characters were not explored in depth, many of them were well-drawn and interesting.

This style of storytelling is probably perfect for many readers, who want just enough detail to make the picture clear without any extra weight to slow down the pace of the story. I found myself being frustrated, wanting to explore the characters, along with the other aspects of the story, more fully. Janie’s tender, troubled romance with her new love interest hooked me enough to want to get to know them better, without being rushed to the finish line. While this was a fun, quick read — written in a style that fits the frantic, suspenseful tone of the story — I left feeling unsatisfied.

Ah … but despite my lukewarm response to this novel, I want to pay the author the ultimate compliment … I am intrigued enough to read the sequel! 😉 I want to find out what happens next and whether the characters, and the relationships among them, are explored further. I recommend that you take a peek at some other reviews before deciding if this series interests you.
Read More Reviews:
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