Friday, February 6, 2009

Wake by Lisa McMann

Wake by Lisa McMann

Ever since Janie was a young girl, she has involuntarily been drawn into the dreams of those sleeping around her and has witnessed their thoughts, fears, fantasies, and nightmares. This is completely out of her control and is getting more and more difficult to hide. When it happens, she goes into a seizure-like state, and the scarier the dream is, the worse the reaction. She needs to learn how to control her reactions, but can she actually control what happens in the dreams themselves? In fact, can she actually HELP people or even help solve crimes using her unique talent?

First off, this book was captivating. I read it from cover-to-cover in one sitting and absolutely loved the unique and intriguing premise. Janie is a likable character, a strong teen who has had to fend for herself for most of her life because her mother is an alcoholic. The plot is fast-paced and divided into short segments labeled with the date and time. Even though it's told in person, you only see inside Janie's mind, her dreams, what she's feeling and thinking.

My ONLY criticism of the book is that in some places, in some sections, the chemistry and emotion between Cable and Janie was a little off, and McMann does more telling than showing. There was one point near the end where they were arguing, and Janie mentions that Cable was "bawling." For me, during extremely emotional parts in book, I'd like more sensory details, and I'd like to be able to feel the emotion. I just didn't experience that in this part, which was probably supposed to be the most emotional part of the book.

When I think of writers who have given me that experience and were dead on with chemistry, Maggie Stiefvater and Sara Zarr are at the top of my list. Read Maggie's Lament: The Faiere Queen's Deception, and Sara's Sweethearts, to see what I'm talking about. Speaking of Maggie Stiefvater and chemistry, you totally have to check out the post on her blog, "Thoughts on Nookie and People Completing Other People," where she talks about how she creates romantic chemistry in her writing. Not only is she hilarious, but she offers some great writing tips.

That aside, I really did love Wake and think a lot of teens will love it, too. I would really only recommend it to older teens because of its strong language in some parts. Fade, the second book is available on Amazon now even though the official publication date isn't until 2/10.

What Other Bloggers Are Saying:
Jen Robinson's Book Page: "I read at rapid pace, mostly because I wanted to know whether or not Janie was going to be ok." (read more...)

Glenview Book Blogger: "The way things connect together, with the love and power intertwined is really something. The way the book turns and comes to an end is very unexpecting but will put the biggest smile on your face." (read more...)

Maw Books Blog: "Wake is written in short episode like chunks and makes for the perfect quick read to curl up on the couch with. I thought it was fun and I think it definitly has teen appeal." (read more...)

More Info:
  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (December 23, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416974474
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416974475


  1. Just wanted to thank you for pointing us to the post on Maggie's blog - it was, indeed, fantastic! I know just what you mean about the importance of showing & giving sensory details *especially* at that critical emotional moment in a book.

  2. I have this book out from the library right now and am really excited to read it.

  3. Laura,
    I'm glad you enjoyed Maggie's post. I meant to link to it when she first posted it.

    I think you'll like Wake!

  4. It's going to take forever for my library to get Fade. I'm looking forward to reading it.