Monday, January 11, 2010

Review: Wake by Lisa McMann

Product Details
Simon Pulse, March 2008
Hardcover, 224 pages
ISBN-10: 1416953574
ISBN-13: 9781416953579
Ages: 14 and up
Grades: 9 and up

From the Publisher;

Not all dreams are sweet.

For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people's dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie's seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.

She can't tell anybody about what she does -- they'd never believe her, or worse, they'd think she's a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn't want and can't control.

Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant....

I was fortunate enough to hear about this and snag a copy of the e-book that was being offered for a short time through The publisher was allowing it to be downloaded for free and gives you 30 days to read it; I only needed one!

I got sucked into this story fairly quickly and it wouldn't let me go. Lisa McMann writes Janie's experiences like a date and time stamped journal or, perhaps, the form surveillance notes would take, which made the flow of the story very fast paced.

I think plot-wise it was a little thin, with Janie aiding the local police with a sting operation: it seemed a little simplistic. But what kept my attention were the human connections Janie made along with the possibilties of where Janie's life is headed and what she could achieve with her ability.

There seems to be a recurring theme with YA books (and I'll probably mention this often) where the parent(s) of the main character are almost non-existent. While I will acknowledge that this is true in some families, it can be hard to swallow as the norm in these books. It is a necessary factor, I suppose, in making the story as interesting as it is; it would complicate things if parents were running around interfering all the time. The teen character in question needs the element of freedom. Wake is no different, though I'm hoping that Lisa McMann will clear up why Janie's mom is the way she is in the follow-up books.

These minor negative aspects aside, I thought the concept was different when so many series' are centrered around vampires and werewolves, etc. I very much enjoyed reading Wake and have every intention of reading Fade and Gone, the second and third books in this trilogy.


ParaJunkee said...

Right there with you on your thoughts. I also downloaded the free version and then moved on to the 2nd. Not as impressed with Fade but it was still good. It really is a recurring thing about parents. Thanks for pointing that out, I just read Shiver, Wake and now Ice and the themes are the same, screwed up or distracted parenting, or even worse, orphaned etc. Must make for easier story to tell.

Jackie said...

I'm so behind on my reviews that I've actually finished Fade. I just read Shiver too, which was what kinda set my ire on the topic. My poor kid will be feeling the fallout of these themes as I smother her with attention through her teen years, lol, (fortunately, I have a while to get there). I have to keep reminding myself of the target audience...

Alexia561 said...

Sounds like a really interesting premise, so will keep an eye out for this at the library. Agree that it can be annoying that so many teenagers in YA fiction are unsupervised. Would love to see a story with involved parents. Would certainly be unique!

Anonymous said...
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Jackie said...

Thanks, Alexia. I'm glad I'm not the only one with "parental" issues, lol.

La Coccinelle said...

Very nice review!

I've got something for you here:

Mel (He Followed Me Home) said...

I loved this too & yes the lack of parental involvement is common but at least it allows us to focus on the real story.

Possible spoiler below...

I wonder if her mom also has the ability & drinking is her way of escaping? Ahhh, need to read Fade ASAP!

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