Author: Lisa McMann
Release date: October 2009 UK / 2008 US
Genre: Paranormal / Speculative YA
Target audience: 12+
Summary from Amazon:
For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people's dreams at any given moment is getting tired. Especially the falling dreams, and the standing-in-front-of-the-class-naked ones. But then there are the nightmares, the ones that chill her to the bone...like the one where she is in a strange house...in a dirty kitchen...and a sinister monster that edges ever closer. This is the nightmare that she keeps falling into, the one where, for the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant...
Do you ever Wake up in the morning and try to hold on to your dream as it slips away? Do you Wake up in the middle of the night with your heart pounding and your mind whooshing along with images of barbaric torment? Do you ever Wake up and think what on Earth did that dream mean? I do. I think nearly everyone does.
But what if you slipped into the dreams of other people? Would you be mesmerised by a glimpse of their inner psyche? Dreams are such strange things, aren't they? Even Science has yet to discover the mystery and magic behind them. I think that makes them a really intriguing subject for a novel which brings me to Wake. The story of Janie who has been unable to stop herself slipping into other people's dreams since she was eight years old. Janie who realises early on that sleepovers are not her cup of tea. Janie who is trying to study for college, hold down a job at a nursing home and cope with her alcoholic mother.
Wake is written is a very accessible style. I was hooked after the first page and raced through this book so quickly. McMann uses every word to full effect which means you get to read 210 pages of concise language, dramatic plot and believable dialogue. I am in awe of the author's ability to write in such a direct and precise way.
The twist in the plot was not the most surprising but when you got further into the dynamic of the twist the mystery just kept growing. I loved that about this book. The only typical thing one could perceive in this book is the romance element. Cabel is a dark and mysterious figure at times but he is also gentle and sweet. I certainly didn't think their romance was a cop-out. I felt involved in their story and that it mattered.
Wake is not your average paranormal YA novel. It has an intriguing and beguiling premise all of its own. The characters are well-shaped and layered. The writing is swift, to the point and engaging. For fans of paranormal or speculative stories, this is a must-read. I am craving the next book Fade so badly. Wake me up when it releases in the UK!
Question: Do you dream in black and white or colour? My dreams are always in colour. I wonder what that says about me.