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Friday, 30 April 2010

Review: Wake

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.


Rhiana said...

Wow! what a fabulous review of what sounds a fabulous book! I LOVE the sound of this and must go put it on my wishlist. I'm fascinated by dreams, I have pretty vivid ones and several re-occurring ones I've had since childhood.
I dream in colour, but in particular red for some reason...which is a creepy feature in one of my re-occurring dreams. Thanks for this.

Bookalicious Ramblings said...

Great review! I was quite intrigued by the premise so I got myself a copy ages ago, but still haven't read it! I really should!

Lauren said...

I really liked this one too. I absolutely agree with you about the writing, and I love the fact that it's prompted you to open your review with so many interesting questions.

I dream in colour too. At least, I think I do. But since I'm actually just remembering them once I wake up, I guess it's possible that my brain just interprets the memory of the dream in colour. I honestly don't know enough about science and how the brain works to be sure.

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

Fantastic review, Becky! This didn't live up to the hype for me, but I'm glad you loved it.

And I dream in colour too. I have no idea what that's supposed to mean!

prophecygirl said...

I loved this book too, and Fade! Wasn't too keen on Gone, but hey. I'm glad you enjoyed it - I love the style of writing. :)

Becky said...

Great review, I LOVED this book too! Read it in one sitting. Fade is just as good, but I agree with the smart lady in front of me...Gone is less great, although, still read it in one sitting! The UK cover of Wake is really cool!

I also dream in color. I think it's because we read so much. It's like exercising our imaginations all day everyday!

Luisa at Chicklish said...

I've got this book and I still haven't read it! Your review has made me want to pick it up right now. Thank you!

Christina/Book Addict said...

I am actually obsessed with dreams!! I predicted my best friend's pregnancy in a dream I had....in the dream she was having twins and then a week later the doctor told her was having twins! We were both freaking out. It was crazy! Anyway, this book definitely sounds like something I'd like. Thanks for the awesome review. I will definitely be putting this on my my huge TBR pile for the summer. I also really like the questions you ask in the beginning of your review- it really makes you think! Oh, and I mostly dream in black and white. :(

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

While I didn't like this one, I did like your review and I think the cover is way cool.

I Want To Read That said...

I really liked this one too! And I dream in colour ... I think:)

Lori said...

I loved this book!!! Well really the whole series!1 It's one of my favorites!! Great review!

Oh and 95% I never remember my dreams...Maybe I don't dream...Who knows! ;)

Sasha said...

Fab review!! I really don't like the UK covers but this sounds like it's worth a read :)

Jill of The O.W.L. said...

I really enjoyed this book. My sister loved it and needed all three books right away. I liked the short sentences etc because it really added to the pace of the story.