Wake – Book Review

wakeWake by Lisa McMann

For Janie Hannagan, life is a dream.  Unfortunately, it isn’t HER dream.

Whenever Janie is within a certain proximity of someone who is asleep, she falls into their dreams.  This is a bigger problem than it sounds when you’re in high school and your classmates begin to fall asleep in school with increasing regularity, particularly if you often have something resembling a seizure while you are in someone else’s dream.

“Wake” is oh-so-very high school: appearances are everything; the ‘cool’ kids can’t be bothered with people like Janie; and love is a heart-wrenching, tortured experience.  I enjoy young adult fiction very much, but only when it is something more than just high school.  I love the way Laurie Halse Anderson deals with real, tough problems in books like “Winter Girls,” I adore Westerfeld’s social commentary in the “Uglies” series, and Markus Zusak’s depiction of WWII in “The Book Thief” is awesome.  Unfortunately, I didn’t feel that “Wake” had a lot of depth.  Sure, there was a message about looking beyond appearances and not letting preconceived notions make you judge people, plus there was a little about believing in yourself.  None of that is really unique for a young adult book, though.

The style bothered me as well, everything was quite choppy.  I’m nearly 100% positive that this was a deliberate choice by the author to mimic the disorienting state of dreams.  In other words, it wasn’t because she is a bad writer, but the choice just didn’t work for me at all.

It sounds like I’ve been bashing this book for the entire review, but it really isn’t a bad book.  It is entertaining and a very quick read.  I wouldn’t caution you against picking this up, but I also wouldn’t recommend anyone rush out and get it.  Of course, if you’re more interested in the premise of falling into dreams than I was, you might really enjoy it.

Buy this book on Amazon.

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