Wake 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.