Janie has never had a dream that she can remember, but if she finds herself around someone that is dreaming, she ends upgetting sucked into their dreams against her will. Janie worries that she will never be able to live a normal life, but at seventeen she notices that things are changing. She's beginning to gain a small level of control over the dreams, and even has a dream herself. Will Janie ever gain any control over her unique ability?
For as long as I can remember, I've always had dreams, incredibly vivid dreams with multiple plot lines that occur almost every night. As a result, I've always be fascinated by dreams, makingWake a perfect selection for me. At just over two hundred pages, Wake is a very short novel and is reads incredibly fast. Lisa McMann writes three person present, and her style is very fragmented, minimal and immediate, giving the book an appropriately dreamy feel. I can tell this style of writing will not be for every reader, and there were a few instances where I wished she could have delved deeper into the characters, but for the majority of the book, it works quite well.
I enjoy a lot of things McMann did with characterization. Janie is a likable lead. Living with a neglectful, alcoholic mother has forced her to grow up too soon, but it has also made her tough. She is an independent, hard worker with dreams of attending college one day. At the same time, she's far from super girl. Like many teenagers, she gets confused, frustrated, and doesn't always make the best choices. I enjoyed the romantic storyline she shares with Cabel. I liked watching them grow and the small moments that they shared. Their early connection and obviously deep feelings for each other stands in sharp contrast to Janie's classmates hormonally charged dreams that she gets pulled into. I also think she did a good job with the side characters. Too often I find romantic leads in YA literature tend draw solely on romantic archetypes, and lack the complexity of real teenage boys. Cabel does not fall into this category at all, and is just as interesting as our protagonist. The character of Carrie was also quite interesting and felt true to life, as she often reminded me of girls I knew in high school.
Wake is a fascinating story of dreams and the secrets we keep from one another. Unlike other paranormal books, there is no ultimate fight, or life or death struggle. Wake is much smaller story about one girl struggling to find her own strength, despite the fact that she has so much stacked against her. I would have liked to see more development of the characters in some areas, and it looks like I'll get to, as there are two more books in this series!
Rating: four and a half stars
Length: 210 pages
Source: The University of Rhode Island Library
Challenge: This book is part of the 2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge and the 2010 Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge
Similar Books: The closet thing I can thing of at the moment is the Twilight Saga, blame my sleep deprived mind.
Other books I've read by this author: None!
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