Author: Lisa McMann
Release Date: March 4, 2008
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Teen, Fantasy
Rating: 4 out of 5
From the back cover:
For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people’s dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie’s seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.
She can’t tell anybody about what she does — they’d never believe her, or worse, they’d think she’s a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn’t want and can’t control.
Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else’s twisted psyche. She is a participant….
I’ve been hearing great things about Wake and its recently released sequel Fade, so I was thrilled to get my hands on a copy of the first book in the series. I read it in one sitting, quickly and eagerly, racing through the pages in order to find out what happens to Janie at the end of the book.
I have to say, I loved the premise of Wake. I feel like fantasy, especially urban fantasy, is an up and coming genre right now, and a lot of ideas are being recycled. Wake seemed very creative and unique; the story was edgy and pushed the limits of teen fiction. I also liked how the story was a little bit gritty; Janie doesn’t come from the best circumstances, but she’s doing whatever she has to in order to get by. College is also a huge priority for her, which is great to see in a teen book. I wouldn’t say that Janie is exactly a role model, but she is a realistically drawn teenager.
I also appreciated that the dreams in the novel and the actual occurrences in Janie’s life were in two different fonts. It makes it a lot easier to keep track of what exactly is going on in the book. I have to say, though, when I was in high school, people definitely did not fall asleep right and left as much as they did in Wake. Is that a new thing these days, or was it used to advance the plot? The writing style was also difficult, not smooth at all. Also, I didn’t really think some of the reactions at the end of the book were realistic, but I don’t want to give away the ending! All I can say is that these issues kept a good book from being great.
The end of the book was definitely set up to turn Wake into the first book of a series, which I’m excited about. Lisa McMann is obviously a talented storyteller. I really hope that she takes Fade and the rest of the books in the series to another level entirely; she certainly has the ability to do just that! Wake is a great book for anyone interested in the premise, not just teenagers. I think this book has a huge amount of promise and can’t wait to pick up Fade!