Review: Wake by Lisa McMann

31 Mar

Simon Pulse, 2008

Not all dreams are sweet.

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….

From Simon and Schuster Canada website

This  book was freaking amazing! I mean, I know I’m coming a bit late to the party, but I can’t believe how much this book blew me away. I had no idea what it was about when I requested it from the library, just that Twitter was a flutter about Gone, the third book in this trilogy. It only made sense that I should read the first two books before digging into the third.

I have never read a book where the writing style affected the overall tone of the book so much. For me, the writing almost became a character in the book. The writing was very minimalist, with lots of short sentences and paragraphs. Janie’s life is pretty bleak, and the writing accentuated this perfectly. As a dirt poor teen who can slip into someone’s dreams at anytime, she doesn’t have a whole lot to be happy about.  There are no flowery speeches or overdone descriptions in Wake. What you see is what you get.

It is also written in first person, something that I normally don’t go for, but it totally works in Wake.  There is an immediacy to the plot, and to Janie’s life, that wouldn’t have been captured by using past tense.

Now, don’t get me wrong: bleak doesn’t mean boring. There are lots of twists and turns in the story, and quite often I was surprised by the direction that the author took. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, McMann would throw a curve ball.

I also like the fact that while there were romantic elements to Wake, the romance presented wasn’t glossy or easy. It was rough, confusing and sometimes hurtful. Kinda like real life.

About half way through Wake, I requested the second book, Fade, and Gone from my library. I loved Fade (review coming) and am still impatiently waiting for Gone.


One Response to “Review: Wake by Lisa McMann”


  1. My fave reads of 2010 « Lavender Lines - January 2, 2011

    […] Wake, Fade, Gone by Lisa McMann – I loved the sparse writing style of McMann’s trilogy so much that I devoured these books in a couple of days. For some reason I don’t think I ever posted a review for Gone. Probably because I was so upset the series was over. […]

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