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Wake Hardcover – March 4, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up In Lisa McMann's first title (Simon Pulse, 2008) in a projected series, we are introduced to 17-year-old Janie who has a rare ability to see other people's dreams whether she wants to or not. The episodes are growing more frequent, and the dreams she falls into vary from boring to sexy to disturbing. When she is drawn into a classmate's nightmare, Janie is forced to address her ability and how it may affect her future. Although this story makes for compelling reading, it falls flat as an audiobook. The text's short, choppy phrases make the narration sound stilted. There are a number if flashbacks to various time periods in Janie's life and each one is prefaced by a date. In print this device works just fine, but it is confusing to listen to and keep track of in the recording's linear format. The narrator's voice seems disconnected from the character and her reading of emotions sounds forced. Also, the sibilant quality of the narration is distracting. Stick with the print format on this one. Genevieve Gallagher, Charlottesville High School, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Lisa McMann is the New York Times bestselling author of the middle grade dystopian fantasy series The Unwanteds, the YA paranormal Wake trilogy, and several other books for kids and teens. She lives with her family in the Phoenix area. Check out Lisa's website at LisaMcMann.com, learn more about The Unwanteds Series at UnwantedsSeries.com, and be sure to say hi on Instagram or Twitter (@Lisa_McMann), or Facebook (Facebook.com/McMannFan).
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Lisa McMann did an incredible job at captivating me as her reader right from the start. From page one, I knew I wasn't going to be able to put it down until I finished it. As a writer, she had a rare ability to -- literally -- launch me, head first, into this story. The protagonist, Janie, takes you through her incredible and thrilling world of dream visions, where she is held captive and dragged through other people's thoughts, memories, nightmares and physiological wonders. The dreamers do not know that she is there, and Janie cannot comprehend as to why it keeps happening, which makes it difficult for her to understand the importance of her presence. What's worse is, each time it happens, the severity of the situation increases, making it harder for Janie to pull herself out out of them... One daunting one in particular is not only challenging to escape, but toilsome to witness.
Her mother is barely in the picture and has no idea of Janie's capabilities. Her best friend (whom is not shallow -- which I LOVE!!) is actually there for her whenever she is can be, but has her own secrets and burdens to bare. With kids in High School drifting to sleep daily, all Janie wants to do is blend in and find some peace and quiet and make it stop so she can rest. Then enters Cabel. Dark, mysterious Cabel, who's made it a goal to go his own way and do his own thing in order to escape his troublesome, drug-related past and never-ending bad-boy reputation. The last thing Janie needs is to be caught up in something else she can't control, but one nightmare sequence and a wicked street name later, and Cabel and Janie embark on her journey together -- for their own individual reasons. What they didn't expect to find was how close they were linked together, and how they could possibly be able to help each other out.
This story was absolutely compelling. I loved the twists and turns that left me guessing and holding onto the edge of my seat. The one thing that did bother me was, as the plot thickened and the pace sped faster, the writing did become a bit choppy -- which I know can render a lot of readers because once a story that contained full sentences and well-written explanatory paragraphs suddenly turns into fragmented lines and disconnected phrases, you start feeling a little whip-lashed. Granted, it's how the author wanted to display the urgency and spiral in the plot, and that I can respect. Lisa McMann's Wake provides wonderful, easy to enjoy characters, and a plot that is so gripping, you'll barely have time to nitpick the fragments; all you'll want to do figure out what will happen next.
Allowing this book to sit on my shelf for so long may have been a huge mistake, but reading it was not. I enjoyed the book thoroughly and have since added both Fade and Gone (Wake`s successors) to my to-buy list and moved them to the very top of my cart, as I cannot wait to see what happens next with Janie and Cabel's journeys. Until then, I'm sure I'll be dreaming of what could be, considering the story is stuck in my head. Thankfully, I wouldn't have it any other way. That's what happens when a fresh writer comes into your life.
Janie takes a shining to a classmate, but when he dozes off his dreams turn into nightmares depicting him as a killer. A monster. She needs to find a way to intercede; to change his nightmare. The answer comes to her in a place she least expects it.
This is a well written novel of suspense, mystery and the drama that a seventeen year old high school girl from the poor part of town goes through. Great story.
Janie realized at a young age she had to avoid people who were sleeping. She manages to do so pretty well at home since her mother is usually passed out drunk. Janie is generally avoided at school since her clothes are too small or grungy or not the current fad, but when Carrie moves in next door, she doesn't let prejudice and gossip dictate who she will be friends with. Unfortunately, that means she is also friends with Melinda, the Queen Bee who hates Janie with a passion. When Carrie invites them both over for a sleepover, Janie's journey into Carrie and Melinda's dreams are too much information. She realizes sleepovers are just not a good idea.
Janie works hard, saving money for college, since their mother drinks any money that didn't go to pay the rent. When Cabel, another kid who was generally ignored through high school, shows up at school with a new haircut, a new wardrobe, and has all the other girls drooling, Janie is shocked when he pays attention to her. Their budding relationship is rocky at best, especially since they both seem to be hiding something. When Janie admits her ability, she expects Cabel to share his secrets too, but instead he sends her mixed messages. When he starts hanging out and partying with the popular crowd and rumors start floating that he is a drug dealer, Janie refuses to speak to him. But what she doesn't realize is there is much more to Cabel's life than he is allowed to tell her. So much, it makes her dream walking seem pretty tame!
Wake was a fun little book, only topping out at 200 pages. It is broken up really well with chapters broken up in chunks of time according to what Janie is doing at the time. This makes it a good book for oral reading in one-on-one tutoring or to be read in short chunks. Because it is so broken up, you have frequent places to stop without breaking up the action. The story is very tame and appropriate for younger students. The writing level is fairly low, but it deals with serious topics such as alcoholism and drugs, so it would also be appropriate for an older student with low reading skills.
The story itself is interesting, but not terribly complicated. I will admit I didn't see the truth behind Cabel's life coming, but once it was explained, I could see how McMann was setting it up (I was just dense- a more savvy reader might figure it out earlier). That makes this a bad book for any of those kids who can analyze and dissect a movie plot 10 minutes into it (I am not one of those people- Usual Suspects and Sixth Sense were made for people like me). Those kinds of kids might get bored by this story. Even so, it is a good middle reader-ish story and I enjoyed it. I also plan to pick up the other two books in the trilogy because it ended with tons of potential for Janie and Cabel's future!