Sunday, October 12, 2008

Wake by Lisa McMann


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....

Grade: B-

Thank you to my awesome friend
Amee for this book!


I thought the cover was blue on black. It’s actually purple. I wonder why all the online graphics look blue... Or maybe it’s just me. In any rate, very eye catching cover and design.

Off the top of the head, I can think of a couple of books where the slick pacing cut the climax in half and, in full, killed the novel. Do it correctly—not to mention couple it with a hell of a package—and you get a bestseller. I think it took me, what, an hour and a half to finish this? I’ve got a few short-attention-span friends who could use a book with a defined beginning, middle and end that reads as quickly as this. The sparse prose was unique, and I imagine it takes skill to get reach to this level of concise storytelling, so hats off to Lisa McMann.

That said, while I do think the structure was sound as it was, I do have to complain a bit about the characters. Janie’s got a strong enough voice, and her friend Carrie is well-defined, but when the interaction starts, the transition from scene to scene gets rusty. At times it felt like a telling talking to—character is a puppet in a show and does whatever its master wants, whenever they want it. Janie and Cabel going from acquaintances to chummy neighbors, in particular, needed a little more oiling.

Oh, and this is a little benign, but I also wished the subject matter—the toward-the-end transgressions, if you get my drift—had been dealt with a little more weight. It wouldn’t have hurt to have halted a bit on the 120mph speed to let the full circumstances of the scene set in.

But all in all, good novel. I certainly enjoyed reading it, and it did keep me up when I’d only had two hours of sleep the night before and was dreaming of catching some Zs. Lisa’s bestseller status is very well-deserved, and I for one shall be checking out Fade.

P.S. Just remembered another mild annoyance—there seemed to be a lot of exclamation marks or periods where question marks should’ve been. Not good for speed reading with your eyes glazed over. But mild, mild. Focus on the pretty cover.


Liviania said...

See, I hated the pacing. I felt almost nothing happened in the beginning and middle and the climax was a sudden flurry of action.

Steph said...

Really? I could see where this book could've gone deeper and still maintained its sparse prose, but I thought the pacing was dealt with rather well. Hmm... I might reread...


Nurin said...

I thought the pacing was decent. (Not the best...not the worst etc)

It could have been improved but oh well. Looking foward to the sequel =D

And great review steph <3

Lenore Appelhans said...

Awgh! Another one I need to get to soon...

Amee said...

I'm glad you at least liked the book. I loved it and don't understand why some people don't. :P

Alea said...

I think I might get this one when it comes out in paperback. We'll see.

Book Fanatic 101 said...

whoa this got a B- that's pretty good. I personally did not like the pacing. at times it felt choppy. and your right, there was the whole puppet action thing going one. the interaction between Caleb and Jane was weird. i was slightly disappointed with the book i mean the summary was freakin awesome. the book? not soo much. But I do want to read Fade!!!!!! (i'm O.D.-ing on the exclamation points aren't I, that too was a little annoying in the book)

Steph said...

I'm surprised so many people thought the book was lacking. Usually it's me who finds faults in absolutely everything :P Everyone I asked told me that Wake was AMAZINGOMGREADITNOW. Interesting, very interesting, this comments section.


Anonymous said...

Yay- I'm glad you liked it! For some reason, as soon as I saw that you'd posted a review, I was like "Oh, I bet she hated it" lol

But I'm really glad you liked it. I absolutely LOVED Wake, plus Lisa is just so much fun to talk to. I actually got an ARC of Fade just last week. I'm so excited about it! I may end up reading it this week anyway even though I have other books that I should be getting to first, lol.

Great review!

Carolina said...

I liked this book though the ending was rushed and the middle was a bit boring. Other than that it was an enjoyable read.

Post a Comment

Hey! For some reason, this embedded comment form makes most people click twice before the comment is processed and published. It's not you - it's just that it's a new Blogger feature with kinks and all that. (But I adore it and don't wanna get rid of it!) I removed Captcha to make the process easier. You don't have to rewrite the comments twice; just click on SUBMIT twice and it should work. If not, email me. Thanks! -Steph