Thursday, April 9, 2009

Wake by Lisa McMann (4/5 stars)

I thought this book had an interesting premise and ended up being a pretty good book. It was very engaging and intriguing and a little bit spooky.

Janie has a odd problem; she gets sucked into other peoples dreams. And not when she is sleeping. If someone falls asleep near her during school or at work she blacks out and is propelled into their dream. Needless to say it is making her life a mess and, with an alcoholic mother who doesn't even acknowledge Janie's existence as her only parent, Janie's life is screwed up enough. Enter Cabel the stoner at school, he always falls asleep in study hall and Janie knows what he dreams about sometimes...her. But maybe Janie has more control over other people's dreams than she knows, maybe she can help them and help others.

This book is written in an interesting style. It is broken down by date and time, starting when Janie is a little girl with large breaks in time. As the book continues and Janie enters high school the breaks in time are only hours or minutes apart.

Overall it is an interesting idea and the characters are very engaging. You feel for all these poor teens stuck in crappy home situations. You feel for Janie who is trying to work so that she can go to college. She works in a nursing home, where sometimes people fall asleep...making Janie collapse on the job. The characterization is really the strongest part of this book, that and the creative idea of Janie's problem.

The story is complete, and this could be a stand alone book. Except it isn't...there are supposed to be two more books about Janie and Caleb (Fade and Gone). The story does hint at the end that there could be more to Janie's dream problem and she could have powers she doesn't grasp yet.

While the story is suspenseful and griping and a is painfully short. Almost more of a novella; it took me just over an hour to read the book.

I am excited to read the next book and I love McMann's writing and characterization. I hope that the next book has a bit more elaborate storyline to it and that the book is a bit longer. Very creative overall and a writer to watch.

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