Tuesday, September 23, 2008


McMann, Lisa. 2008. Wake.

Janie has a problem. No, it’s not that she thinks she’s too fat. It’s not that her dream guy isn’t asking her to the prom. Her problem? She has been falling into other people’s dreams. She first discovered this ability as a child—on a subway I believe (or public transit of some sort)—but it’s been getting worse, a lot worse since she’s become a teen. At school, her classmates have a tendency of falling asleep. And that spells trouble for our heroine, Janie. It’s not that all the dreams she falls into are nightmares, but any dream can become tedious after awhile. After all, how many times has she lived through others dreams of falling, or of being naked in a crowd of people, or other people’s sex dreams. (Just imagine it! Having to face your friends, your classmates, your enemies on a day to day basis after witnessing their most embarrassing dreams!) Yes, Janie wish this ability, this power would disappear. Maybe then she could have a normal social life, normal dating life.

I enjoyed Wake. It is an interesting premise, and I am pleased there will be a follow-up novel called Fade. While it has an intriguing opening, Janie experiencing a dream during the study period at the library, the book perhaps spends too much time setting up the story through a series of flashbacks. The flashbacks were like vignettes. Loosely connected. As a reader, you don’t really realize their significance, their purpose, until later. It is through these flashbacks that Janie is revealed, her friends and enemies revealed, her home life revealed. Did I enjoy this one? Yes. I definitely enjoyed it and would recommend it. I enjoyed it more once the ‘action’ was back to the present year of 2005 because the narrative flowed more smoothly then and read more like a traditional novel.

First sentence: Janie Hannagan’s math book slips from her fingers. She grips the edge of the table in the school library. Everything goes black and silent. She sighs and rests her head on the table. Tries to pull herself out of it, but fails miserably. She’s too tired today. Too hungry. She really doesn’t have time for this. (1)

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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