Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Review: Wake by Lisa McMann

Tags: YA, paranormal, dreams, mystery

Every time someone near her falls asleep, Janie Hannagan gets sucked into their dreams. This is hardly fun at all, as most people’s dreams consist of falling, nudity, or sex, and, while Janie is technically awake through these experiences, she’s blind to the real world. Talk about an uncomfortable lifestyle.

Janie’s troubles only continue to escalate when she starts to fall into the once troubled, now sexy Cabel Strumheller’s dreams…and finds that she appears in them as well, and that he, too, is aware of her presence in his dreams. There may be more to her ability to fall into people’s dreams than Janie realizes, more power than she realizes she has. So begins a new chapter of Janie’s life, one where she learns to control her abilities and use them for good.

What WAKE lacks in good writing and comprehensible characters, it makes up in a stunning story idea. McMann’s writing style is straightforward and succinct in an almost ethereal manner. This, while effective in exposition, does not work as well when the plot really needs to get going, and I felt like I was missing what was going on between Janie and Cabel as their relationship developed.

Cabel, whom I at first thought to be some sort of Marcus Flutie incarnate, is sadly underdeveloped; his character is not clear to me. Janie passes through in a little better shape, as the self-motivated “white trash” girl who learns to rely only on herself, which is why I was upset when she seemed to lose perspective when things with Cabel hit some bumps.

WAKE works fairly well as a stand-alone novel, but thanks to its fascinating premise, I think I am going to pick up the next book in the series, FADE, and see if Janie, Cabel, and the situation they’re in become clearer to me over time.

Similar Authors
Caroline B. Cooney
Lois Lowry

Rating: 3 out of 5


Please excuse the disorganization and possible helter-skelterness of my blog layout over the next few days. I'm experimenting, moving on from that (bleeeechhh!) default layout. Woot!


  1. I enjoyed Wake. I'm looking forward to the sequel: Fade.

  2. I can't wait to read the series. And the new layout looks cute : D

  3. Like the change. Experiment. It's fun and a layout says something about the writer. Good luck on finding the one that suits you.

  4. I really want to read this book. I've read such great reviews about it.

  5. Steph, I think you'll enjoy Fade more. Lots of stuff is explained :)

  6. I should really try this series, I've read so many good reviews.

  7. Fade is really good and it explains Janie's dreams a lot more.


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