Saturday, April 4, 2009

Wake by Lisa McMann

Ages: 14+

Janie has the ability to see what others dream. The premise is intriguing and just a little bit unbelievable, but McMann seems to make it easy to believe—the dream hopping, at least.

Janie gets to know some of the secret inner thoughts of the students at her school, but is being present in their dreams everything it could be? Why does she get to see the star quarterback’s anxiety over the next football game? On one particular night Janie wrecks her car when she jumps into the dream a neighbor is having. The dream is scary, very scary, and it keeps Janie away from that house for quite some time.

Then, out of the blue, the sort-of creepy neighbor boy, Cable, shows up for the new year of school with a completely new look (read: he’s hot!). Since Janie wrecked her car near his house and she’s interacted with him before, she impresses her friends by chatting with Cable and the two quickly become friends. The rest of the book chronicles how Cable and Janie build a relationship and begin to trust one another as Cable learns Janie’s secrets and Janie learns Cable’s.

The actual layout of the text was what first caught my attention. It isn’t the average left justified, full sentence type of writing. No, the writing is fragmented, stop and start, even broken in a few places. Could I. Please. Read real sentences? And paragraphs? However annoying this style is to me, it must have been awful for Janie, because that’s how she lived her life—fragmented, stop and start, broken. I have to give props to McMann for the parallelism.

The relationship that Cable and Janie develop seems almost violent at times, even though there are never actually any blows made. The violence is all in their heads (and dreams), and is indicative of the suffering they have both endured, but no less bleak. The relationship seems to be quite unhealthy and based on intense bouts of infatuation some days and intense bouts of hate on others. Most of the drama happens as a pay off to a bigger plot point, but the lead up and outcome are weak.

The plot, while sometimes annoying and teetering on too unbelievable, kept me hooked well enough to keep reading and intrigued enough to continue on to the second book. McMann ingeniously weaves nightmares, love, hate, crime fighting, and high school into one big story about unintentional voyeurism and the consequences it may have.

Rating 4 Pages

1 comment:

  1. You know what I think of this one! I'm eager to hear your thughts on Fade.