Review: Wake

WakeWake by Lisa McMann
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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….

Wake has a quite interesting concept – a girl who can walk into someone else’s dreams. Janie has been able to enter dreams of nearby sleeping people, unwillingly and with her own physical body being paralyzed at that moment of waking. Naturally, it is a very scary prospect and for years this is a secret she has been carrying alone. When Cabel learns of her secret, she finally finds someone she can confide in, but she senses he is also keeping things from her. However, there are no secrets in dreams and that is where the plot takes us.

So, Wake actually has two plot arcs – Janie and her gift of Dream Catching and Cabel’s secret, and while both are good mysteries on their own, together they did not blend well in the storyline, particularly because Cabel’s secret comes out quite later in the plot, close to the climax, and her involvement is then rushed and not explored well enough. Even if it was to set up for future books, it felt very haphazard. The scenes of the book are also disjointed, and while I understand that the narrative jumps between dream and reality, it is jarring. I felt some aspects of the dreams itself were not researched well. For instance, there aren’t words in dreams; and no, even an urban fantasy has to stick to some rules.

Simply – an interesting concept but perhaps not executed well.

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