Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Review - Wake by Lisa McMann

Wake (Dream Catcher #1) by Lisa McMann
LibraryThing / GoodReads

Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal - but not your typical take on it!)

Rating: 4.5 stars
Pages: 224

Summary: 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.

Thoughts: This was such a stunning novel. Within only a few pages I knew I was in good hands with Lisa McMann - her style is rather minimal but extremely poignant. Some authors need to write a hundred words to describe their characters, McMann only needs eight.  I was simply stunned by how much raw emotion she could create.  I simply didn't know it was possible to write a slow-burning, tense, mystery novel (with a believable romantic element to boot) without falling over the 100k word count.

I was also surprised by how gritty this book was. Although there is a real paranormal aspect to the novel, it is extremely realistic. Wake is a novel about a girl living in spite her paranormal abilities, not because of them.  They are far from the most interesting thing about her and, while they are an important part of the mystery, the novel would be just as fantastic without them.  How many paranormal books can you honestly say that about?  I, for one, am not sure my beloved Darkest Powers trilogy could have held up without the necromancy and werewolves!

If you're anything like me, you will be through this book in a blink-and-a-half, and not just because of its length.  I was reading this thing while standing in line at airport security.  I can't say it was forcibly removed from my hands - but pretty close.  I grew to really care about Janie, and was just desperate to read more more more about her.

Bottom line? Lisa McMann has made my "Authors I trust no matter what" list with only one book.  Wake is everything a Young Adult novel should be.  Read it!


  1. Loved this book. Lisa McMann's writing style is truly unique and amazing!

  2. I love this series. The writing is so minimalist but at the same time so powerful. I also just read Cryer's Cross by the same author which is equally arresting. Great review.

  3. Wow very high praise for one of your reviews. I have missed reading this one, but can see that I need to check it out. Thanks!

  4. Very glad you liked it so much. I'm a big fan of this series!

  5. After reading your review on this one, I'm going to have to request it from the library. It sounds like an amazing read and one that I would really enjoy. Great review!



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