Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wake by Lisa McMann - Book Review #15

Thursday, April 22, 2010
by Lisa McMann

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…

I didn’t hear anything about this book when it was released. I only noticed it when I saw and fell in love with a cover for the second book in the series – Fade. When I read a synopsis I was positive I want to read this book and still it took me some time to pick it up.

One rainy Saturday in February I decided to test my new and shiny Nook and Wake felt like a good test subject. I downloaded Wake and crawled into bed, tucking covers around myself, prepared to dive into new and existing world. After a couple of pages I sat up on the bed, looking in disbelieve at my Nook, like it was its fault for what I was reading.

The third-person present tense narration stuck between my teeth and made my digestive system hearts. The only thought that was occupying my whole existence was: “Who writes like this? This is revoltingly terrible!”

However, either it was a rain that was making my sleepy or I didn’t really care that much at that time, but I didn’t throw the book out and kept reading. Now, I’m certainly glad that I did.

Lisa McMann writing style was nothing like I’ve ever experienced before and it took me, well, almost the whole first book getting used to it. However, when I finished Wake, I put down the book and I knew that it really was something special. I loved her fragmented sentences, I loved how raw and unedited her writing sounded. I was surprised how one her word gave me more information then sometimes the whole paragraph does. How for some reason without detailed descriptions, it all still felt vivid and unbelievably real. I still don’t understand how Lisa McMann achieved this.

I’m also enormously grateful to Lisa McMann for creating Janie. She is one among not many characters that I actually love with all my heart. She is one of these characters that I admire. Despite her hard life – an alcoholic mother, who doesn’t care about Janie at all, a nonexistent father, very limited income and on top of all of that her special ability (or curse), she work hard to earn some money, she works hard at school and earns good grades. She is taking care not only about herself, but also about her mother. And, the most important she has a goal and she looks optimistically into the future, she is not giving up, she is not letting the river of life just carry her wherever it will turn, she, herself, choosing her directions and fight for what she wants. While I was reading Wake, at times, I was getting an urge to hug Janie and pet her on the head, whispering, “Don’t worry, everything, going to be all right. You will win this, you will get though this and you will be happy, just don’t give up, just keep fighting.”

After I finished Wake and realized how good it was, I downloaded Fade and kept reading, still in my bed, while rain whispered its secrets behind my window.


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