Sunday, April 06, 2008
The book to keep you up at night: Wake
Yes, I have already reviewed this book for Teenreads.com, but I enjoyed it so much I wanted to do a short entry about it here: Wake by Lisa McMann.
The Plot: Janie can see into other people's dreams. She knows who's been to class naked and who's got a secret crush on whom. Problem is, she doesn't get a choice of when and where she visits dreams. If someone nearby falls asleep, she falls in. It wasn't so bad when she was younger, and she can deal at home as long as her alcoholic mother passes out behind her closed bedroom door. But now she's a junior in high school, and demanding homework schedules and early starts to their days mean a lot of people fall asleep in class. She's more or less learned to deal with it. No more sleepovers. No college roommate. But one night, she's driving down Waverly Street and falls into a nightmare so terrible she crashes her car. The nightmare belongs to Cabel Strumheller, reputed drug dealer and the object of Janie's crush. As Janie and Cabel grow closer she is determined to help him out of his nightmare...but how?
Why you'll love it: It's all about the sparse writing. Since this is McMann's first book I don't know if the quick, almost disjointed writing is her trademark or a style she adopted to evoke Janie's dreamworld, but whatever it is, it works. Most of the paragraphs are one sentence long. This serves to make the book move incredibly fast with a sense of otherworldliness. The details are wonderful and the reader really gets an idea of Janie, her friends, and her surroundings without drowning in description. There's a twist at the end that isn't completely unpredictable but is satisfying. This book is heavy on plot but the characters are still quite interesting and human. It's something you can finish in one sitting, and you'll be left wondering what other people dream about.
crossposted at carlie@bccls