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Book pick: If you’re into dreams, stay up to read ‘Wake’ trilogy July 18, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, Reviews/summaries.
Tags: , , , ,

Janie Hannagan is a dream catcher. She gets sucked into other people’s dreams — some of them funny, sexy, boring — just by being close to someone who falls asleep. (Study hall for this Michigan teen is anything but dull because most of her classmates take a snooze.) But not all of the dreams are pleasant. The nightmares where she cannot escape or feels helpless to do anything but watch tragedy unfold leave her shaking with convulsions, temporarily blindness and paralysis.  Janie’s gift — or curse — is the basis for the interesting WAKE trilogy by Lisa McMann.

I started to read Lisa McMann’s WAKE trilogy because I couldn’t sleep. And then I didn’t get much rest because I quickly read WAKE, FADE and GONE in quick succession. McMann tells Janie’s stories in rapid snippets of chapters based on time, an interesting story-telling technique. Her life is not an easy one. Her mother is an alcoholic. She doesn’t know who her dad is. She scrimps by on meager funds and shoulders all of the duties a parent should really undertake. But Janie is smart and resourceful and has dreams. Dreams to get out of her town. To go to school. To be happy.

As a teen she deals with some the requisite snobby crowd of rich kids at school. But McMann doesn’t dwell on the kid stuff you might typically see in YA books. A lot of it is about how the adults react to Janie, how Janie reacts to the dreams of others and deals with the day-to-day weirdness of it all. In WAKE, she’s driving down the road and gets pulled into a nightmare that’s so horrific that she runs off the road. I won’t give away the details because I don’t want to ruin the story, but it’s clear by the end of WAKE that this dream catcher stuff might take a nasty toll on Janie.

Suffice to say, there is a nice undercurrent of romance in the series that is introduced in the first book with a kind of messed up but cool guy named Cable (Cabe for short). That romance intensifies in FADE, which takes readers further into Janie’s dream-catching abilities and gives more background on how she might be able to control her gift. The plot is actually rather predictable in FADE — and I wasn’t at all really into it — but the details about Janie’s dream-catching — potential consequences — made the story. The final book in the trilogy — GONE — was the fastest read of them all. I know some fans were disappointed with this last book because they didn’t find it super dramatic, but I found it fascinating because it pulled together some loose ends about Janie’s life and the decision she needs to make about dream catching.

I like it when an author begins and starts a series with a definite story in mind — and an ending that doesn’t take a dozen books to find it. McMann is a straight-forward writer. Her sentences are often short and abrupt. And I loved that style. Maybe that’s what made it easy for me — an adult — to read. And I’d recommend this series to YAs and adults if you’re looking for a fast and intriguing series to read. And you always wondered what your dreams really meant …

On her blog, McMann said last month that “Paramount and MTV Films have picked up the film rights to the WAKE trilogy, with Christopher Landon (Disturbia) writing/directing. Miley Cyrus is considering the lead role.” She notes that this type of deal takes a while — if it goes anywhere. But after sitting through Leonardo Dicaprio’s INCEPTION — a highly ambiguous film that is not based on any novel (sigh) — I only hope if  WAKE does  come to the big screen they maintain the simplicity and clarity that McMann used in her story telling.

Sweet dreams (couldn’t help myself!)

Follow Lisa McMann on Facebook and Twitter @Lisa_McMann. She’s also got a great website, including a blog HERE.

Finally, here’s a book trailer for WAKE:

I’ll see if I can snag in interview with her. She sounds a tad bit busy but we’ll see. Meanwhile. Kimberly Derting, author of THE BODY FINDER, is due up next with a Q&A for us. And I’ll see if I can make any of the Comic-Con panels. (Kind of tough to ditch my day job!)


1. Diana McCabe - July 18, 2010

I’m on a YA roll. Anyone else read this trilogy? I thought it was pretty good. Will try a vamp book next time around. But some of these YA books are pretty nifty.


2. Lisa Champ - July 21, 2010

This is definitely on my TBR list. I checked the Orange library, and the fools have books 2 & 3, but not book 1. 😦 I’m about to start THE BODY FINDER, and I have also picked up HUSH, HUSH from the library as well. I have a hold on FALLEN at the library, so it shouldn’t be too long before I’m able to read that one as well.

3. Book pick: ‘Jane Bites Back’ inventive and funny « Paranormal Romance - August 8, 2010

[…] If you’re into dreams, stay up to read ‘Wake’ trilogy […]

4. Book pick: ‘Rajmund’ a must read for Vampires in America fans « Paranormal Romance - August 26, 2010

[…] If you’re into dreams, stay up to read ‘Wake’ trilogy […]

5. What were the best paranormal romance novels for 2010? « Paranormal Romance - November 7, 2010

[…] GONE (the last book in the WAKE trilogy released this year but I read the whole series this year) by LISA MCMANN […]

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