Thursday, September 22, 2011

“Dreams are not memories, Janie. They’re hopes and fears. Indications of other life stresses."

I suppose I should write the "review" blog for Wake before I forget what happened in it and start cramming it together with the other two books in the trilogy. It would just get way too confusing then, and I'm already starting to get confused on what happened in which book. 

First, I really enjoyed the way that McMann constructed the novel. I liked that there are definitive chapters, but I also liked that there were subsections within each chapter, denoted by either a date or a time, or both. It helps the reader to gain a perspective of when Janie gets pulled into the dreams, and it helps us to become sympathetic with her. The poor girl can't even sit in study hall without being sucked into someone else's dreams.I also like that it was written with just enough stream-of-consciousness to make it different from most other novels, but not too much so that it was like As I Lay Dying or any of Faulkner's other works. I also really enjoyed when it switched to almost being from Cabel's viewpoint, so that you could see things from an outsider's perspective. Especially since Janie had no idea how the dream-catching thing was physically affecting her. 

I thought that the whole premise of the novel was very interesting. The whole "there are people out there who can help you change your dreams if you just ask" thing is a whole new take on dreams that I'd never heard of or imagined. I know it's fiction, but you never know. Especially since, in the novel, dream catchers are able to hide their abilities so well. And the idea that the dream catchers can use their abilities to help solve crimes is also pretty interesting. 

As far as the relationship aspect of the novel goes, I thought McMann handled it very well. Janie felt as if she would never find someone who she could trust with her secret, or anyone who would care about her (since she didn't feel that her alcoholic mom did and she had only one friend) and Cabel was abused and didn't think he could trust anyone or be comfortable around anyone with all of his scars. Although it seems like the two are so different in the beginning, as the novel progresses we find out how similar they are. I didn't feel like the relationship was forced, or that it was unnecessary in any way. And it wasn't just some stupid "omg I love yooou!" romance either - it had depth and was built on something other than just good looks or "you're a vampire, I love you!" I also liked that McMann didn't try to sugarcoat anything. She presented the relationship as very real, and gave plenty of instances where Janie and Cabel would have fights over legitimate things, just like any real couple.

Overall, I think this book was great. Reading it before bed was kind of a bad idea since it was all about dreams and nightmares and such, but it was still interesting and very hard to put down. Some things did seem kind of forced, but for the most part McMann did an excellent job with this novel. She definitely made me want to read the rest of the trilogy (which I did...). I'm glad that it didn't end up being just another supernatural YA novel with some girl/guy being a werewolf or vampire or having magic or living in a dystopian world.

I'd say that I'm excited to read the next book in the series!... but I already read it. I'll blog about it eventually.... Probably before Paul even finishes reading this one.


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