Book Review: Wake by Lisa McMann

Book Review: Wake by Lisa McMann

Posted August 26, 2011 by Amber in Reviews / 0 Comments



by Lisa McMann

Series: Dream Catcher #1
Publisher: Simon Pulse on March 4, 2008
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Supernatural
Target Age Group: Young Adult
Content Warnings: Adult/Minor Relationship, Alcohol, Drug Use

Rating: ★★★½

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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....

2022 Update: This book review was imported from Goodreads several years before this blog was actively managed. As such, I have attempted to update the book information by pulling content warnings from The StoryGraph as available. I recommend reading more recent reviews of this book to be sure it holds up in the modern world. My opinions on this book reflect my experience at the time the review was written and may not still be true if I were to reread the book in the future.

Wake was refreshing as a short book, but even then on some counts it failed to deliver. The characters remained rather flat and a little stereotyped, and really, how many of us are taking Cabel’s sudden and magical transformation very seriously? But if you can get past the stories, McMann’s got a very interesting concept. And Janie’s best friend Carrie? She’s the worst.

Getting past the intellectually shallow characters, McMann does have a very interesting concept. There are not a lot of books that delve into the dream world, and even fewer that do so without tying themselves to Alice in Wonderland. What Janie is, is a dream guide, and in dreams she encourages people to change their dreams. Unfortunately, that is all she does – watches, listens, and tells people to change. The concept could have been pulled a little further, but McMann seems to push for an entirely uncomplicated book, and that’s what she succeeds in creating.

Although flat in many ways – including the above as well as sentence structure – Wake is still a charming, quick read. It’s got enough paranormal elements that it doesn’t feel like a regular YA novel, but it’s also subtle enough that those who don’t prefer fantasy do not feel ostracized by it. All in all a very quick, fun little read.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.


Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.


Rating: 3 out of 5.


Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Personal Enjoyment

Rating: 3 out of 5.
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stay magical amber

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Other Books Published in March 2008

4 books found
The Final Warning by James Patterson


Playing With Fire by Derek Landy



Wake by Lisa McMann



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