Reviews for Wake


Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Fall
Janie is pulled into other people's dreams and nightmares. They want her to save them, but she doesn't know how to help. Janie can't tell anyone, and she feels all alone until meeting two others who can also walk in dreams. The story, told in terse language that alternates with more floridly described dreams, moves powerfully and quickly. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2008 February #1
Dealing with an alcoholic single mother and endless hours of working at Heather Nursing Home to raise money for college, high-school senior Janie Hannagan doesn't need more problems. But inexplicably, since she was eight years old, she has been pulled in to people's dreams, witnessing their recurring fears, fantasies and secrets. Through Miss Stubin at Heather Home, Janie discovers that she is a dream catcher with the ability to help others resolve their haunting dreams. After taking an interest in former bad boy Cabel, she must distinguish between the monster she sees in his nightmares and her romantic feelings for him. And when she learns more about Cabel's covert identity, Janie just may be able to use her special dream powers to help solve crimes in a suspense-building ending with potential for a sequel. McMann lures teens in by piquing their interest in the mysteries of the unknown, and keeps them with quick-paced, gripping narration and supportive characters. (Fiction. YA) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2008 March #5

The trick to getting hooked on this highly satisfying first novel is to look past its disjointed opening. The initial chapters consist of flashbacks into which are woven a series of repetitive scenes wherein Janie Hannagan is unwillingly sucked into others' dreams and nightmares, and suffers debilitating side effects. But as soon as McMann establishes Janie's strange skill, she throws just the right teen-centric ingredients into the story to propel it forward and grab readers. Tough and strong Janie, now 17, seems totally independent, charting a future that will lead away from her welfare mother's alcoholism. Her turbulent relationship with Cabel, the unwashed stoner boy-turned-handsome, pulsates with sexual tension--problematized by Janie's knowledge of his insistent dreams about killing a man. But then Cabel learns to communicate his desires to Janie through lucid dreaming at just about the same time that Janie finds out that she can influence the dreams she enters. The plot twists keep coming, even if one or two are shopworn, and the writing has a Caroline Cooney--like snap that's hard to resist. Ages 14-up. (Mar.)

[Page 63]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2008 March

Gr 7 Up-- This clever novel opens with Janie Hannagan, 17, inside the star quarterback's dream--she knows it's his dream because he's the only one naked on the football field. Janie dreams along with her fellow students when they fall asleep near her--on the bus, in study hall, in boring classes, etc. She begins to dream with loner Cabel Sturmheller and discovers both his horrific childhood abuse and longstanding feelings for her. The third-person omniscient narration sets a perfect mood; readers are, like Janie, observers. Janie and Cabel's friendship is sweetly drawn, their conversations are smooth, and their romantic tension builds naturally. The language is realistically gritty. Unfortunately, McMann uses a plot twist right out of Law and Order to doom their relationship, and an even cheaper twist to reconcile them. Still, an economy of language, swift character development, and mysterious circumstances drive the narrative to a fast and mostly satisfying conclusion. McMann also gives useful attention to the science of dreaming. This book is ideal for reluctant readers, especially girls.--Johanna Lewis, New York Public Library

[Page 204]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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