Wake (Wake Series, Book 1)

Wake (Wake Series, Book 1) - Lisa McMann If there's one thing I can say initially about Lisa McMann's "Wake", don't read it with any sense of expectation. You're likely to enjoy it more for the ride it takes you on without having any prejudgment, whether by its premise or by its accolades. And if you don't like the sparse means of storytelling, chances are the book won't improve upon it for you as you go along in the story. Unfortunately, the way the story was told was one of the key things that took away from my enjoyment. It was a quick read, don't get me wrong. I understood it perfectly, but it left me in the aftermath saying "Oh, that's all?" That's not a good impression to have on any book's conclusion, even if it is a first in a series. I hope I can explain what I mean in expansion for this review."Wake" has a very unique and beautifully constructed premise - depicting a young woman named Janie's experiences with jumping in and out of people's dreams. She's seen her share of jarring images - falling, drowning, people in the nude, sex - in dreams, but a certain set of dreams keeps her attention on high alert, and it affects her consciousness. Janie doesn't realize just how much her gift can actually help, and how much she can control it. Add to that a classmate who seems to notice Janie's unique gift, and she might actually be able to help him with a very important measure...As it all unfolds, you realize that Janie's in a great deal of angst (understandable) about her ability for a good point of the book. It isn't until she comes across one of the people she cares for that she starts finding her way about her powers. Plus, Cabe, with whom she develops a strong relationship, has a mysterious past and role which comes to light in the latter part of the novel. It feels cheapened by the way the story's told. Don't get me wrong, I love the concept of the characters, but I hated the way they were presented. Much of the intriguing and serious aspects of this book could've been improved if only they'd had better presentation and sequencing.Such presentation also took away from what could've been less hollow characterization. I did care about the characters in some considerations (which for some, that may be more than enough). However, by the end of the book, I felt that not a lot of them were really that memorable when considering the collective events and progression the story had to offer.Still, I don't regret reading "Wake", and I'm more than happy to read its sequel to see where the story goes, but largely I'm underwhelmed by a decent story that suffers from a wavering focus.Overall: 2/5