Wake (Dream Catcher #1) by Lisa McMann
Published Year: 2008
Genre: YA Fantasy
"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."
I'll start off with saying I love, love, love the concept behind Wake and this series. Janie lives with her alcoholic mother and is slaving away to earn enough money and good grades to make it out of her town and to college. Sounds normal, right? Except one teensy weensy little thing: she gets sucked into other people's dreams. And not the kind of let me just watch you dream. No, Janie gets the shakes and burns some serious calories and is forced into them with no way to break free. SO intriguing.
LM has a seriously unique writing style. I really enjoyed it, but it definitely took me a little while to get into. She writes with short, simple sentence structure, and I can see this being a bit unsettling to some readers. For me, I enjoyed being able to read between the lines and imagine what she was implying rather than saying. I think this is rare in most books because most of the plot is explained and laid out pretty obviously for the reader. (I'm obviously excluding those exciting plot twists, but actually even those are explained at some point with other writing styles). LM gets away with this because she doesn't have huge plot twists -- it's just the slow and steady story of a girl with a strange gift, a boy and figuring out life.
We also learn 95% of our information about the characters through their dreams, and I just think one of LM's quotes "dreams aren't memories" is really important. I don't know if I can trust what Janie's learning. Sure, there's some truth embedded in every lie, but I definitely wouldn't want anyone making assumptions about me based on my dreams (because some of them are pretty freaking weird).
All in all, I enjoyed Wake (I continued on with the rest of series), but the writing style was just not for me. I can only imagine so much before I start questioning whether I'm right or not. I like to be right and know that I'm right.
3 out of 5 stars.