Lisa McMann has written a seriously creepy book with Wake (Simon Pulse 2008). I have just one warning: Don’t read this one right before dropping off to sleep unless you want to visit your nightmares.
You see, Janie has a sleeping problem. Or rather, she has a problem with other people’s sleeping. Whenever she is near a sleeping person, she gets sucked into their dream. The falling dreams are getting old, but the worst are the nightmares that leave her helpless and terrified. No matter how bad it gets, Janie is determined to keep her secret (who would believe her anyway) and escape from her alcoholic mother. But as she goes through her senior year, it gets harder and harder to avoid her sleeping–and dreaming–classmates. Then one boy with secrets of his own, Cabel, starts to notice a little too much and tries to get a little too close. Can Janie trust him with her secret, or will he break her heart while partying with the rich kids on the hill?
I found Wake to be a fast read that kept me turning pages. I was guessing about Cabel through most of the story. I was also desperate to discover the secrets behind Janie’s dream power. I was surprised that she did not try sooner to figure it out for herself. Janie’s a smart girl, but I guess she was so concerned with keeping her secret that she never considered unraveling the mystery. My favorite character, though, was Mrs. Stubin. Mrs. Stubin is one of the residents at the nursing home where Janie works, and she shows up in the most surprising places. I know my students who like a little scare with their books will enjoy this one. I am definitely looking forward to the rest of Janie’s story in Fade and Gone.