Mock Printz: Wake
Author: Lisa McMann
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 2008
Review - Nominated for BBYA 2009
Plot: Ever since she was eight years old, high school student Janie Hannagan has been uncontrollably drawn into other people's dreams, but it is not until she befriends an elderly nursing home patient and becomes involved with an enigmatic fellow-student that she discovers her true power. Working in the nursing home is a way for Janie to save for college, but sometimes it's torture when the residents pull her into dreams of wartime and it's getting worse. School isn't any better, when classmates regularly nod off in class or in study hall and drag Janie with them. You see Janie can't escape the dreams and when she's dragged in she often passes out or appears to be having a seizure. After one incident at work, she's forced to go to a doctor and he begs her not to drive. She, of course, ignores him and buys a car. On the way home one night, she's dragged into a boy's nightmare and in time she find out it's the cute skater guy who came to her rescue the spring before. As he and Janie become friends and more the lies and complications mount until it climaxes in an unbelievable, but happy ending for the main characters.
This book was much deeper than I thought it was going to be. Not mentioned in the cover flap info is the alcoholic mother (Janie's), the dead brother (her best friend's), the abusive father (the boy's) and the drug dealing at parties. It mixes fantasy, teen romance, and police drama complete with rich bad girls and teen drama. Sex is talked about but there is nothing explicit and while some of the secrets and consistences just seem too unreal the story was a much better read than anticipated. From the ending of this book, I'm betting that it's the start of a series. And I can't wait to read the next installment.