Wake (Wake Series, Book 1) - Lisa McMann "Time to stop crying, time to get her act together and do something"

Janie is able to go into people's dreams, which turns out to sound far cooler than it actually is. When she falls into what seems to be a psycho's dreams, life starts getting very weird. Can she tell anyone about her weird abilities?

This slight book (clocking in at 210 pages) was a pleasant surprise. I mostly picked it because it was short (it has also been on my TBR for a while). I didn't expect to like it as much as I did.

The first thing I noticed about the book was the writing style. McMann's style is very "choppy" and abrupt, consisting of short sentences, simple sentence structures, and a very brisk pace. It took some adjusting, but I found that the style was great and very appropriate for the novel. Not to mention, the story is written in third person present, a rather uncommon form (most of the time, I've seen present tense coupled with first person). You would think that the book would suffer from it, but for the most part, it does not.

The characters were wonderful. Janie really leapt out of the pages. I really felt for her, cared about her, and was cheering her on. I loved how she worked really hard to try to better herself, how she didn't dwell on her sorrows, and how, while she tried to do the right thing, she never acted out of character. Carrie, Janie's friend, was an awesome character too, proving that protagonist's friends don't have to be paper-thin. And Cabel...I adored how the author didn't make him perfect in every way. Generally, all the characters felt realistic and age-appropriate.

The story was interesting and engaging. I loved the idea of a person getting stuck in people's dreams. I appreciated the thought McMann seemed to put into the concept--making Janie sufficiently unable to do things about going into dreams and then honing her talent. I hate it when authors make their protagonists superpowered or able to learn their ability overnight.

While I am ambivalent about continuing the series (I've heard that the last book is kinda meh, and I don't know if I want to read the second one only to have to stop at a cliffhanger), I really thought that "Wake" was more than worth the time I spent reading it. I was interested in the characters, engrossed in the story, and captivated by Janie's ability. And there isn't a love triangle in sight!! Definitely recommended.