Wake by Lisa McMann
(Hardcover, Simon Pulse)
Janie hasn't been to a sleepover in years. She makes excuses to leave the classroom when a fellow student falls asleep. Whenever possible, she avoids public transportation and libraries. Why? Because when people fall asleep and dream, Janie is uncontrollably sucked into their dreams. Normally, it's just the typical falling dream or standing-naked-in-front-of-a-crowd dream. Then, one day Janie is sucked into a violent nightmare and she's no longer just an observer--she's an active participant.
This book was like a drug. I picked it up and immediately could NOT put it down. Wake is written in present tense which gives the story a feeling of urgency. I immediately liked Janie, even though she was a bit moodier than my usual type of heroine. Of course, that would be understandable if you kept slipping into other people's dreams. Perhaps most compelling is that Wake feels original. It stands out from the current trend of vampire/zombie books. Slipping into dreams sounds like a fun thing to do, but McMann makes it a threatening, offensive part of Janie's life. Janie witnesses a horrible act when she slips into a classmate's dream. When Janie starts to fall for that classmate, Cabel, she treads a fine line between trusting her instincts and behaving recklessly. I just had to read straight to the end to see if Janie's instincts were right. Janie's story continues in the follow-up book, Fade, due out on bookshelves in February.