Review: Wake (Dream Catcher #1) by Lisa McMann

Title:  Wake
Author:  Lisa McMann
Series:  Dream Catcher #1
Publisher:  Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster
Publication Date:  March 4, 2008
Pages:  210
Format/Source:  Paperback/Purchased
Age Group/Genre:  Young Adult/Fantasy, Paranormal

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. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads)

Mixed Reviews…

There are a lot of mixed reviews for Wake among my friends and other reviewers on Goodreads, but I ended up liking it quite a bit.  I read almost all of it on a couple of plane trips, and I was engrossed enough that I didn’t realize a flight attendant was speaking to me at one point.  I loved all the fantastic twists (I think I cursed out loud on the plane a couple of times), and I just think it’s a really cool story.

I liked Janie, but I really loved Cabel.  He had such an intricate back story, and although a lot of it was predictable (I figured out a lot of what was going on with him before it was revealed), I thought it was interesting for this story. And I really feel like in the next couple of books we’ll find out some more interesting stuff about Miss Stubin and Janie’s mother.  I just really think there’s more to her mother than being a lazy drunk (at least I hope there is!).

A Few Drawbacks…

At times, the writing style was a bit cumbersome.  I wanted the format to change pretty early on, because it felt repetitive and I just knew that it would get boring if something didn’t change.  But luckily, the story started getting a lot more complex and McMann threw in quite a few twists, so even though the format didn’t change, it didn’t feel as repetitive.

And there were a few awkward lines, such as “She is miserable.”  I think that it could have been conveyed in a better way, through her body language or dialogue, rather than stated like that. (As they say, “Show, don’t tell”!)

I also wish that the scary parts had been more scary, or at least lasted longer.  There were some major creepy parts, but I wanted more.  But there were quite a few funny parts sprinkled into the story as well, which I enjoyed.

My rating for Wake by Lisa McMann:

4 big stars.  It was a quick, engaging read and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!

Find it:  Goodreads │ Amazon │ Simon & Schuster
You may also enjoy:  The Raven BoysHourglass Intangible
Disclaimer:  I purchased this book myself.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.


  1. Kate Midnight Book Girl

    August 30, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    I really liked the first book, which I got because of a review I saw during one of my first Readathons, and then I read it during a readathon. But I could not get into the second book at all. I don't know if the writing style, which I found kind of original in the first book, just didn't hold up, or if it'd been too long between readings, or if the first time I read the book I didn't have enough frame of reference to realize that I didn't actually like it as much as I thought I did? I don't know. I'll be interested to hear what you say about book 2!

  2. fakesteph

    August 31, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Hmmm… maybe I'll see if there is an audio version of this. I think I will really like it, actually…

  3. Bittner

    September 1, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    I'm not sure about the writing format because I listened to the audio version for all three books. What I did notice was that the writing style was very quick with what felt like very brisk dialog but it made for a great audio book. I'm wondering if that is what was troublesome when you were reading it.

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