Release Date: 3/4/2008
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
About the Books: Fade and Wake both tell the story of Janie, a high school student who is pulled into other people's dreams. This is very tiring and annoying and Janie isn't really sure what she can do about it. She meets up with Cabel, a boy from school who has come back this year and is hot, who wants to help her. When Janie is pulled into nightmares, it's more than she can handle.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I read Wake about a month ago and finished Fade not long after, but I've been waiting to post my review. Unlike every other book blogger, I didn't love these books and I wanted to make sure I could express why.
Wake has an interesting premise, but it seems like all the dreams Janie falls into are sex dreams or nightmares that are memories. I thought this was an easy way out. It seemed too easy how the dreams were related to real life-where was the dream interpretation? The hiding spot for a drug bust is revealed in a dream?? That all seemed a little too easy. I know if Janie fell into one of my dreams, it wouldn't make any sense-so why do all these dreams seem to have some sort of answer to a puzzle?
I also wasn't a fan of the writing style. It was choppy, which yes, I understand is a way of expressing to the reader Janie's life, how it's stop and start and how tired the dream jumping makes Janie. Plus, I didn't like how I was told constantly "Janie sprints through the snowy yards..", "Janie is curious." "Janie wishes.." "Janie's vision returns slowly." It just seemed overdone and personally, I found it annoying.
As far as the dream-jumping/catching thing, nothing was really explained in Wake which really frustrated me. I felt it took a long time (after 100 pages in a 224 page book!) to really get the story going. Wake felt like I was watching a pilot of a TV show-the characters are still shaky, the acting isn't that great yet, the chemistry is still being learned-it was good, but its main job was to set up what could be great.
Now on to Fade. I liked this one better. It was longer, the story had more time to develop, and more was explained. Again, I found the mystery too easy and kind of silly and the whole side job thing that Janie and Cabel have going is just really corny to me. I like the relationship between Janie and Cabel and thought it was much better than the first one. Janie was such a strong character but then halfway through she was a whimpering girl who couldn't live without Cabel-it seemed somewhat out of character for her. At least in Fade she stays strong throughout, even if their relationship has a lot of communication problems. There were many times I wanted to yell at them for being so stupid and just talk to each other!
With all that said, don't think I didn't like these books. I did, I just didn't love them. The story was enough to keep me interested and keep reading-I was interested enough to finish both in one sitting each. I'm interested to see what happens next and I'm intrigued by Janie's dream catching, I just wish the mystery/crime solving aspect wasn't so easy. I think Lisa McMann is a talented writer, I'm just not a big fan of the style she's using in these books. Maybe I'm just not the right target audience since I'm not a teenager anymore. I would recommend these books and I think they'd be great for reluctant readers. I'll be reading the next one, but they're not going on my list of all time favorites.
(One last thing-my side tangent. I don't know why but I find it really obnoxious when characters who don't really know each other all that well or have hardly talked suddenly have a nickname for each other. Janie hardly had talked to Cabel and then suddenly on a school trip she calls him Cabe. This grates on my nerves-maybe because my name is too short to have a nickname so I'm jealous of these book characters? I don't know. Unrelated, but I also hated it in Breaking Dawn, when suddenly Rosalie, who had never really been a friend to Bella, was now Rose. UGH!)
Ok, that's all-am I going to get yelled at now?:)