June 27, 2013

Latest Read: Wild Awake

Here are the basics ...
Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith
Publication date: May 28, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Purchased

Summary: Things you earnestly believe will happen while your parents are away: You will take detailed, accurate messages. You will call your older brother, Denny, if even the slightest thing goes wrong. You and your best friend/bandmate Lukas will win Battle of the Bands. Amid the thrill of victory, Lukas will finally realize you are the girl of his dreams. Things that actually happen: A stranger calls who says he knew your sister and says he has her stuff. You tell him your parents won’t be able to, that Sukey died five years ago; can’t he.. You scribble down the address. You get on your bike and go. Things . . . get a little crazy after that. Also, you fall in love, but not with Lukas. (Adapted goodreads.com)
My thoughts…
The good: When Kiri told that she's "beautiful and totally batshit", I couldn't help but think that was a perfect description for the book as well. These characters are unlike anyone I've ever known and they're kind of insane at times. But they're also a raw, unflinchingly representation of people drowning in their grief and not always handling those emotions well. Grief can bring out the crazy and the author didn't shy away from this at all.

Kiri is spending her summer family-free - her parents are on a cruise and her brother is at school - but she's got everything under control. Her days are filled with practicing the piano for her upcoming showcase and playing in a band with her best friend Lukas, that she happens to have a thing for. Then she receives a random phone call which turns her entire world upside down. A stranger wants her to pick up Sukey's things from her old apartment. But Sukey has been dead for five years and her family doesn't ever talk about what happened. Kiri idolized Sukey her whole life so when she gets this call, she doesn't hesitate to hop on her bike and go. She ends up meeting people who become important to her like her sister's former neighbor, Doug, and a guy named Skunk. It's at this point where she simultaneously starts to get herself together and fall apart.

The biggest highlight of the book was undoubtedly Kiri and how her thoughts were written. They had this stream-of-conscious, random and honest feel to it. Like all those crazy thoughts people think but don't say out loud, we get complete exposure to. She would break my heart and make me worry for her as she continued to spiral but then I'd feel elated for her as she found joy in music (she plays the piano and synth!) and in Skunk. Their relationship is as unique as the individuals themselves. What hit me the most was how they got each other, idiosyncrasies and all. There was this inexplicable connection between them, one that I think most of us search for. Throughout the entire book, all I wanted for her was to get the answers she wanted, find happiness and reconnect with her family.

(Potential) reservations: I wouldn't say this was an issue for me but I do feel like I need to say that I wanted to grab each of her family members and give them a hard shake. I wanted them to open their eyes and see what Kiri was going through instead of ignoring it. There is a bit of closure on this front and while I wouldn't have minded a deeper look into why her parents acted they way they did, I didn't mind it either.

Do I recommend?: I do! I loved the writing style and the unique characters so if you're in the mood for an engaging contemporary read, pick this one up.

Happy reading!

1 comment:

  1. I cannot wait to read this book! It was one of the books I sent to the Philippines, so I'll only be able to read it there. But seriously, it sounds AMAZING. I like that it's pretty unusual in terms of story!

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