Wake by Lisa McMann

Not all dreams are sweet.

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....

Janie was only eight years of age the first time she felt that now familiar state, of being lured into another person's dream. She has seen every fear, every dream shattered and anxiety realised. No one knows of her secret, especially that of her absent, alcoholic mother, and the term mother is used generously.

Her first sleepover with next door neighbour and best friend Carrie, ended in disaster when Janie was transported into the dream of mean little rich girl Melinda, who incidentally was dreaming of kissing Carrie, while Carrie's dream was far more treacherous. A young boy who drowns over and over again, and Carrie screaming for the help that never arrives. Perhaps sleepover's aren't a great idea when you're a dream catcher.

Now a teen, Janie works at the local nursing home, determined to make more of her life, than that of the one her mother has given her. But the elderly provide little respite, especially that of Mister Reed, who lures Janie into his nightmares of the war, the bodies and blood. The dream never changing, never straying from the battle, limbs scattered, bones crunching underfoot and Mister Reed's body slowly crumbling, like ashes to the wind. Janie's head pounds, as she follows him into battle again, but where the dream usually ends, Mister Reed reaches out to her, pleading for help before his body crumbles. Janie ends his life, waking with a start only to find that Mister Reed has in fact, died in his sleep.

It seems even when driving through her neighbourhood, Janie is not immune and finds herself lured into nightmare while behind the wheel. Desperately trying to consciously activate the handbrake while her mind is transported to a strange house, watching a monster with knives for fingers, only waking after her car finds it's way into a roadside ditch, he head resting on the steering wheel and a nasty cut lip.

When Janie first met Cabel, he was an awkward teen, a kindred spirit from the wrong side of the tracks. Coming to her aid one night on the way home from the homecoming dance. Speculation was rife when Cabel disappeared, the gossip being that he was caught dabbling in drugs, but when he resurfaces years later, the awkward, poverty teen is no where to be seen. Cabel has matured, so much so that no one apart from Janie seems to recognise him. Janie is still learning to come to terms with dream catching at school, with so many students falling asleep in classes and study hall. Falling into seizures and slipping into the unknown has not escaped Cabel's attention. But when Janie falls into the, monster with knives for fingers nightmare again, she releases that the nightmare belongs to someone within her study hall period... And she just may not want to know who.

Janie and Cabel no longer speak, apart from sharing kisses within Cabel's library dreams during school. But when he shares a seat next to her on a school field trip, teens sleeping on the bus, she needs to learn to trust someone, and Cabel seems like the perfect candidate.

Cabel holds a secret of his own, he isn't who he pretends to be and dreams of far more than innocent kisses. 

At 224 pages, Wake reads as a novella, with mostly abrupt, stop start sentences...
A little.
Which makes for a short and frustrating read. Having said that, I actually quite liked it. The premise was interesting, that of a dream catcher, and Janie was a likeable character. But being a short, sharp read, there weren't enough pages for the characters to have a big impact. I'll be continuing on with the series... Eventually.

(Dream Catcher: Book One)
Written By Lisa McMann
Published 04 / 03 / 2008
224 Pages

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