Mon, April 29, 2013

Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith Review

Wild Awake book cover

Wild Awake book cover

Wild Awake
By Hilary T. Smith
Publication date: May 28, 2013
Katherine Tegen Books, 400 pages
Source: Publisher

Things you earnestly believe will happen while your parents are away:

1. You will remember to water the azaleas.
2. You will take detailed, accurate messages.
3. You will call your older brother, Denny, if even the slightest thing goes wrong.
4. You and your best friend/bandmate Lukas will win Battle of the Bands.
5. Amid the thrill of victory, Lukas will finally realize you are the girl of his dreams.

Things that actually happen:

1. A stranger calls who says he knew your sister.
2. He says he has her stuff.
3. What stuff? Her stuff.
4. You tell him your parents won’t be able to—
5. Sukey died five years ago; can’t he—
6. You pick up a pen.
7. You scribble down the address.
8. You get on your bike and go.
9. Things . . . get a little crazy after that.*
*also, you fall in love, but not with Lukas.

Both exhilarating and wrenching, Hilary T. Smith’s debut novel captures the messy glory of being alive, as seventeen-year-old Kiri Byrd discovers love, loss, chaos, and murder woven into a summer of music, madness, piercing heartbreak, and intoxicating joy.

— Goodreads.com description

If you haven’t heard all of the amazing things people are saying about Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith, well, no worries because you’re about to hear a TON of good things from me.

Wild Awake is a stunning, riveting debut that made me feel like I was experiencing everything right alongside of the main character — from soaking in the highs of new love to teetering on the edge of despair.

If you’re not open to it, the writing style might take you a bit off guard — it comes so close to stream-of-consciousness that is really thrusts you in to Kiri’s brain. But I actually really loved that. When Kiri feels manic, you feel manic. When she’s lusty, you’re…well, lusty too. I felt like Smith’s writing style so perfectly captured the way someone in Kiri’s unique position would think, and as hard as it was at times, I enjoyed taking what felt like a really realistic a peek into her inner workings.

For fans of serious contemporaries (I can see why Gayle Forman gave the quote on the front of the book!), I can’t recommend this highly enough. There’s a love story, there’s a lot of psychological issues, they’s a mystery…it’s just all-encompassingly good. Can’t wait to read more from this lovely new author!

Anna Reads young adult book blog

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Posted by: Anna   •   In: death, friendship, hilary t smith, mystery, psychological, romance
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9 Comments

  1. Sara H. (Through the Looking Glass) said:

    Yay! I’m so excited for Wild Awake! I have been hearing all good things about it! I find that I like the stream of consciousness-style narrative and I also love serious contemporaries. I will be getting to Wild Awake very soon!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, April 29, 2013

  2. Lori said:

    I read this one last week and loved it! It’s so different than anything else out there.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, April 29, 2013

  3. YA Book Queen said:

    The writing style sounds fascinating – it can be nice to really get into a character’s head.

    Fabulous review! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, April 29, 2013

  4. Alexa Y. said:

    I’m eager to experience this one for myself! Kiri (love the name) sounds like an interesting MC, and I can’t wait to experience her experience (I use experience a TON in this comment – sorry, not sorry!) when I read Wild Awake 🙂

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, April 29, 2013

  5. We Heart YA said:

    We quite enjoyed this one too! Skunk = the best. 🙂 And the last chapter was just perfection; a little short story all in itself.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, April 29, 2013

  6. HollyB said:

    Anna, the blurb sounded great to begin with, but after reading your review I want to read this NOW!! Sounds exactly like something I’d love. Yay! Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, April 29, 2013

  7. Rachel @ hello, chelly. said:

    I keep hearing so many amazing things about this book! Your review just made me extra eager to get my hands on it haha. The stream-of-consciousness writing style sounds really interesting and I’m curious to see how I’ll feel about it. I definitely like getting in a character’s head and connecting with their feelings.. so I think it’ll work for me. Can’t wait for this to come out! Awesome review 🙂

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, April 29, 2013

  8. Melody said:

    This book would have been sitting on my TBR list until I got to it if not for this review and so many others getting so excited about it. I read contemporaries but not as often as other genres but this one…this one I am reading as soon as I buy it!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, April 29, 2013

  9. Favorites of the Week #5: Happy Mother’s Day! | Through the Looking Glass said:

    […] Lori at Pure Imagination reviewed Wild Awake by: Hilary T. Smith. So did Anna Reads! […]

    Posted on: Mon, April 29, 2013

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