By Hilary T. Smith
Publication date: May 28, 2013
Katherine Tegen Books, 400 pages
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!