Author: Lisa McMann
Publisher: Simon Pulse (February 10, 2009)
My Rating: ★★★★
This sequel to Wake (2008) follows dream-catcher Janie as she navigates the treacherous world of dreaming the dreams of others. Janie and her boyfriend, Cabel, use their skills to work undercover investigating teachers suspected of drugging and abusing students at class parties. Janie takes on more than she can handle in cracking the case, and Cabel is unable to intervene to his satisfaction, which strains their relationship. Janie also comes to understand more about her dream-catching ability and the consequences in store for her, most notably a heavy, irreversible physical toll. The series is moving in a darker, more dramatic direction, with Janie facing evil and needing to decide if she can sacrifice her own health for the greater good. Series of sentence fragments (“She scratches her head. Looks around. Laughs”) take some getting used to but keep the action firmly in the present tense and build suspense. A great blend of mystery, romance, and supernatural elements, and featuring a strong but vulnerable female protagonist, this episode ends with an irresistible hook for the final installment.
Since this is a sequel, I will try not to go into too much detail as not to give anything away from this or the first book. You can go back and read my review of Wake for more info.
So, I had a few problems with this second installment. Firstly, what's with all the cuss words? Not that I am against them, but I feel when they are used in abundance, (and I mean abundance in this case) especially in a teen book, that's just saying that the author can't think of anything better for them to say. It makes the characters sound quite moronic, and I would rather read books about people who actually may be smarter than I am.
Aside from that, I felt like this book really didn't get good until about halfway. I think the thing that bugged me the most, in the beginning, Janie and Cabel are a happy couple. Tra-la-la. Boring and sappy. Not really romantic, and that could be attributed to the fact the book is so fast-paced, there isn't time to form a connection with them as a couple.
But on to the good part of this book. The case that Janie and Cabel are working on is about teachers at her school allegedly molesting students. Whoa. That is a touchy subject, but intensely real. Janie puts herself out there as bait and tries to find the culprit(s). To be honest, her dreamcatcher skill isn't used very much in this book, and rightly so. I don't see how it would be useful, and really, the fact that she seems to be around sleeping people so often can get old. This is the best book in the series by far, so I suggest to all who are interested, read only Wake and Fade. Do not bother with Gone. Trust me.