July 19, 2013

REVIEW: Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith

Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: May 28, 2013
Source: Edelweiss, 375 pages
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Get it: Amazon / B&N
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.

My Review
Unique in it’s own way with a bright and eye catching cover, characters that go above and beyond, and writing that simply stunning. Wild Awake was one weird contemporary novel and one I liked, but was not blown away by. 

What I Liked


Narrator and main character, Kiri
Kiri was definitely the star of this novel and probably the reason why this book was out there in the realm of bizarre, yet fascinating. Kiri was a strange character and she left a lot to the imagination. She was very hard to understand as a character and very unpredictable with her thoughts and actions. I think that’s why I liked her so much. She was out of reach, but somehow I still wanted to grasp her. She was crazy, she was intense, she played piano like a maniac, and looked up to an older sister that lost her way. 

The Romance, more specifically, Skunk. 

This part of the book appealed to me because it was different and a not typical romance. Skunk and Kiri were just super cute together. They weren’t lovey dovey or anything like that, just really out there. Skunk was good for Kiri, because he was the calm in her storm and kind of grounded her in her craziness. They drank tea, listened to his millions of radios, had bicycle rides at midnight, texted and recited lines from Tao te Ching, and made music together. And I loved the way he called her his Crazy Girl and she called him Bicycle Boy and her love-bison. Their romance was young love, nothing earth shattering or profound, but lovely, warm and right. 

The Writing

Beautiful and lyrical and completely vivid in every chapter. The descriptions and imagery took my breath away and all the similes and metaphors gave this book more oomph and spice. The way this book was written definitely brought out Kiri’s voice and her scattered thoughts and her gut punching emotions. Hilary T. Smith’s writing style was definitely the best thing about the book. It was a breath of fresh air and sigh worthy all at the same time. 

What I didn’t like so much


What’s the point, what is the plot?

I enjoyed this book, don’t get me wrong, but throughout the whole thing I asked myself what is exactly the point of this book? Kiri finds out what really happened to her sister, she plays the piano, smokes and drinks, rides her bike, does Battle of the Bands, falls in love, has a Thing, she crashes and burns and comes back. It was pretty chaotic and sometimes I didn’t understand half of it myself and maybe that’s why I wasn’t so compelled or engrossed into this book. I didn’t know where the direction of the book was going so I was lost along the way. I think I just missed something with this book and failed to gain the whole perspective. 

Overall, Wild Awake was a good book filled with passion for art and music  It’s got a lot of heart and it’s kind of crazy. Contemporary fans will enjoy the originality of this book.

*Thanks to Katherine Tegan Books for sending a copy for review purposes
I was not compensated for my opinion

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