Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont Australia
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Drama, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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.
There seemed to be an endless supply of completely mixed reviews for Wild Awake so I went in with low expectations and then got swept right off my feet. I see where this book could have gone upside down for some, however this madness? I loved every bit of it.
Kiri has always believed that her sister, Sukey died in a car crash five years ago. That’s what her family told her and she never questioned upon it. Yet when she gets a phone call from a stranger that has some of Sukey’s stuff, she gets on her bicycle and collects the bag. And from there on, she discovers the truth; her sister was not killed in a car crash but murdered. Kiri’s life then turns black and white. Wild Awake’s main points that I see that will not work for people are the amount of drug use and lack of plot. Surprisingly, I was not the slightest bit bothered by these two aspects as I deem that the way Hilary T. Smith used them (drugs and insomnia—aka madness) was perfectly reasonable and gave this book a new dimension. Too many authors are scared to put in drug and sex so often. That’s where most authors will fail. They worry, they put it in and it won’t necessarily turn out well because they were too weak in putting it out there like cold water on a hot summer’s day. All these mature themes in Wild Awake were not placed in. They were flung in with a BAM. And, the result was very pleasing. As long as authors don’t shy away, these topics are actually reasonable, especially if written well.
And it just so happens that Hilary T. Smith has one of the best writing skills I’ve ever observed. It’s bold, taking on topics that too many authors hide from. It’s beautiful, the descriptions, setting and way life was portrayed was blurry and defined all at once. It’s raw, this book was a complete mess and it was perfect like that. A beautiful story of madness and how a new discovered truth can take toll on a person that’s only known to long for happiness. I am in complete envy of Hilary T. Smith’s writing. Can I steal? Please?
The main thing that took of one star was the romance. I wasn’t really feeling it. There was not much of a build-up or development between the two. They had only met for a few days and instantly, they were kissing and having sex. It made no sense I felt rather behind it all. There was not much of a chemistry between Kiri and Skunk (don’t worry, it’s a nickname).
Despite the flaw in the romance, Wild Awake was one of the most beautiful novels I’ve read this year. It’s quite scary and interesting to see one event trigger a whole new line of sequences that are completely life changing–and damaging. This one is a must read for everyone, regardless if you will like it or not in the end.
~Thank you Hardie Grant Egmont Australia for sending me this copy!~
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