This was such a stunning novel. Within only a few pages I knew I was in good hands with Lisa McMann - her style is rather minimal but extremely poignant. Some authors need to write a hundred words to describe their characters, McMann only needs eight. I was simply stunned by how much raw emotion she could create. I simply didn't know it was possible to write a slow-burning, tense, mystery novel (with a believable romantic element to boot) without falling over the 100k word count.
I was also surprised by how gritty this book was. Although there is a real paranormal aspect to the novel, it is extremely realistic. Wake is a novel about a girl living in spite her paranormal abilities, not because of them. They are far from the most interesting thing about her and, while they are an important part of the mystery, the novel would be just as fantastic without them. How many paranormal books can you honestly say that about? I, for one, am not sure my beloved Darkest Powers trilogy could have held up without the necromancy and werewolves!
If you're anything like me, you will be through this book in a blink-and-a-half, and not just because of its length. I was reading this thing while standing in line at airport security. I can't say it was forcibly removed from my hands - but pretty close. I grew to really care about Janie, and was just desperate to read more more more about her.
Bottom line? Lisa McMann has made my "Authors I trust no matter what" list with only one book. Wake is everything a Young Adult novel should be. Read it!