Monday, May 27, 2013

[Review: Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith]

"Wild Awake"
Author: Hilary T. Smith
Pages: 400
Genre: YA Contemporary
Date Published: May 28th, 2013
Publisher: Kathrine Tegen Books
Format Read: eARC provided by published (via Edelweiss) for honest review


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.

My Thoughts:

I don't even know where to start with this book?  My mind is still in the strange green fog that the book pulls your mind into.  I've been having the greatest luck with Contemporaries lately and so I was excited for this one.  But it was odd and I don't know what I truly think about it.  Nothing really happened, even though the summary suggests a lot of really cool elements, and yet I couldn't stop reading.  It was like I was reading one of the most beautifully described train wrecks I've ever seen.  It made me uncomfortable the whole time and yet I just wanted to keep reading all the pretty words.

Right off I thought that Kiri was going to be an entertaining character, but instead I got a mess of a girl.  She was getting high, taking pills from strangers and drinking way too much.  She lived in a world of illusion that was totally messing with everyone's mind.  Her's and my own as a reader.  As the story unfolded (I guess?) you got to see her impulsive actions.  Seriously, what was this girl thinking most of the time?  Oddly some of these bad decisions ended up working out, but the ones that didn't weren't pretty.  Heck some of the ones that did end up working out weren't pretty either.  I didn't get her character.  Something about her wanted to make me like her, but in the end I didn't.  I couldn't wrap my head around what was going on inside of her brain.  

I didn't really get any of the characters in this book.  I'm not sure if it was because I was seeing them all through Kiri's eyes and that distorted the reality of everything, or if none of them were likable?  Her parents were clueless and you never really figured out why they didn't get along with Sukey.  Sukey is dead, but seems to be the thing that the book revolves around.  Kiri's brother is pretty terrible.  Her best friends is a jerk and Skunk is troubled in a way that just didn't work for me.

On the flip side, Smith's writing really was beautiful and pretty, even when she was describing some pretty terrible things.  The story lacks direction and the conclusion left me wanting to pull out my hair, because this book really has no conclusion.  Beside the characters the fact that nothing really progressed and no one addressed  the things that Kiri needed to know, hindered the book.  

I feel like I'm all over the board with this one.  Awesome words on the page but nothing really happening between the lines and no finality to anything left me wanting more from this book.  It had so much going for it, but in the end it didn't work for me.  But it wasn't a bad book either.

             3 Unicorns = I liked it but it had it's issues!


Jenni @ Alluring Reads said...

I am so curious about this book, can't wait to get my hands on it. Everyone seems to not really know how to accurately place their feelings for it, but I love the way they all (and you) describe the story. A lot of the time I am ok with not much happening and with the story just being about days in a persons life. Happy that you did enjoy this one overall though!

@HarleyBearBooks said...

Our reviews are so similar lol. I completely agree with everything you said. NOTHING HAPPENED in this book. It was like we followed a random girl around for a week or two as she went on her life. And I still don't understand how the author could be so carefree about drug use. Like Kiri almost dies from overdose and no one says anything about it. Crazy book.