Sunday, July 21, 2013

Review: Wild Awake

Title: Wild Awake
Author: Hilary T. Smith
Pages: 375
Format: ARC 

Release Date: May 28, 2013 

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Rating: 4 Cows

Goodreads Description:

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.

WILD AWAKE is a whirlwind of a book! Hilary T. Smith takes readers on a wild and unforgettable ride in her debut novel. With a chaotic and at times almost stream of consciousness writing style readers will be completely engrossed.

Kiri is probably one of the most unique and passionate people I have ever met. She’s all over the place and a complete mess half the time (okay 90% of the time) but she’s so full of life. She’s all in with everything and you have to kind of respect her for that even if she has pretty much lost it. A lot of her insanity stems from the loss of her sister, Sukey, that Kiri looked up. Part of Kiri’s issues is that she hasn’t grieved properly and wasn’t told the truth about what happened to her sister and the other part is that she’s trying to be the person that she pictured Sukey to be (even though that really wasn’t accurate).

I was completely caught off guard by Skunk. I really couldn’t see myself liking a guy named Skunk at all (even if it is a nickname). But I really did like him as a character. He never did make me swoon exactly but I had a fondness for him I wasn’t expecting. I probably would have liked him more if I would have been able to see him a little more and see things from a perspective other than Kiri’s.

As I mentioned earlier, WILD AWAKE is written in a very free flowing, stream of consciousness style. You see the world through Kiri’s eyes and honestly that world is completely crazy. It really is hard to explain. It’s one of those things you just have to read to fully understand. Just know going in that Kiri comes up with some crazy shiz and that it’s impossible to truly understand what’s going on with her.

In the end, WILD AWAKE is this incredible journey that you won’t regret. It’s real, it’s gritty, it’s crazy but oh, so much fun!




  1. I am really glad you liked this. I wasn't crazy about it, but I didn't dislike it either. It definitely was different. Great review.

  2. I'm glad you liked this one, too! I just finished it and LOVED it, and the craziness is what makes it so fantastic, adding an urgency to the entire story. The writing is so beautiful in a subtle way, and I cannot wait to see what Hilary writes next!

  3. I have been curious about this book so I'm please to see you enjoyed it.

    A great review!

    Sharon – Obsession with Books

  4. I've been curious about this one. It's kind of gotten a mish mash of opinions. I hope to read this one soon.

  5. This is a fun read all the way through. I was fully absorbed, and found myself thinking about the story all day. The story and the characters, while really out there, are totally realistic and believable. There were no boring or fake parts to slow down the reading. Wild Awake is on the young adult shelf, but I'm old, and I liked it. We did stuff like this in the 60s too, and the book reminded me of those wild times.


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