Addresses Issues/Diverse · Contemporary · YA

Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith

WAThings 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.

Source:  egalley via publisher/Edelweiss

Story Breakdown:

Kiri’s parents leave her home alone to prepare for her upcoming piano showcase while going on a month-long vacation trusting her to be studious and responsible.  Things start out well but after receiving a call about her (dead) sister’s stuff being held things change and Kiri goes on a wild trip of discovery.

Character Highlights:

Kiri  – I’m at a loss.  She had some great one-liners.  Bitch, please. 😛

Lukas – My brother-in-law always said you shouldn’t like drummers.  (Even though a part of me wants to learn to play.)

Skunk – Strange cookie, but not as strange as Kiri which isn’t saying much.

Overall Thoughts:

I started out loving this book, loving the writing, Kiri’s flighty quality, her freedom, but that changed about midway.  She went, to quote Skunk, “bat shit” and everything she did just made zero sense.  This girl needed serious mental help and her family abandoning her for such a long time to go on a vacation was beyond crazy to me.  To me it is obvious Kiri was troubled but we never focus on her getting treatment or why her family kept her in the dark on what happened to her sister.  This book just didn’t sit right for me.




12 thoughts on “Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith

  1. Huh… I think this is the first not so glowing review I’ve read about this book. Not that that’s a bad thing! I still haven’t read it, so…..

    1. I couldn’t get into it. Way too all over the place and it really bothered me that she needed help and they barely touch on it.

  2. Books with really cute synopses like that always kind of make me a little bit nervous, to be honest. Is that weird? This seems like one I might love if I was in the exact right mood, though. And who doesn’t love a drummer boy.

  3. This book was very crazy BUT I really loved it BECAUSE I know someone just like her and honestly and truthfully, (not to sound like a total cliche or dummy) it really helped me understand that person better. I’m not even joking. Totally agree with the parents leaving her when she needed help thing BUT it’s YA and tropes and all. Love that cover. Curious about the next book from this author and how it will be…

    1. Her being crazy pants wasn’t a problem for me at all but so we can see she needs hepl obvs and its barely touched on. I didn’t hate the book since I finished I was just overall disappointed. I would def check out her next book.

  4. This book had such great potential. There are so many amazing lines that indicate that the author is sassy and creative. I just had some issues with the story itself. I really hope she writes more though because I will definitely check out any of her future work!

  5. I think that was kind of the point though. The character’s parents didn’t know how to deal, neither did the character and this was it all spiraling out of control. Of course, we want her to be okay and to get help but I think this breakdown was bound to happen. I really enjoyed the book. It was painful but I think it was also hopeful. Things could only get better from where she was, and she needed to wake herself up and so did her parents. This is what happens when there is a BIG secret and no one is realizing what kind of consequences that has on someone’s mentality. Did they honestly think she wasn’t going to be curious about her sister or the details of her death? They all needed to go talk to someone and work that out, but in reality, so few people actually move forward and do that. Especially at first.

    1. I get the point of it so to speak but it bothered me a lot. For her to be sprialing out of control and them not even me there, or for us to at least see them start to work on it feels unfinished to me. The sister’s death was crazy though. I can’t even begin to understand how they thought that was ok.

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