I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith
on May 28, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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 was extraordinary captivating story and nothing like I was expecting. The summary makes you think it’s just a normal contemporary. No parents, boys, throw in some heartache and mystery and you have yourself a good book. Hilary T. Smith took it so much farther, though. She made this story into something incredibly unique.
Wild Awake turned me into a rubbernecker. At times it was almost hard to read, but there was no putting it down. I’m going to go ahead and say it instead of being vague about it: This book deals with mental illness. That was my takeaway, at least. Kiri is a fantastic main character and she is just so well done. At first she was a very normal girl and you can’t really help but like her. After she gets the mysterious phone call she start to come ever so slowly unglued. Her fall is done in such a way that you don’t notice it at first and then BAM! I really, really thought it was so well done. Have I said that already? Now, don’t be put off by this because there’s still so much more to the story and Kiri remained very likable for me throughout the book.
There’s also the mystery involving the death of her sister. There’s Skunk and his dark past, and there’s music. There were a lot of elements that came together beautifully and really do make the book impossible to put down. I really loved Kiri’s relationship with Skunk. He’s definitely not your typical YA boy. While, what they had might have been a little on the strange side, it always felt very genuine to me.
I dare you to take a chance on Wild Awake this spring. It may not be for you. I don’t think everyone will like it, but I think everyone can appreciate the amazing story that Hilary T. Smith has written. She’s definitely a talent I’m going to keep my eye on.