Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Book Review #397 - Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith


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 Rating: 4/5

I received this book for review from Hardie Grant Egmont.

This was a very interesting book, and one that I am finding it hard to review as I'm not completely sure what I thought about it.

I found Kiri very fascinating. She was completely different to me in very single and I couldn't help but find her interesting. 

Her relationship with her family members was practically non-existent. The scars of her sister Sukey's death still lingers everywhere and nobody feels the need to confront this.

Kiri sees her sister in a very objective manner. She practically worships her. For this reason, her parents lied to her about how she died. When Kiri discovers the truth, her life starts to unravel.

Because they never discuss Sukey's death, they all carry around the unnecessary baggage. Denny, Kiri's brother admits to being scared towards the end of the book because he feels that Kiri is beginning to go down the same path he watched Sukey take.

The whole mental illness thing was unexpected as the blurb doesn't allude to that at all. I really did enjoy that whole dark side of the story though.

I felt like Kiri's piano teacher, Lukas's mother and Lukas himself especially really let Kiri down. They failed to listen to her or even try to understand her when she desperately needed them.

I was not able to understand Kiri's parents at all. They had already lost one child, but then just completely shut themselves off from the other two.


Skunk was the most dynamic character. Like Kiri, he is deeply flawed. His relationship with Kiri although a little too fast paced, was able to allow both of them the support they needed and lacked everywhere else.

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