Title/Author: Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith
Publisher/Year: Katherine Tegen Books on May 28, 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary/Realistic Fiction
Other Books by Author: None yet!
How I got this Book: ARC from the Publisher (Thank you!) Here’s the link to the book on their website!
Summary From Goodreads: 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 by Hilary T. Smith is a book that I have so much to say about, but I just can’t figure out how to put it into words. I am going to try my best here, but forgive me if it turns into a rambly long mess, or if it is short because I can’t sort out everything in my brain into the review! Okay, here it goes…
Wild Awake focuses on Kiri Byrd, a 17 year old teenage girl who is very accomplished pianist, and who also plays in a band with her best friend and crush Lukas. She has an older brother, as well as an older sister who died in a “car crash” as far as Kiri knows. When Kiri’s parents go on vacation for a whole month, she is excited to be able to do all the things she has been wanting to do – uninterrupted. She wants to practice the piano for 6 hours a day, EVERYDAY, as well as practice with her band, and she will seduce Lukas and make him realize he really wants to be with her, despite “what is best for the band.” BUT, there is a slight hitch in her plans when Kiri receives a mysterious phone call from a man who supposedly has some of her sister’s belongings, and tells her to come pick them up before they’re gone for good.
This phone call changes Kiri’s life. She sets out to find this man and see what he knows about her sister (who she idolized) and ends up taking a major detour – not just in terms of finding this guy, but also in her life. Before she knows it, everything is spiralling out of control for Kiri.
I loved Kiri as a character, even though I didn’t understand her actions sometimes. The events that unfold in this story, and the knowledge that Kiri gains about her sister’s life and death cause Kiri to slowly unravel mentally, to the point where she is extremely unwell, psychologically speaking. Smith writes in the first person perspective in a way that sometimes comes so close to a steam of consciousness way (but not quite) and I found that it really helps you to know what’s going on in Kiri’s mind, because what she is experiencing is something I hope that many people have not experienced nor will experience in the future. It really allows us to see how her sister’s death has affected her mentally, and how she has chosen to deal – or not to deal – with her grief.
Kiri’s adventure also brings her to Skunk, another misunderstood teenager with problems of his own. I don’t want to say to much about him, other than that I really liked him as a character as well, and that I am really REALLY REALLY glad that Kiri ends up with him instead of Lukas, her bandmate.
This book was great. When you pick this book up to read you will want to read from the first page all the way to the very last page in one fell swoop. The characters and their personal situations and dilemmas will captivate you, and you will my dying to know how everything is going to end.
People are like cities: We all have alleys and gardens and secret rooftops and places where daisies sprout between the sidewalk cracks, but most of the time all we let each other see is is a postcard glimpse of a skyline or a polished square. Love lets you find those hidden places in another person, even the ones they didn’t know were there, even the ones they wouldn’t have thought to call beautiful themselves.
Estelle from Rather be Reading says buy it!
Anna from Anna Reads loved it!