Friday, July 12, 2013

From Amazon: Seventeen-year-old Kiri Byrd has big plans for her summer without parents. She intends to devote herself to her music and win the Battle of the Bands with her bandmate and best friend, Lukas. But a phone call from a stranger shatters Kiri’s plans. He says he has her sister Suki’s stuff—her sister Suki, who died five years ago. This call throws Kiri into a spiral of chaos that opens old wounds and new mysteries...

As one might guess, the weheartya gals tend to share books. So we often end up reading the same titles and, of course, discussing them. While we sometimes ooh and ahh over the same novels and authors (hello, Laini Taylor and Melina Marchetta), there are still plenty of times that we disagree.

So it makes us wonder… what is that magic ingredient that compels a reader to curl up on her bed hugging a book and smiling to the moon because she loved it that much? 

I believe the magic is different for each person. For me, it’s based on voice and emotion. Give me a protagonist I can root for and put her in situations that make me cry or laugh, and I’m a happy camper. Pepper in some lyrical writing, and that's a masterpiece.  

On a camping trip a couple of weeks ago, I read a book just like that. It was the arc of WILD AWAKE by Hilary T. Smith. I cracked the spine without knowing much about the book at all. But it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with Kiri Byrd and her whimsy, and get completely sucked into her summer of freedom, mystery, and self-discovery. 

Kiri is an endearing, funny, and relatable main character who is determined to uncover the truth about her beloved sister's death. Her adventures consist of meetings with dubious characters in rickety buildings, late-night bicycle rides, an unconventional boy whom she refers to as her "love-bison," and manic piano sessions that left me feeling dizzy. And when Kiri's quest led her into dark, dangerous and unhealthy situations, I felt nervous and worried for her just as if she were a close friend. 

For me, this novel provided the perfect blend of internal growth, impulsive action, and gorgeous writing. The final scenes were completely satisfying, and when I finished reading, I was giddy with book-love for WILD AWAKE. And yeah, that was me, hugging it :) 

Has anyone read WILD AWAKE yet? What books have you hugged lately?


Unknown said...

I hugged this book too!!!! That ending was perfection. One of my favorite reads this year. I read it around the time I bought Eleanor & Park and 17 & Gone. Such a good reading streak. xx

Kristan said...

So glad you enjoyed WILD AWAKE!

With some help from GoodReads, I can see that the last book I read was OLIVE KITTERIDGE. Not YA -- the very opposite, in fact, since it deals a lot with life as an older person -- but so so good. The title character is, as you said, someone I can root for, and throughout the book we see her go through situations that make you laugh and/or cry. :)

The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I haven't read this yet though it's on my list. The last books I hugged were Eleanor and Park and Attachments-Rainbow Rowell's voice is just perfect to me!

Anonymous said...

Now I really want to read my copy of Wild Awake! So many books, so little time. I have to agree with Sarah and Bookworm1858 because I definitely hugged Eleanor and Park, too. Also, I've been hugging Crime and Punishment, weirdly enough.

Unknown said...

I'm glad you liked it as I've been meaning to read this one for a while now. As for the last book I hugged, I think that would be Clockwork Princess. That one drained me of all emotions but I loved every second of it.

-Mari @ The Sirenic Codex

Mia Hayson said...

I really need to read this book! Sounds brilliant.

The last book I hugged was Pantomime. It was just so emotional!

Leslie Anne Santiago said...

Oh my gosh, I was just thinking about book hugging last night! However, I hadn't hugged a book in a really long while--haven't been so moved by a good read to do so. One of the books I'm currently reading is Eleanor and Park, and so far I'm really enjoying it, so I hope I book hug it just as Sarah Wedgbrow, Bookworm1858, and thepagesage had. Otherwise, the last book I hugged was The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale.

I've never heard of Wilde Awake before, but I'll definitely check it out now. This was a really nice post : )

Ingrid Palmer said...

Thanks for all the awesome comments! And some good recs, too-- I haven't heard about Pantomime or Clockwork Princess, but I will check them out now (love the feels). You guys who have Wild Awake, let us know how you like it. It's a perfect summertime read :)

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about us

Stephanie, Ingrid, Sarah & Kristan — we read, write, discuss and celebrate Young Adult lit.



on the shelf

The Bitter Kingdom
Wild Awake
The Raven Boys
Mind Games
Eleanor and Park
The Shattered Mountain
The Shadow Cats
Froi of the Exiles
Days of Blood & Starlight
Every Day
Jellicoe Road
Finnikin of the Rock
Guitar Notes
The Dead-Tossed Waves
The Crown of Embers
New House 5: How A Dorm Becomes A Home
The Fault in Our Stars

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