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Series Review: The Wake Trilogy

Series: Wake Trilogy 
Author: Lisa McMann 
Genre: YA fiction, romance, crime, mystery, suspense
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Reviewer: Em


I. Don’t. Know. What. To. Say.

This trilogy was somehow amazing and disappointing all in one? I have very mixed feelings about this trilogy. First off, I finished it in two days over my spring break, and it was a great read. Took me about 4-5 hours to finish each book, which is not too bad. It kept me interested and made me go into a rut of reading after not reading for the longest time!

First, I will share my individual feelings on each the book and then my evaluation on the whole series, in which I have huge opinions and conflicting thoughts. ,0[This is going to be long, so stay with me. There’s going to be quite a rant at the end.

NO MAJOR SPOILERS (only what it says in the book description)


Wake was a great book! I thought it introduced the topic very well. It started off my explaining the background of Janie’s ability(?) to go into other people’s dreams. She has no choice in the matter, and is flung into dreams even when she is wide awake. It explains in the book that she is unable to stop from seeing the dreams of others, and cannot alter them either. However her life changes when she meets Cable.

They strike up a relationship, even after Janie has seen Cable’s troublesome dreams, but it starts to fall apart because of his growing reputation as a drug dealer at their school. In this book, Janie struggles with her odd and bumpy relationship with Cable, and growing a stronger understanding and acceptance of her ability. The author showcases the effects of their pasts on the present beautifully and displays the flaws in their character that make them human. With romance, mystery, and a hint of a crime sub-plot, the book is interesting from start to finish. I completely devoured it.


By far my favorite book in the trilogy! This book was so excellent, I don’t even have words to discribe it. It made my emotions swing back and forth, it was crazy. The plot in this book is extremely compelling in all the right ways, and it will make you squirm. Instead of a crime sub-plot, the whole book is centered around it. Janie is very independent in this novel, however I do feel it makes Cable a less important character. Still, this book was amazing. Janie deals with having to solve this mystery despite the danger it puts her in, and no matter what those close to her think. She also learn more of the long term affects her ability will have on her.

Her raw emotions and fears stand proud in this novel, and it’s probably why I enjoyed it so much. Although Janie is going through a lot alone, she remains strong and keeps her promises. My fingers itched for the next page. Even with dealing with her own troubles, Janie still wants to help other people, which makes her character have so much depth. If you don’t absolutely adore Janie by the end of this book, I will be quite surprised. 


What I want to start out with is this; I liked this book more than some people did, but didn’t love it. Probably my least favorite of the trilogy, and although good on it’s own, it didn’t have the right amount of action to be the perfect conclusion of the story. But more on that later.

In this book, Janie must come to face with where she’s from and what her future holds. I did find it to be a good conclusion on the last two novels so that you knew where the characters were going, but it felt unnecessary. Although it was intriguing to figure out more on Janie’s ability and her past, I felt that the end of Fade would be a great conclusion. Although there would be some unanswered questions, I do not think it would be crucial to answer them, because they were played off as not that important in the first two novels.

I also found myself not loving Janie as I said I did after book two, which was disappointing. At the end of Fade she seemed to have accepted herself and what she must go through in the years to come, while in this novel she shows great fear and pity towards her future, downplaying how brave she acted in the second novel. I do understand that not everyone can be brave all the time, but with Janie being very troubled and conflicted throughout the novel, it was drastically different from the enthusiastic and brave approach she had to a serious problem in Fade.

The realism in her character however shown through, making her the most realistic and vulnerable she has been in the trilogy. It is also great to see her strength and forgiveness toward her father. She also overcomes many feats, and even as she struggles with them in the end, she stays true to her character and tries to solve her problems herself, which is neither good nor bad.

It may seem that I completely don’t like this book after my mini rant, but it still is quite splendid, just not the ending I expected or wanted, although I don’t know what I would change.

Trilogy Rant

I WANT MORE CABE. Although I thought he was going to be just as important as Janie, he really isn’t. Yes, it is from Janie’s perspective, but I feel he was hardly a part of the second and especially the third book. In Fade, it’s mostly about her crime mystery, and in Gone, it’s mostly about her past. He seems like a total side character to her life in general, because she is so engulfed in her own problems. While being one of the two most important people in her life, I feel he’s hardly in the trilogy, and Carrie, her best friend, is also barely in the story. Yes, they are there. Yes, they have depth. However, I just wish they and their own personal troubles were displayed more.

The main topic of Gone is poorly introduced. The mystery of Janie’s past took most of the action in the story, which was fine, but as mentioned earlier, her past was not mentioned in detail in the last two books, nor did she seem to care about it too much, making the reader feel that learning more about her past is not very striking. Although her past shows in her independence, she does not seem deeply bothered in Wake and Fade that she does too much about her father, which still bugs me because most of Gone was about her father. Overall, the topic felt dull and unneeded to the reader.

I don’t agree with Janie’s decision at all. In Gone, Janie comes to a crossroads where she must make a decision that will alter her future. And the choice she makes at first (she may or may not stick with decision) is HORRIBLE. In my honest opinion, I have no idea why anyone would ever choose her decision over the other. Someone may agree with her, but I 100% didn’t, which frustrated me because my love for her after Fade was turning to annoyance, which was quite upsetting.


Despite those points, I COMPLETELY recommend this series. It was great, and even if I have some issues with it, it was mostly about how the book ended, and the end is never at good as the climax. Please read it, it so interesting and Fade is so gripping and amazing. The characters have depth and Cable and Janie’s relationship is not perfect, just as it should be. Definitely a must read!


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