Monday, October 26, 2009

Literary Feast: Wake (Pages 1-50)

Welcome to the second literary feast! Over the next week, we'll be focusing our literary skills on Lisa McMann's Wake. And perhaps after the feast, we can all go off and dream walk through our neighbors' weird and twisty dreams.

As with most beginnings, we'll be beginning with the beginning of the book. Below you'll see our conversation over appetizers. Feel free to add your thoughts. And be aware, as always there are potential spoilers for the book below.

Monica: I have to complain right off the bat about the cover. I am the kind of person who requires their books to be in pristine, just-off-the-printing-press condition. Mint, if you will. And how the heck am I supposed to do that when publishers insist on designing covers using the kind of ink that shows marks if you so much as set it on a table!? Whimper whimper. Shall have to turn the pages with sterilized tongs.

Shel: I like the cover! It's purple. I *heart* purple. Are we going to have to have a fight before the meal is even served, Monica?
I also really like the premise of this book. A teenage dreamwalker = good fun. I am having trouble with the distance the narrating seems to have from Janie though. I feel like I'm not with her, not inside her head. Instead I feel like I'm reading a case file or encyclopedia entry about her experiences. Does that make sense?

Monica: I know exactly what you’re talking about in terms of narrator POV. It feels sort of like I’m reading a novelization of an episode of Unexplained Mysteries – there’s (hopefully going to be more) drama and there’s crazy powers and there’s a puzzle that must be solved, but we’re not really involved ourselves. We’re just viewing it all from a safe, sterile distance.

Shel: I've been thinking about this a little more. MAYBE the distance and sentence structure is an attempt to make the entire novel seem like it's a hazy dream itself. Huh, huh? Could that be it? Am I reaching too far? I suppose if it were actually meant to seem like a dream, a man would randomly pop out and ask Janie if she wanted cheese or there'd be other random weirdness.

Monica: You're definitely reaching too far. However, now it's in my brain and I'm willing to accept it as a viable excuse for the writing style. Curse you, Shel!!

Shel: Hahaha! This means I shall steal the last role of bread. It is mine! *Swipes the bread and glares at all the diners daring someone to challenge me* Any-hoo, I bet the Mom's alcoholism is going to be relevant to the plot later on. For instance, does she drink so she doesn't dreamwalk too, hmm?

Monica: Oooooh. OOOOOOOOOOH. Thank *God* there’s an up-and-coming sequel, eh? ;)

SHEL: Fade is already out...but there's a third one (Gone?) on the way for early next year.

Monica: That name seems like it negates the possibility for a fourth book, alas. Unless she decides to title the next one “Okay, Gone For Reals This Time, Guys.”

Shel: Or RETURN!!!!!!!

Monica: Can I sidenote that I would NOT be cut out for dreamwalking amidst my pre- and pubescent classmates? I don’t care *how* good friends I was with someone, if I’d seen her in a dream with breasts the size of watermelons, I’d have serious trouble making eye contact the next morning. Obviously Janie is better peoples than me.

SHEL: This is true. If somebody annoyed me, it'd be so easy to draw upon my classmates' nightmares to send them running. Also, I don't know how I feel about Cabel as a love interest so far. I got tied up on the "greasy ringlets." Not a fan of grease (unless it's on Snape's head). And Cabel isn't my Snapey.

Monica: Okay, yes, greasy ringlets, but he’s a fifteen-year-old guy. A chivalrous fifteen-year-old guy, to be more precise. How can you not like him after the skateboarding incident!? My biggest problems are a) I keep misspelling his name as Cable, and b) in said misspelling, I automatically think of the Marvel superhero, complete with rippling muscles and psychic powers. (Nate Summers! Call me!)

Shel: OMG me too! I keep seeing Cable's eye flash blue like in the cartoon. Oh, X-men.

On that note...

Check back on Wednesday night, when we'll post discussion on pages 50-100 of Wake. And let us know your thoughts of the book! The more opinions the better!

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