Wild Awake by Hillary T. Smith

Author takes readers on a bike ride journey into the weird

Wild Awake 
by Hilary T. Smith
Katherine Tegen | Hardcover, 375 pages
A phone call was all it took to destroy Kiri Byrd’s memories of her deceased sister. ¬†Complacent to the fact that she died from an accident, she soon finds out the lengths that her family went through to keep the circumstances of how Sukey died from her. She’s idolized her since she was a child and never once did she let her family’s low opinion of Sukey muddle her memories until now. When a stranger called to tell her she needed to pick up all of Sukey’s stuff, she didn’t hesitate for one second. It was her last chance to claim a part of Sukey that none of her family ever bothered to know.

On her way to the last known place where her sister stayed, she meets a boy who’s got secrets of his own. Through friendship, love and music, Kiri and Skunk unknowingly embarked on a journey of truth, freeing themselves from the shackles of secrets that hindered them from truly living.

To be honest, this book was kind of hard to explain; emotional, mental weirdness abound. And it’s hard to tell you exactly where the weirdness comes from because it could potentially ruin the book for those who hasn’t read it. One of the characters has a mental disorder that I’ve never heard of and it’s become one of the reasons why it was hard to like this book. It was a bit far-fetched. But I can’t disprove just because I’ve never heard of it.

One of the things that I’m not a fan of was the excessive use of pot. I can’t really feel for a character or characters who smokes pot when they’re bored. I’m sorry to sound so condemnatory but that’s just me. It’s against my principles. So when Kiri and her BFF starts lighting it up, I get turned off. And boy, did they ever smoke it up.

Kiri was pretty psychotic with her piano practices. It was insane – a determination unlike nothing I’ve seen before in any characters. I’ve read quite a few books where characters are prodigies of music but Kiri is in a league of her own.

Parental units are absent. And when they’re there, they sound like two complete airheads. Sorry (not sorry). For someone as brilliant as Kiri, having them as parents didn’t make sense. If you’ve read¬†If I Stay by Gayle Forman, you would know exactly what I mean. Mia Hall’s parents were actually musically-inclined. These two, however, make it sound like somebody else gave birth to Kiri and her sister Sukey – both artistic and brilliant in their crafts. I could’ve sworn they were adopted.

On the plus side, midnight bike rides seem so cool. Nothing like seeing your city in a whole different perspective. There’s something poetic about seeing it in the dark and with nothing but you and your bike against the elements.

Overall, I think this book needs a bit of patience. Kiri will test you but if you love punk rocker boys, Skunk is probably worth knowing.

My rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

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