The Saturday Review – Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith

Posted 8 June, 2013 by Danny in Blog, Danny, Danny's Book Review, Featured / 8 Comments

The Saturday Review – Wild Awake by Hilary T. SmithWild Awake by Hilary T. Smith
Published by Harper Collins, Katherine Tegen Books on May 28th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Format: eBook
Source: Publisher
2 Stars

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.

Welcome to our relaxed Saturday Review, I hope you are all relaxed and had a great week! And now, take a coffee (or a tea) and let’s talk about Wild Awake. I’ve read a few amazing reviews about Wild Awake so was I was very enthused by finally getting a chance to read it.. *sigh* Just sometimes, some books just do not click with us right?


As I really like the style of the synopsis, I’m going to steal it for my Review:

Things I wished Wild Awake would have been

  1. Romantic!
  2. A murder mystery packed into a tale of love and loss
  3. Full of Music and sexy Rockstars – well, maybe at least one! *

*I agree, that my expectations were going right into the sweet Summer Read direction.. 

Things I loved about Wild Awake:

  1. It was beautifully written! The writing was brilliant, effortless and was definitely one of my favorite points about this book. 
  2. Handling issues such as mental illness is always tricky, but was very well handled here* The psychotic episodes felt very real, even though I have no way to actually compare this…

*more about this below…see point 5

Things why Wild Awake just didn’t click with me…

  1. Confusion! I was widely confused during the biggest part of the story. I just didn’t get Kiri as a character and as a person. She and Me were not a match made in heaven. She was very young, naive and well… very confusing
  2. Absent Parents! This actually drove me a little mad, as I just couldn’t believe that her parents left her alone for 6 weeks (!!!!) without clear supervision. On top of this, they just lost Kiri’s sisters, so I expected her parents to take a little more care about her girl.
  3. Lucas! Male BFF – but I just didn’t like him. There was nothing that made me excited about him
  4. Romance! As much as I need powerful romance, the love story in Wild Awake didn’t make sense to me. It was very weird and very confusing. Suddenly there was love and I didn’t get where this came from. There was no obvious chemistry between Kira and
  5. Mental Illness! I’m not entirely sure but I think the first synopsis online didn’t mention this part  or (which might be more likely) I just didn’t notice it before. So I was a little shocked when the story went downhill – very fast. Again, I was confused until I realized that we were tackling mental illness here.
  6. Weird! Truly, the whole book felt weird to me. The storyline was confusing, Kira was confused – which in turn added to my utter confusion. the romance was weird and her love interest.
  7. Too much Drugs – too much Recklessness! I’m ok with drugs being issued in YA literature, I’m also fine with reckless heroines – but here? It was just too much…

So, I think I went into the story with widely different expectations which is why my disappointed was so high. I thought about this for a long time before actually reviewing the book, but my conclusions didn’t change. This was just too crazy and too weird for me and I didn’t click with the characters nor with the plot…

Bewitched Rating

Rating 2

Bottom Line

Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith is a beautifully written tale about a crazy girl who’s mind slowly turns downhill. Unfortunately, the high peaks of crazy, randomness and weirdness was just a tad too much for me which is why I ended up not enjoying this book. Maybe, if you go in with different expectations and know to expect the crazy you’ll like it much more!



Additional Info

There are many people who clearly loved this book, so please check Lori’s 4* Review and read why Jamie from the Perpetual Page Turner loved it so much!
Has this happened to you once too? That you expected something totally different and were totally disappointed in the end? Do you like to read about mental illness? Because I admit that I rarely pick books like this up.. 
Much Love,
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8 Responses to “The Saturday Review – Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith”

  1. First of all, oh my goodness is your blog gorgeous! So lovely.

    I totally agree with all your points, even if I think I enjoyed WILD AWAKE a bit more than you did. I was just fascinated by the utter craziness, I think.

    Reply »

    Danny 6/8/2013

    OoOOoo Thank you Tonya!!!!! So glad you like the blog! *blushes*

    And I was actually a little sad that I didn’t like it more. I think I was too surprised with the crazy!
    Danny recently posted..The Saturday Review – Wild Awake by Hilary T. SmithMy Profile

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  2. Confusing is not a good thing when it comes to a story. And what’s up with the absent parents? I can understand grieving the loss of a child but that does seem like they should pull their remaining child closer, rather than leaving her alone for six weeks (BTW, I’d call social services on them. It’s illegal, unless she’s 18). Glad I passed on this one.

    Just finished COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN and WOWOWOWOWOW!!! LOVED IT!! *hugs book* Now…what to read next?
    Mary @ BookSwarm recently posted..BEA Awesomeness: The BooksMy Profile

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  3. Kim

    I’ve been hearing mixed reviews about this book. Mental illness is a tricky thing to deal with in writing. It’s good to hear that it was beautifully written, but I find it hard to buy that her parents would leave her alone for SIX whole weeks!

    I’ve, sadly, had this happened to me too 🙁 When I was expecting A, B, & C to happen and got Z % # instead. It’s always unpleasant.
    Kim recently posted..Wicked Wildfire Read-a-ThonMy Profile

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  4. I love the format of your review! You brought us very thoughtful, and excellent points! Sorry this book was so confusing, and a disappointment 🙁 I hate when I have certain expectations for book, and it doesn’t end up at all how I had hoped 🙁 I appreciate your honest, and detailed review!!!

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