Monday, July 1, 2013

Wild Awake (Hilary T. Smith)

Title: Wild Awake
Author: Hilary T. Smith
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins)
Length: 375
Rating: 5/5

Seventeen year old Kiri has plans to endlessly practice the piano and water the azaleas while she is home alone and her parents are on a cruise. She does not plan on getting a phone call from a stranger who claims to have a bag of her dead sister’s stuff. With this call, Kiri embarks on a crazy adventure of love, loss, murder, music, and madness.

This cover is crazy, chaotic, and perfect. Also, there is an azalea etched on the front of the book and it’s amazingly perfect. (I’m a tiny bit biased because I know the designer but shhh that doesn’t change that it’s awesome).

I fell in love with Kiri two pages in- her quirky voice* made me want to be her best friend (come on, I’m way more deserving that her best friend and band mate Lukas!). Half way through (and with me obsessively picking this book back up every chance I got) I realized that she was my brand of crazy/compulsive/awesome.

Kiri is not your typical protagonist: she jumps into hot tubs fully clothed and befriends homeless people. And the boy she falls in love with is not your typical YA male lover: he’s got tattoos and a radio collection and is really good at fixing bikes.

Just as Kiri feels flawed and real, the book is real too. It deals with serious issues like family secrets, murder, mental illness, and self-discovery. With Kiri as your protagonist, you’re on this journey of discovery with her, and sometimes it’s hard and frustrating, and you just want to make things right. But overall, this book does a wonderful job of capturing just how messy, joyous, and heartbreaking life can be.

Check out Hilary’s Tumblr for the book:
And here's me in the store buying the book:

*Hilary and I were penpals for a year, and her voice is just as amazing as Kiri’s. She’s amazing, this book is amazing. Just go read it and save me the torture of trying to put the amazingness into coherent words!