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Review: Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith

Monday, July 1, 2013
Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith
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Katherine Tegen Books, 375 pages
Release Date: May 28, 2013
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

In Wild Awake, Hilary T. Smith’s exhilarating and heart-wrenching YA debut novel, seventeen-year-old Kiri Byrd has big plans for her summer without parents. She intends to devote herself to her music and win the Battle of the Bands with her bandmate and best friend, Lukas. Perhaps then, in the excitement of victory, he will finally realize she’s the girl of his dreams.
But a phone call from a stranger shatters Kiri’s plans. He says he has her sister Suki’s stuff—her sister Suki, who died five years ago. This call throws Kiri into a spiral of chaos that opens old wounds and new mysteries. [epic reads]


Where do I even begin with this book? Well for starters, this book gets weird. And when I mean weird, I mean really weird.

Wild Awake tells the story of Kiri, a seventeen year-old who lives and breathes music, as well as some other things if you're catching what I'm saying. While her parents are off on a cruise, Kiri's summer plans were practicing piano for her recital and rehearsing with Lukas to win the Battle of the Bands. But her plans were destroyed when she received a mysterious phone call regarding her sister, Suki, who died five years ago. From that moment on, Kiri became obsessed with her sister's death and past.

The weird just escalates as Kiri chases after clues about Suki's death. She ends up going through this chaotic, pot fueled downward spiral. She was definitely not a character I could relate to, but it was difficult not to be sucked into her emotional roller coaster of rage, loss, and love. As strange as it gets though, I still loved reading from Kiri's point of view. She's such a strange, passionate, and eccentric person. Her thought process was all over the place, and I never knew what she'd do next. She'd go from one idea to the other and run with each one, even when the ideas were crazy and irrational.

I'm not even sure how to sum this all up because there is so much more to the plot of Wild Awake. It's one of those book where the less you know the better it is. I've never read any contemporary like this, and I loved that I was thrown into the mind of this chaotic character. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a fresh and different contemporary.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

Other Bloggers Who Also Loved Wild Awake:
Estelle - Rather Be Reading
Rachel - Hello, Chelley
Elena - Novel Sounds


  1. I'm really looking forward to this one. I love the cover and from everything I've heard it sounds like its going to be really fascinating.

  2. I haven't read this one yet, though I have it on my shelf, and it sounds really good. The amount of emotions and feelings sounds like it will make this a very strong read, so thanks for encouraging me to give it a go, Vy! Wonderful review :)

  3. I am so excited to read this book! It's on its way to the Philippines right now (in a balikbayan box), and I intend to read it when I get there at the end of the month. It sounds like a very different contemporary novel, and I really think I'll like it too!

  4. I hope to read this one this month since it is part of Lit Up Review's book club pick! I'm quite nervous, I have to say. The premise sounds like something I'd be uncomfortable with. In some ways, I'm really glad you couldn't connect with Kiri (LOL), but I'm glad that you were still immersed and captivated with her story. I'm looking forward to seeing what I think, thanks for the fabulous review, Vy!

  5. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this despite not being able to relate to Kiri because I don't see myself connecting to her at all either. Interesting characters who make you analyze them can be equally good protagonists as the ones who make you think, "WE ARE THE SAME PERSON," and it sounds like Kiri will do an amazing job being one if the former.

  6. Vy, thanks so much for including my review with yours! The book did get weird, didn't it? I was so so so hooked though because Kiri was totally fascinating and I'm glad I held on, even if it was a little bit difficult to watch.

    Glad you ended up giving WA four stars though! Yay great books with brilliant covers!

  7. This book sounds really interesting. I am excited to read this book.

  8. Thank you for including my review! It definitely is a strange book and I agree, the less you know going in, the better. When I read it, I only had a vague sense of what it was about and was surprised by the different turns it took. But I did enjoy being inside Kiri's head, even when she got a little crazy. I really liked how the author expressed all her random thoughts.

    Glad you enjoyed it; great review!!


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