Gone: A Review

Gone (Wake Series, Book 3) (Wake Trilogy)

Author: Lisa McMann
Genre: Paranormal YA
Heat level: Toasty 
Rating: ★★★★
Back Cover (from Amazon):
Things should be great for Janie--she has graduated from high school and is spending her summer with Cabel, the guy she's totally in love with. But deep down she's panicking about how she's going to survive her future when getting sucked into other people's dreams is really starting to take its toll. Things get even more complicated when she meets her father for the very first time--and he's in a coma. As Janie uncovers his secret past, she begins to realize that the choice thought she had has more dire consequences than she ever imagined.


I've mentioned this series before.  This is the third book, so if you haven't read any, you need to start with Wake and Fade, then go to this one.  They are superfast reads not just because of the suck-you-in plot, but because of Lisa McMann's unique writing style.  She's one of those who has figured out how to break the rules and make it work.  Her sentences are short and choppy much of the time.  And there is *gasp* some telling instead of showing.  But it works amazingly.  Her stark writing style makes for a breakneck pace and high tension.  Here's an example from Gone:

     6:29 p.m
     From Carrie.  Five of them.
     And they're bad.
     Janie listens, incredulous.  Listens again, stunned.

Things that rocked:
  • The story jumped into the action, there wasn't a lot of catching the reader up from the previous book.
  • The relationship between Janie and Cabel is both mature yet believable for two teens who have lived tough lives.
  • The drama is gut-wrenching, heavy stuff - no lighthearted conflict here (not that I mind that, but it's a nice change from a lot of YA.)
  • This is a paranormal, but doesn't feel that way.  You almost start to view Janie's dream catcher abilities as if she has a disease.
  • Love Cabel - He's not perfect, he's not described as this gorgeous guy, he's a normal guy who treats Janie with respect, understanding, and patience.  I think he presents a good model for teen girls - look for a guy who treats you with that kind of care and concern.
  • The characters are realistic.  They curse (although not gratuitously) and there is sex (but it is the "fade to black" kind and it is not portrayed as this big, all-encompassing part of their relationship.)  I think both of those decisions fit for two older teens who have grown up basically on their own their whole lives.
  • I felt satisfied with an ending that wasn't all sunshine and rainbows, which is hard to do.  I'm a HEA girl, but Lisa McMann wrote the ending that was needed for this book - bittersweet.
    Favorite Quotes:

         In the cool dark basement, she whispers, "It's not Ralph, is it?"

         Cabel's quiet for a moment, as if he's thinking.  "You mean like Forever Ralph?  Uh, no."

         "You've read Forever?" Janie is incredulous.
         "There wasn't much to choose from on the hospital library cart, and Deenie was always checked out," Cabel says sarcastically.

    Obviously, I'm a fan.  If you haven't read these, pick up the series.  You'll fly through them.  They are very different from the other stuff out there.  So go forth and read!

    Have you read these?  What books have you read that broke rules effectively?  

    *Today's Theme Song**
    "Already Gone" - Kelly Clarkson
    (player in sidebar--go ahead, take a listen)