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Wake (Wake)

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  749 ratings  ·  147 reviews
Eighteen isn’t too young to run your life into the ground, but it’s not too old to fix it, either. The desire for change drives Willa Kirk from St. John’s, Newfoundland back to hometown of Smiths Falls, Ontario, away from her mistakes and the place where her sister died. She’s looking for a place to settle and rebuild, but Jem Harper just wants to get out of town, back to...more
ebook, 727 pages
Published September 21st 2011 by Smashwords
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Wake by Abria MattinaReason to Breathe by Rebecca DonovanBarely Breathing by Rebecca DonovanThoughtless by S.C. StephensThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Hard To Read....But So Worth It!!!!
1st out of 39 books — 54 voters
Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. JamesFifty Shades Darker by E.L. JamesFifty Shades Freed by E.L. JamesGabriel's Inferno by Sylvain ReynardSempre by J.M. Darhower
Pulled to Publish Fan Fiction
24th out of 215 books — 281 voters

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Community Reviews

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Amber Rose
I'm not invisible. I have desires. I want to be touched and held and told that I'm worth something. I am not pitiful. I am better than you can imagine. I have talents. I have successes and failures. I love my life. I sometimes feel dissatisfied with the world. I come from a place of love, not death. I am special. I matter. I can be the most interesting person in the room. I can blend in and that's okay. I'm somebody. I'm a nobody. I feel deeply and I want to be allowed to show it. I don't want...more
Wake by Abria Mattina was a free book offered for the Kindle, which I grabbed since I’m always interested in reading more self published books, especially young adult. Wake has received positive reviews for the most part, and this is a heavily, emotional young adult novel that's written more an adult audience than a teen one. There’s a great deal of adult language, aka cursing, no fade to black love scenes and a lot of talk about dying, euthanasia and death. Wake has a great deal to recommend fo...more
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
First I MUST start this review off by saying I HAVE NEVER read a book that had so many things tie in to one thing. Abria has done a PHENOMENAL job of weaving a story of love,loss and secrets. Where decisions are made and consequences are suffered. I was so emotional reading this book because I had just finished another book that dealt with Cancer and loss.

Jem was a very interesting character for me because he was a snarky little thing. He was angry and confused and hurt and scared all in one and...more
I was not sure what to expect when I first started reading this book and please do not judge a book by its cover! Many of us do, myself includedand I have found many GREAT books that I would not have really paid much attention to just by the cover. This one included!

Willa and Jem have a lot in common, but they share a lot of differences also. They get placed together as project partners in Sociology class and neither are too thrilled about it. I loved their bantering back & forth during thei...more
Wow, Wake was... wow. Insanely long, but not long. Sometimes books seem to drag on and on and you're just thinking When will this end? even if they are not long you still fell like they're huge. Wake was actually long, but I just wanted more and more and more. Books are small chapters of the characters lives. Wake was many chapters for Willa and Jem and I loved it and I could easily read another book about them.

I got to know the characters inside and out completely. Their points of view, their p...more
Steph LJ
I did not enjoy this book... not at all.

The author claims a degree in English Literature, yet consistently breaks the I/me rule. This is one of the easiest and common rules of grammar, and if a published author delivers a work with this mistake I find it unforgivible. Was there even a proof reader or editor involved? It is just unacceptable for I to see this error. (see how annoying that is?)

Then there is the problem of the characters and their sad drama. Willa is a damaged smartass living with...more
Mary Elizabeth
I think the reason fan fiction works so well is because we all ready have a relationship with the characters, so while there is a little explanation in the start of fan fiction stories about who is who, we pretty much already have it down.

And that was a huge issue with Wake, which used to be Dead on my Feet when it was still a Twilight fan fiction.

I loved the story when it was up on ffn, and I thought for sure I would love it as a book. That just wasn't the case really. A lot of that die to th...more
We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival. - Winston Churchill

in her desire to start a new life, Willa Kirk goes back to her hometown of Smith Falls, Ontario to live with her older brother Frank. she meets Jem Harper who is on remission from cancer and as their relationship progresses, their lives and of those around them will never be the same.
author Abria Mattina's novel is certainly a hefty one and it deals with a lot of subject matter - disease,...more
Pam Godwin
This is a stirring story of heart crushing proportions. Two families stricken by cancer. The impossible tragedy of mercy killing. An appreciation for life.

Eighteen year old Cancer Boy, Jem, and his Social Studies partner, Willa, are so perfectly developed and well-imagined, their lives just take over and happen to you. It's quite an experience, one that isn't ashamed to wring tears by obvious means.

This would be a five star masterpiece if it weren't for the astoundingly tedious chronicle of sc...more
Miss Adeo
ok so the general gist is that this book centres around the two main characters, Willa a troubled girl who from the start has been through a lot but you're not quite sure of what. And Jem who is in a remission from cancer. It deals with themes of loss, guilt, depression and fighting to get your life back after surviving cancer, radiation chemo and all the side effects that come with them.

When I first started reading this book I made a few assumptions about how I thought the story would pan out....more
The book had my emotions going up and down

There are not many books that i finish and then after, feel emotionally exhausted. i can probably count the ones that do, on one hand.

love, humour, sex, self harm, euthanasia, dying, grieving, drugs

'Wake' not only has a gritty storyline but it is witty, moving and beautifully written. the different perspectives of the same days of the week provide different perspectives of the main characters 'Jem' and 'Willa'.

What i love about both characters is t...more
This was such a beautiful story. There were so many topics it touched on. The aftermath of cancer and drug treatments & their effects, suffering through illness, assisted suicide, insecurities, forgiveness, rebirth, spirituality, sexuality and homosexuality, family, love, and life after cancer.

This story is told through multiple pov's. Mainly Jem, who has survived cancer and Willa who lost her sister to cancer. There are a few chapters that offer viewpoints of their other siblings as well....more
Cancer to you and me is a disease of uncontrollable cell growth. It is the reason we wear pink in October. It's what motivates us to run a marathon in honor of someone who beat it.
But to Jem...He IS Cancer. He dreams sleeps, walks, and breathes It. Cancer has stolen his hair, taken over his wardrobe and wasted his social life. With each look of disgust, he dies a little more inside. He no longer recognizes his reflection in the mirror. His family and friends (lack there of) can't bare to look at...more
This is such a heart wrenchingly great book. It hits close to home as I have lived through 3 people near and dear to me fight cancer and finding out someone close to my best friend was diagnosed right after I started reading this. I was sucked into this book from the get go. And honestly it made me severely melancholy - just a forewarning to other readers.

Even though this is like a young adult / new adult novel the writing was exceptional. You really get hit in the gut with the depth of charact...more
Vishal Mudgal
I believe in many things, mostly good & I also know that there's bad out there too. This book got me thinking on so many levels. I don't know if it is a sheer luck or what but I'm on to b'ful books this week. It was a long read, hence it will be a long review.

Jeremiah or Jem had cancer but after his cute, absolutely adorable lil sis donates her bone marrow he's into remission & like every other sick person he feels pitied too(& no matter how hard you try, how hard you want to feel, y...more
Jess Molly Brown
I adore this book, it's beautifully written. There will be tears, but all is right in the end.
Akanksha❤ Søren♰
Apr 03, 2013 Akanksha❤ Søren♰ marked it as next-up
For a 727 page book, the summary is mighty small!!
I enjoyed this story very much in the fanfiction realm and am happy to see the author pursue publishing it. Once the story began developing it was difficult for me to put down. I discovered empathy for the patient and learned about the trials of remission, as well as understanding for the survivor of the group homes and her means to exist through a prison mentality. I loved them both.

The pace of the plot was pretty slow -- almost felt like it was in real time, and then to have the story end rath...more
Nina (The Bookish Confections)
I received an e-copy of this from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Wake is painfully long. Not that it was dragging or boring. It was painful in a way because of the characters and the story itself. The more I read, the more my heart ached for them. The more the story went on, the more I realize that it was truly a magnificent work of literature. The plot, the character development, and the writing style made me feel and realize that this is such a reality. That this really happens in...more


It took me awhile to be able to sit down with my thoughts on this book to give it an honest review - so here I am about a month later...this book was a very emotionally hard read to get through. Yes, it's long - like Stephen King's The Stand long (ok maybe not THAT long but close). However the author choose to alternate POV's which helped make the story line feel natural and honestly I didn’t really notice how long the book was till I was on day 3 and only 46% into it.

I felt so many raw em...more
DNF at 42%.

I'm really disappointed to say the least. I wanted to love this book, I really did. I honestly had such high expectations for it but I simply could not finish it.

To begin with, I was pretty enthusiastic about reading it and was interested to see what would happen, but eventually it was dragging on way too much for me. Willa really started to grate on my nerves and her relationship with Jem was so irritating and confusing. I found myself totally uninterested in what was going on.


This was a highly emotional read that allows you to get inside the head of a cancer patient in remission and in the head of a young girl with demons from her past that she has to overcome.

The course that their relationship takes is full of highs and lows...At times you'll be laughing, enjoying the dry humor and banter of Jem and Willa, and other times your eyes will water because you can actually feel Jem's loneliness and desperation for a friend, or anyone who can understand him.

Liz at Fictional Candy
This book was fantastic!!!! Seriously, it was so good, if I could give it more than 5 stars, I definitely would. In fact, I’ve already gotten one friend to purchase a copy for himself, and I am anxiously waiting to hear his thoughts on it. Don’t let the high page count scare you off! It almost scared me off, I’ll admit it. I kept delaying reading this book. Funny how something like that can scare you. BUT I made a huge mistake in waiting. Honestly, I don’t think the cover or the blurb do the con...more
Mallory Heart Reviews
Originally reviewed for the Wake Blog Tour on Sept. 2, 2012:

Review of Wake by Abria Mattina
An incredibly complex novel, the first adjective that comes to mind to describe “Wake” is-simply wonderful. I totally loved this book; each and every time a character revealed an emotional denouement, or a clue to personality, or a bit of backstory, I would think “Okay, that must be as deep as we’ll go with this individual,” but oh, how blissfully wrong that was! Ms. Mattina deftly and accurately demonstra...more
Melissa Rheinlander
(4.5) I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. This is a very detailed, very involved, and very raw book! Abria Mattina writes a graphic and emotional tale from two perspectives (sometimes more) of how sickness and death have affected the lives of the main characters ~ Willa and Jem as well as their families. I don't think there is any detail left out of this book (it is pretty long). I found it to be very personal also... my father passed away from cancer a few years ago and this made think of h...more
The emotional complexity in this book is truly amazing. The author deals with so many issues (drugs, sex, cancer, teen sexuality, suicide, etc.) and the reactions and actions of the characters ring so true. Her portrayal of Jem and Willa is unflinchingly honest -- these are two of the most "real" teens I've read about in YA fiction... ever. It's not always pretty. It can be gritty, heart-wrenching and R-rated. But it's definitely worth reading for the deep empathy Mattina shows for her difficult...more
Wake is about dealing with the after-effects of cancer. In that, it was great. Willa was awesome in being there for Jem. Their romance is adorable in its slow build-up. I liked how she cooked for him and how he appreciated her recipe. I liked how she's always aware of his needs and how he always seeks her out. The strength of this book is in the way Jem gets over his issues and the way Willa helps him to get there.

But what about the other half? (view spoiler)...more
☮ mary
cancer and a cranky endearing hero can a memorable novel make !!
why then did I give it only 1 miserable star ?

- for having the reader suffer through a pathetic & disgusting female lead ... ( selfish, rude, shallow, dramatic, boring & promiscuous ) to name but a few of that paper like creature wonderful personality traits.

This turned out to be a real waste of time and paper, too bad the author tried to make her book about LOVE because don't be wrong this is not about love but about NEED...more
Mindy Landry
This book is unlike any book I've read thus far. I don't know that I have the right words to express how it made me feel. The main characters are so damaged and flawed that you don't know what to feel. This book will take an emotional toll on you but in the end you will be a better person for having read it. And the novella Love Among Pigeons is just as good if not better than Wake. I hope you all take the time to read this book and enjoy it as much as I have.
Gina Valdez
I do not know when I acquired Wake, but it had been on my digital bookshelf for awhile. After reading it, however, it will easily be one of my favorite books I've read this year.
The author is so skilled in telling this story of young love, life losses, decisions and consequences, that I completely got swept away with the characters.
Jem is a seventeen year old who is barely in remission from cancer. Not only is he dealing with the typical problems of a kid this age, he is doing so on multiple med...more
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Abria Mattina works in marketing and book production. She holds a Certificate in Publishing from the New York University Summer Publishing Institute and a degree in English Literature and Psychology from the University of Ottawa. When she isn’t writing she enjoys travelling, eclectic books, blogging, and baking. She lives with her fiance, Daniel.

Her debut novel, WAKE, is about the struggle to rede...more
More about Abria Mattina...
Love Among Pigeons

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“I underestimated your laziness.”
“It’s pronounced intelligence, Kirk.”
“I'm not invisible. I have desires. I want to be touched and held and told that I'm worth something. I am not pitiful. I am better than you can imagine. I have talents. I have successes and failures. I love my life. I sometimes feel dissatisfied with the world. I come from a place of love, not death. I am special. I matter. I can be the most interesting person in the room. I can blend in and that's okay. I'm somebody. I'm a nobody. I feel deeply and I want to be allowed to show it. I don't want to be judged. I can be judgmental. When you give me platitudes and you belittle my feelings. I'm brave. I'm scared. I'm wandering. I have plans. I will be the best me I can be. I am not who I think I am. I am not who you think I am; I am who I think you think I am, so think well of me, please.” 19 likes
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