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The Waking Dark

3.53  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,821 Ratings  ·  444 Reviews
THEY CALLED IT THE KILLING DAY. Twelve people dead, in the space of a few hours. Five murderers: neighbors, relatives, friends. All of them so normal. All of them seemingly harmless. All of them now dead by their own hand . . . except one. And that one has no answers to offer the shattered town. She doesn't even know why she killed—or whether she'll do it again.

Something i
Hardcover, 452 pages
Published September 10th 2013 by Alfred A. Knopf
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wow. so this lady is basically the george r.r. martin of YA.

it's a rough ride for the YA-fans who have stuck to Susane Colasanti and Sarah Dessen up until now. i would recommend some sort of transition-novel if you are going to make the leap from sweetie-pie contemporary YA romance novels to… this.

this book has one of the main protagonists kill a baby on page 28.

just so we are all on the same page.

oleander, smalltown kansas is the setting of this multi-voiced narrative about a day when several
Jul 02, 2013 Giselle rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, own, horror, signed
Whoa, this was psychotic! Definitely the most violent YA book I've yet to read! This is both a warning and a promise. ;)

Another of Robin's book, The Book of Blood and Shadow was one of my favorites of last year. It was raw and intense, kind of insanely so, so I knew - and hoped - to expect the same kind of brilliance in this one and am happy to not have been let down. The Waking Dark does not lose any time to show you what you're getting into. Within the first couple of chapters the sheer madnes
Khanh (the Grinch)
Actual rating: 3.5
Names have power; to name something is to domesticate it, or to try. Naming a tornado would be like naming a shadow. What happened in Oleander that day was simply the storm. A cloud that faded back into sky before it had a chance to enjoy what it had wrought.
There are a lot of books that toss about their supposed similarity to Stephen King without ever approaching it. And then there are books like this one, which makes no such fantastic claims, in which I clearly see the in
Emily May

I think it's time to admit a sad truth: me and Robin Wasserman are simply not meant for one another. It's tragic to have to acknowledge this when most of my GR friends seem to be in the middle of some epic love affair with her books. But I had my problems with The Book of Blood and Shadow - I tried my best to love it but felt like I was banging my head against a brick wall - and even this latest venture into the world of creepy horror and general mindfuckery couldn't convince me to join the fan
Wendy Darling
Well, this book is just crazy. (view spoiler)

Review to come. But man, oh man--don't miss this one if you're a fan of Stephen King. One of the few cases where that comparison in the marketing materials is not just an empty promise.
The Waking Dark Whoa! What a way to start a book! A bloody multiple murder in a convenience store in a small Kansas town (what is it about these small Midwestern towns?) starts a chain of events that only get amplified by a huge F5 tornado that rips through the town. What follows can only be described as murder, mayhem, and a general bloodlust. The town is quarantined and there’s no way out…

If you love Stephen King’s earlier horror books, then The Waking Dark may be for you. Don’t read it at nig
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A copy of The Waking Dark was provided to me by Netgalley/Knopf Books for Young Readers for review purposes.

The killing day.
The day the devil came to Oleander.
That day.

Oleander, Kansas is a small, quiet town that was never cause for much attention... until the killing day. The day when twelve people were killed in a few short hours by the hands of their friends and neighbors. Once all surrounding them were dead they then killed themselves having outlived their purpose. One
Not for the faint-hearted. Don't read this over any kind of meal. Holy crap, this has got to be, hands down, the most ballsy, graphically violent, gory and Stephen King-esque YA I've ever read. Two thumbs up, Wasserman. You've successfully erased my lingering doubts from The Book of Blood and Shadows. Killing a baby in the first chapter?!

This more than sums up the sheer madness of how people so terrifyingly prove to be its own worst enemy:

"...It's not like having some voice in your head telling
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
I absolutely adored Robin Wasserman's The Book of Blood and Shadow, which blended horror, paranormal, historical and contemporary fiction into something dark and beautiful. As such, I had very high expectations for The Waking Dark, which were partly met but not wholly. The key thing to know about The Waking Dark is that it is a horror novel, pure and simple, though calling the novel simple is rather misleading.

The Book of Blood and Shadow began with blood and murders. The Waking Dark tops that,
Oct 19, 2014 Rose marked it as not-my-cup-of-tea
I was actually enjoying this book a lot and had to return it to the library before I could finish it, but now I don't even think I can pick this up again. I'll sit on my hands about it, but right now, it's probably going to be a "no."
Initial thoughts: That wasn't what I expected, but it was an enjoyable read. Dark, ugly, gritty. Review to come eventually.


Actual rating: 3.5 These-People-Are-Seriously-Effed-Up stars. No story spoilers.

This is labeled as a YA?!

Confused photo: Jay confused tumblr_lmupsmI7rM1qdqggg.gif

There is absolutely NO way I'd ever want any young adult in my life reading this book!!!! It's dark, it's twisted, it's ugly, it's full of psychopathic behaviors. It's disgusting. Did I mention it's twisted?!

The first chapter thrust me into this crazy world in a
Dan Poblocki
Dec 30, 2012 Dan Poblocki rated it it was amazing
I read this in manuscript form. An exciting throwback to popular, epic horror novels of the past thirty years. Intelligent and literary and scary as hell.
There's a part of me that goes, what did I just read? But there's another part of me that really enjoyed this. First and foremost, this is a weird book, but it's weirdly enjoyable. I feel like this book is its own original creature. It doesn't feel like a YA book at all. It was odd, different, and fun to read. The whole book is full of craziness and questions. I just had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen in the end. I would recommend this book to readers that love horror and w ...more
Kat Heckenbach
Sep 03, 2013 Kat Heckenbach rated it liked it
I'm all over the place when it comes to this book. My very first impression when starting to read it was, Wow, this feels just like a Stephen King novel. Which is good and bad. I love Stephen King, so I thought, cool, SK for YA. But not really. It just felt a bit like SK "lite." So, the whole time I was reading I felt like something was missing.

That said, there is a reason SK books are for adults. I'm not talking about the horror element either. I've read much more horrifying and gory books for
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
Robin Wasserman sure knows how to scare a person half to death. As I read The Waking Dark, the evil that jumped at me from every page constantly threatened to overwhelm. This isn’t a book you can finish in a day, it is simply too intense, demanding and sickening at times. Even readers who are fairly desensitized like I am might find themselves troubled by the events described.

It’s obvious that Robin Wasserman owes a literary debt to Stephen King – she even thanks him in the acknowledgements. Tha
Branwen Sedai *of the White Ajah*
"Maybe you couldn't know how much weight you could bear until you snapped beneath it."

"We're not perfect, any of us. We fight our temptations and sometimes we win. But sometimes...not everyone is strong enough to win. Should we hate them for being weak? Of should we help them? Shouldn't we lend them our strength, give them a chance to do better, to make up for their mistakes? People can change. And people who do bad things can do good things too."

The Waking Dark is a brilliant, terrifying, and t
Nov 27, 2013 Cheryl rated it did not like it
Seriously, someone tell me what this book is about. I picked up up for the creep factor that it sounded like it would have. Well it was creepy but not in a scary make the hair on your arms stand up creep factor. It was creepy in more of a gross way. The way that the guys saw the women in this book like they are just to be used like throw away trash was degrading and I was not impressed. In fact, I was shocked that this type of language would be in a young adult book. This is not really the best ...more
Aug 31, 2013 Kelly rated it liked it
This is solid horror. Solid. My reservations are that I wish it had been longer because I wanted to know more about the characters, and while there were knockout lines, I wanted the writing itself to be a little tighter and emotionally resonant.

They called it Killing Day, when five people started taking out any and nearly everyone in their paths in small Oleander, Kansas. Of the five people who were killing, four were successful at taking themselves out in the end. Teen Cass was not. She lived.
Felicity Disco
Whoa. I . . . just . . . whoa.

I always tell people that Wasserman's previous book, The Book of Blood and Shadow, is like The Da Vinci Code except actually good. Well, this one is like Stephen King's Under the Dome, except better. It deals with some similar themes of power and religion and drugs and evil in an isolated small town, but the overall plot hangs together better in this one, and, more importantly to me, the depth of the characterization made me really care what happened to the teenager
Sep 25, 2013 Isamlq rated it really liked it
I think it was Jackman in some interview- Yes, he is valid authority. Wolverine’s abs say so! – who made a distinction between two types of horror in film: the one that’s a bit like Saw, where death is a forgone conclusion and all that’s left to imagine is how bloody/ gory things can get. An odd almost contrary statement was then made where that type of horror was described, “sanitized terror” (I don’t know if I have the words right, but that’s roughly what I recall). Odd, because there was not ...more
Aug 20, 2013 Blythe marked it as to-read-soon
I had to put this aside because it's released in seven months and I need to read for my blog schedule right now, but from what I've read, so far so good!
Jan 01, 2014 Gabriel rated it really liked it
Books like this one make me feel like an old censor-friendly Fredric Wertham (see Seduction of the Innocent). As an adult, I read it and wonder how something so terrifyingly violent (I mean, Let The Right One In is less gruesome and Stephen King is more tame) can be classified as Young Adult.

It starts simply enough. An eruption of violence sweeps through the town; exemplified though 5 specific events that are centered around our five main characters. The descriptions here are plain enough that I
Jessica (Goldenfurpro)
This and other reviews can be found on The Psychotic Nerd

This is probably the weirdest book I have and probably ever will read this year.
But it's not weird in a good way...
This book is creepy, gory, and incredibly disturbing. So, if you have an issue with any of those things, you do not want to pick up this book!
I oddly liked the creepiness of this book and while this book was extremely disturbing, I did find that fascinating, in a way.
So, oddly, the creepy, gory, and disturbing aspects are not
Jan 26, 2015 Bekka rated it it was ok
I went for a neutral rating with this one because I don’t even know where to begin with this book. The Waking Dark is a bloodbath, living up to it’s dark, twisted potential. But even with the high volume of action and bloodshed, I was left bored to tears for the first 80% of the novel, and when the action began to peak, I hardly cared because I hated each and every character except for two (and there were about 3,890.)

The Waking Dark starts with a really unnerving, creepy bang. The Killing Day.
Sep 06, 2013 Suzanne rated it really liked it
I'm kind of all over the place about this book. On the one hand, it's a truly YA brand of Stephen King level horror; and that's a great thing for all those teenagers who ask for something scary and REALLY mean it. On the other hand, it's a truly YA brand of Stephen King level horror; and that's a bad thing because it comes off as derivative. Seriously, it wasn't long ago that I read Under the Dome by Stephen King, and I have read almost everything SK has written going back to the 70s. (Yes, I'm old, but I also started young ...more
If you are the type of person who loves books like "The Plague" or "Lord of the Flies", the kind that really delve into the question of if evil can be created or if it's inherent and barely contained in all of us, I HIGHLY recommend "The Waking Dark."

This book was nothing like anything I read by choice, but I was given an ARC and I do love Robin Wasserman... and... WOW. Dark (as one would expect from such a title), depressing, hideous and beautiful, and even a little bit hopeful. It's very diff
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)

The darkness is nearly all encompassing in Robin Wasserman’s latest, THE WAKING DARK. Oleander, Kansas is a very small town, considered quaint by its older residents (and some young ones), but for most of its younger set, it’s a place to escape once they come of age. Unfortunately, the time for escape is coming to an end, and it starts with the killing day. On the killing day, people that seemed sane snap and kill anyone that gets in there way, then themse
Nov 08, 2013 Sami rated it it was ok
Two episodes of Fringe and anything Stephen King wrote before 1994; throw in some urban fantasy role-playing character sheets and you have this book.
This was the book that made me wonder if I really was too old to read YA. I had a feeling while reading this that if you were older than 20, this story would feel unoriginal and sampled from a plethora of other tropes.
It wasn't so much that the story was unoriginal, it's that I found absolutely no compassion or empathy for the characters at all. I
Brenda Ayala
Oct 02, 2015 Brenda Ayala rated it really liked it
Shelves: comic-con-2013
Ah. This is the kind of book that when you're done with it, you're satisfied. It makes you want to lean back in your chair and just sit back and bask in the horrendous hell you were just put through. Make no mistake, this book is one helluva ride.

So this book jumped a couple of standings in my queue of books to read because I'd been hearing some good things from GR friends. Most notably, that it is reminiscent of Stephen King. And it was true! It was awesome! I had a brief moment of deja vu; I
Mar 07, 2015 Sara rated it liked it
When this book started, I was immediately hooked. "Yup," I thought, "This is a book written exactly for me." SUPER intense opening segment, super super dark, intensely creepy. And I was totally on board until about halfway through, when the big reveal happened.

And then it just...lost me? The explanation (which I will not explain) was just so...meh? And it's kind of what the whole thing was building to? I almost wish that things had just never been explained and I had been left in the dark and t
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Books, Books, And...: The Waking Dark 3 14 Oct 18, 2014 01:10AM  
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Robin Wasserman is the author of the novel GIRLS ON FIRE. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Tin House, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and several short story anthologies. A recent MacDowell Colony fellow, she is also the New York Times bestselling author of more than ten novels for young adults and teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Southern New Hampshire University.
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“Don't go looking in dark places, because dark things live there.” 6 likes
“The world was full of weapons, when you cared to look.” 4 likes
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