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Wild Awake

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  3,729 ratings  ·  590 reviews
Things you earnestly believe will happen while your parents are away:

1. You will remember to water the azaleas.
2. You will take detailed, accurate messages.
3. You will call your older brother, Denny, if even the slightest thing goes wrong.
4. You and your best friend/bandmate Lukas will win Battle of the Bands.
5. Amid the thrill of victory, Lukas will finally realize you ar
Hardcover, 375 pages
Published May 28th 2013 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Caylah Delaney The more you read i guess the more romantic it seems. At least that what happened to me.

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Average rating 3.60  · 
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 ·  3,729 ratings  ·  590 reviews

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Hilary T. Smith stops by on the blog to talk about the journey her character, Kiri, takes. You can check out her post HERE.

I think the last time I felt this strangely disjointed and certifiably insane after reading a book was shortly after closing the cover of This is Shyness, which is pretty darn perfect. Wild Awake Hilary T. Smith's debut is one of those books that will spark controversy once the right people read it; the kind of people who don't fully understand this book and want
People are like cities: We all have alleys and gardens and secret rooftops and places where daisies sprout between the sidewalk cracks, but most of the time all we let each other see is is a postcard glimpse of a skyline or a polished square. Love lets you find those hidden places in another person, even the ones they didn't know were there, even the ones they wouldn't have thought to call beautiful themselves.

Wild Awake is not a book that will appeal to every reader. While I found it to be
Wendy Darling
4.5 stars The blurb for this book doesn't begin to do it justice--it makes Wild Awake sound like any number of pleasantly quirky but ultimately unremarkable books, whereas this is a truly well-crafted, unusual, and dizzyingly complex story.

I love that it took me awhile to understand exactly what was happening in Kiri's frenetic world, I love the unconventional love-bison whose story is just as compelling as Kiri's, I love the bright and beautiful relationship Kiri had with her sister Sukey (as
Feb 10, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: edelweiss, galley-arc
This book should be part of the advocacy campaign for child welfare laws. Seriously. What kind of parents, after losing one daughter to a brutal murder, leaves their only remaining daughter alone for SIX ENTIRE WEEKS so they can go on a romantic vacation for two?

Ones who should not ever be allowed to parent, that’s who.

I’ll admit, this book…it riveted me. Because it was crazy. Full-on batshit. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not being insensitive to those with mental health problems, trust me. I und
Oct 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes books just speak to you, and this one basically climbed into my ear and shouted.

* * * * *
“The last thing I see before falling asleep is the Kali painting on Skunk’s wall. Her blue-gold body is draped in equal parts flowers and severed heads – as if beauty and horror were interchangeable and what matters most is trusting in the dance.”
When it comes to what we talk about when we talk about mental illness, Wild Awake is a full-throated, primal shout in a sea of polite murmuri
Jan 16, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: e-arc, arc, physical-arc
BookNook — Young Adult book reviews

I am so completely confused by Wild Awake. I read it, and I swear nothing happened. If you were to ask me to describe the plot of this book or the major conflict, I would have no idea what to tell you. Because there isn't really any overarching story or obstacle. It's basically about "a day in the life of a girl on weed" for an entire summer, and that amounts to a lot of randomness, weirdness, stream of consciousness, and plot points that are all over the place
Wild Awake was a strange read. I remember when I first read the blurb last year I was so excited to get my hands on a copy, it had the signs of a mystery and a romance all rolled into one. And when I started my copy it was great; Kiri receives a call out of the blue saying that she has to collect her sister’s stuff. Kiri’s freaked, her sister died in a car accident five house years ago, what stuff could she have left?

I was all aboard on discovering the mystery behind Kiri’s sister Sukey’s death.
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Sukey was Kiri Byrd’s sister. Sukey died four years ago in a car accident, when Kiri was 12. One of Sukey’s paintings hangs in Kiri’s room, the last remnants of her sister with the words: We gamboled, star-clad. Sukey kept the sister painting, Daffodiliad.

When she was younger, Kiri hung on Sukey’s every word and desperately wanted to be as cool as her older sister and admired by her.

Whenever Sukey spoke, it was like I was eating one of the magical cakes in ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ I grew taller
Initial Reaction after reading:

Yup. Pretty much.

This book is about Kiri. Her sister Sukey, whom she idolized and was estranged from her parents, just died. One summer, her parent left her to fend for her own for them to have a romantic vacation for six weeks. Then one day, she received a phone call and that lead to her knowing that her sister was murdered instead of dying in a car crash. Her parents hid the truth from her and that event triggered Kiri to be...crazy.

This book didn't work for me
Feb 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
This summer, Kiri's parents are on an extended vacation, leaving her to her own devices at home. She's poised to spend it hanging out with best friend/bandmate/crush Lukas making music and competing in battle of the bands. She's also made plans to practice piano because she's quiet accomplished and only wants to get better and better. Really, not that awful a summer.

But it's a phone call from a stranger who changes everything. He says he has some of her dead sister's things.

The sister who died
Steph Su
When a strange caller informs young pianist Kiri Byrd he has the remains of her dead sister’s stuff—a sister who had been dead for years—Kiri’s life turns upside down. Kiri struggles to piece together what she’s learning about her sister, but doing so sets her on a crash course towards a breakdown, and only by acknowledging it can Kiri hope to live with it, to make it a part of herself.

With the weight of the expectations I placed upon its spine after declaring its synopsis to be one of the best
Peculiar and lovely.

Not quite sure how to rate this one. I struggled with it at times, but I'm glad this story is in the world. I think YA needs more characters like Kiri.
Jun 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Wild Awake 3.5/5
My Thoughts:
You’ve probably heard of Wild Awake. If you haven’t you’re probably like me and disconnected from the more modern YA news, or perhaps this is old news that I just was never informed about. The synopsis means to grab your attention (it works) but it also doesn’t nearly prepare you for the actual book.
Kiri’s days are urgent, manic, and feel like the passed both too quickly and too slowly. She’s erratic and talkative, frenetically dedicated to piano, sleepless, high,
Zoe Stewart (Zoe's All Booked)
Mar 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
I don't even know what to think. Nothing was resolved at the end, and I'm thoroughly annoyed by every character. I don't even want to process what I just read.

I'm still baffled by this one line: "Bicycle Boy, my brontosaurus of love, my love-bison."

What the actual fuck?

She calls this guy her love-bison the entire time...


The phrase "we gamboled, star-clad" kept popping up too. I think now's the time to mention how much I fucking hated that line. I just dislike the word "gambol". Unless it'
Kat Heckenbach
Apr 30, 2013 rated it liked it
My thoughts on this book went a bit like this:

Opening: Not thrilled that the book opens with Kiri getting stoned. But give it chance...maybe that will be a lesson learned later. The writing is pretty good, but not blowing my mind. NOT buying the parents going off and leaving a 17 yr old girl alone for six weeks--especially on a cruise--when their other daughter died in a car accident.

A few chapters in: The writing is getting pretty stellar in places. I'm loving Kiri's voice for the most part, al
Sometimes there are stories that talk about a serious topic and are an eye opener. Those are the books that make you relate with a character even when you’ve been through nothing that character is facing. Those are the books that make you wonder, “What if those things happened to me?”

Sadly, this is not that book.

Kiri Byrd is looking forward to her parents’ six week vacation prancing off in the world while she gets to:
a) stay home alone,
b) spend time with her bff and secret crush Lukas, practic
Feb 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary-ya
I loved this book so much. I'm going to do my best to articulate why I fell hard for it, but I'd like to start off by apologizing for how excessively long this review is. I also realize that not everyone will feel the same way that I did about this story, and it's possible that I liked it for all the wrong reasons. Honestly with all the drug induced shenanigans this girl gets up to, I'm surprised I enjoyed Wild Awake as much as I did. But I really, really did.

That book description above is extre
Jan 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith does what should be impossible: be at once completely batshit crazy and unbelievable, while also painting a pretty accurate portrait of the modern teenager.

Kiri Byrd's parents left her by herself for six weeks while they went on a cruise around the world, but she has a plan: she will water the plants, and check the mail. She will practice piano religiously and be perfect at her Showcase performance. She and her best friend Lucas will practice every day and win Battl
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Initially, I was very wary going into Wild Awake because I had heard that the main protagonist, Kiri, is a heavy drug-user and that the writing is crazy and unreadable. However, upon finishing this story, I was anything but disgusted with it. In my opinion, Wild Awake is an extremely powerful contemporary with a memorable storyline and strong-willed characters that I can't help but adore.

The first quality that caught my attention while reading Wild Awake was Hilary Smith's writing style
Check out my full review of this book here:
May 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
*Also posted at Oops! I Read A Book Again*

Thank you so much to Katherine Tegen Books and Edelweiss for the eARC! This in no way affected my opinions of the novel.

Wild Awake first came into my radar because of it's GORGEOUS cover. Because seriously, that cover made me salivate. All the elements came around together seamlessly and I give mad props to its cover designer, Tom Forget. Those were handmade splatters, guys. Plus, the color. I am absolutely not a fan of orange but this made me love orang
Feb 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: may-2013
Everyone has been talking about this book lately, amiright? I was thrilled to get the chance to check it out. Reviews have been mixed. Some LOVE it. Some don't get it, but still kinda like it. Some can't stand it. My thoughts after reading Wild Awake? It's odd. It's written in a stream of consciousness type narration that can be a distracting and hard to follow. It has this almost dreamlike quality to it. As you are reading you are kind of wondering "what's going on? Is this really happening or ...more
Dajana J.
Feb 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Actual rating: 4.5 stars
Review can also be found here.

Wild Awake is for sure one of the most lively, artistic and soulful books I have ever and will ever read. Reading this book was a crazy rollercoaster of emotions. The amazing writing style of the author made everything better and vivid and beautiful and hurting and it just made me feel the story right in my bones. I'm so glad this book exists because it just proves to me once again that there's still hope for YA and there are still deep and
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Review can also be found here.

Actual rating: 4.5 stars

This might be one of those rare books that as a whole has had a significant impact on the way I view life and it has also inspired me deeply. Wild Awake is a book I'd undoubtedly call artistic; raw, powerful and passionate. The atmosphere around this story is tinged with desperation and an amazing awareness for everything that surrounds us. I can only say the title fits this book perfectly.

From just this paragraph, you can probably notice how
Oct 09, 2012 rated it liked it

Some may feel there’s whole lot of nothing going on in this one, save a spoiled bratty girl unable to cope doing brattier and brattier/more and more insane things with each moment. And sure, all that’s there, but for me it’s more than that... I personally think a moral at the end is not the thing that makes a story ‘good.’ Wild Awake reads a little like Out of Reach (the latter seemingly with no point/“lesson” either, with the bad having occurred and becoming the (not so) simple matter of g
Mar 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
From the first words, I immediately felt Kiri's intelligence and the way she is surrounded by people that inhabit her life don't really see her. Her parents are completely disassociated, her brother is drowning in rage, and her best friend isn't really a friend at all. Kiri has built careful walls around herself since her sister's death, but once a brick is loosened, everything comes crashing down around her. The call about her sister and Kiri's desire to know the truth brings what she thinks is ...more
Ellie Marney
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book truly inspired me. With its language, and perception, and its characters, and its understanding of grief and mental illness, and its LANGUAGE, OMG. I felt like I was on a sparkling midnight bike-ride with Kiri and Skunk, skimming fast through downhill streets, zooming around the curves... When it finished, I felt like I was in a slightly altered reality.

Kiri's slow unravelling and re-weaving felt authentic and brave and scary and true, and I loved that Hilary Smith didn't make a neat p
Shanyn (Chick Loves Lit)
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The first book I officially read start to finish in 2013, WILD AWAKE gives me more reason to shout about contemporary YA from the mountaintops. Or from my couch-top, seeing as how the mountains here have many feet of snow and it would be hard to get up there.

Full Review:
Annie Stone
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful. Loved how the writing perfectly mirrored the anxiously frenetic energy the main character was experiencing. Felt so real -- but in that perfected and artistic way -- my favorite kind of read!
“Sometimes, a problem looks so small you can crush it between your fingers. Then you wake up one morning and it's eating you alive.”

Trigger warning for; alcohol and drug abuse, mental issues and stupid decisions. It’s kind of a stoner book so be aware.


This one is so hard to rate and write a review about. I honestly cant make I my mind on whether I loved it not. To sum up my experience with this book I am;

Yup, I’ve read the thole book thinking ‘what on earth is happening? This book make
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