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The Waking Dark

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  2,328 ratings  ·  501 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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Average rating 3.52  · 
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 ·  2,328 ratings  ·  501 reviews

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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
Emily May
Sep 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult, horror, 2013

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
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
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 se
Jun 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: signed, own, arc
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
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.
Ashley (gotbookcitement)
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
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 ni
Mar 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
❤Ninja Bunneh❤
If The Mist, Storm of the Century and Under the Dome had one big orgy, out of that love fest would come The Waking Dark.
We have:
Small unassuming town - check
People killing for no apparent reason - check.
Storm rolling through the town causing massive destruction - check
Obligatory sudden government quarantine with no explanation - check
One or more religious zealots - check

Sadly, none of this:
 photo image_zpsc448eae8.jpg

Anywhoo, that's the gist of The Waking Dark. It's honestly nothing I haven't seen before, but at the s
Rachel Bea
The book became a chore to read, which was hugely disappointing because I really liked that it was unlike most other YA books. It's totally bleak and violent, and maybe if I had read it at another time I would have liked it more. There are a ton of characters, and almost none of them get more than a page or so at a time. The different perspectives was interesting at first, but there was so much going on I started to think that I didn't care about any of them. This is a book I'd probably want to ...more
Aug 14, 2013 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." ...more
Oct 05, 2013 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 09, 2013 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
Roberta R. (Offbeat YA)
Rated 3.5 really.

Excerpt from my review - originally published at Offbeat YA.

Pros: Strong writing and handling of multiple characters. Well-crafted exploration of the hidden violence lying behind people's facade.
Cons: Dark and gloomy. The premise is quite far-fetched.
WARNING! Very mature content, with lots of violence, attempted rape, and even a child smothered on page.
Will appeal to: Those who don't mind dark books. Those who like survival stories and (sometimes deeply) flawed characters.

Dan Poblocki
Dec 30, 2012 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.
Dec 26, 2012 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.
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
Branwen Sedai *of the Brown 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
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
Kat Heckenbach
Aug 31, 2013 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
Kate Welsh
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
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 i
Nov 27, 2013 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
Feb 14, 2013 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! ...more
– 3.75/5 stars.

ms wasserman knows what she is doing if i do say so myself; this is horror. it shows us humans in their purest, ugliest, rawest form and what they're capable of doing once they no longer bend to moral and social restrictions.

review to come.
Jul 22, 2013 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
Aug 24, 2013 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 yo ...more
Dec 31, 2013 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
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Robin Wasserman is the author of the novels MOTHER DAUGHTER WIDOW WIFE (June 2020) and 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 ...more

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