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Sleepwalk Society

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This is the story of the last summer of total freedom for three best friends as seen through the eyes of one of them, Violet Monroe. It is a story that deals with change and choice. In the background looms the impact of the 9/11 attack on the United States. The year is 2002. Violet believes she and her pals, Terran Ingram and Joey Fielding, will spend the summer smoking dope and trashing their parents. What she will learn is that her "perfect" friend Terran stays high to escape the successful life plan her mother has laid out for her. Her own mother stays in a constant state of intoxication and opens her mail with latex gloves, fearing anthrax. Joey, who has been madly in love with Terran since he was eleven, will finally get his chance at romance. Violet will be forced to reexamine her world and all its main characters.

164 pages, Paperback

First published July 1, 2010

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About the author

Kendare Blake

42 books54.8k followers
So, I write books. The Anna Dressed in Blood duo is horror, The Goddess War trilogy is mythology, and Three Dark Crowns is fantasy, because the world don't move to the beat of just one drum. What might be right for you, may not be right for some. Love to read, too. Fiction, philosophy, good books, bad books, because you take the good you take the bad you take them both and there you have a stack of books and stuff. I mean, you've got to be adventurous. There's more to life that what you're living, so take a chance and face the wind.

There's more coming soon like ALL THESE BODIES and a new fantasy series, so don't waste another minute on your cryin. We're nowhere near the end.

My likes include animals, food, and nostalgia. I mean, whatever happened to predictability? The milkman, the paperboy, the evening TV? Used to be everywhere you look, there's a heart, a hand to hold on to.

Anyway, I love to hear from readers so drop me a line here or at my website and we'll talk about friends to know, and ways to grow, and how if you threw a party you would see that the biggest gift would be from me and the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.

We can also talk about all the sitcom theme songs in this bio. Sha la la la.

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5 stars
64 (49%)
4 stars
25 (19%)
3 stars
20 (15%)
2 stars
14 (10%)
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6 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 reviews
Profile Image for Brandon O'Neill.
819 reviews5 followers
May 30, 2011
We FINALLY got Sleepwalk Society into our library and I took it home for the weekend. This is the 2nd book I've read this year where I really ended up not liking the characters, but the writing was so good, that I can read through my dislike. This takes me back to (not so long ago) when I was in college and couldn't really see me doing anything beyond what I was doing. It seemed wierd when I was student teaching, then when I had a job, got married, and have a kid. The last 10 years have been full of changes. Are we pushed into them or do we roll along?
Some of the writing I really loved: (not direct quotes, just my memories)
- how we are all minor characters in most other people's lives
- how the people we are with at the moment seem so important to us, but when circumstances change, we have to forget how important they were/are to move on
Profile Image for Sarah Gonzalez.
207 reviews38 followers
September 19, 2010
Sleepwalk Society by Kendare Blake was an extremely refreshing read. Blake was able to accomplish, in her debut novel, what many other, more experienced, writers are unable to - she created completely believable world and story. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate that she was courageous enough to write a book about young adults that teenagers could really connect with. Often times I feel that writers don't give teenagers enough credit and they produce watered down versions of reality. The world within Sleepwalk Society is not perfect; it is a gritty and confusing place - just like the world we live in. A lot of controversial issues and subjects arise within the plot - Blake is not afraid to push buttons, which allows for an honest portrayal of an 18 year old American girl.

With Violet, she produces a character that could truly walk off the page. Everyone can identify with Violet, we all have a little bit of her within us. Her narrative is not always pretty, in fact it is often dark, confusing and unsettling. Her thoughts are not wrapped in a perfect presentable packing - but they are sincere and honest for her character. Violet is constantly struggling with what she is suppose to be in life. She suffers from a major identity crisis. She is aware of what other expect her to be, but she cannot determine who she wants her to be or what she wants out of life. One of the main causes for the push Violet feels to answer these questions, is her father. He gives Violet an ultimatum - she has to declare a major or she will not be returning to school in the fall. Not only does he want her to declare a major, he wants her to declare a respectable one. He instills the belief in Violet that what career a person chooses in life directly affects their worth. This just adds to the weight Violet feels from the decision and causes her to struggle even more.

Blake brings up some great questions about our society through Violet - my favorite being what's the rush? When did it become necessary to plan our entire lives by 18? I think Violet puts it best, she says,

"I'm searching for the answer, any answer at all, be it the meaning of life, or the Holy Grail, or the Loch Ness Monster. Because at 18 I'm already behind schedule. We don't have time like we used to have time. I can feel mine burning away like the wax of a candle."

I think everyone can identify with that. Especially today's youth. I know I certainly can. In today's world, you are expected to go to college and expected to have all the answers. You get your degree, then get a job and spend the rest of your life working to create a better life than what your parents had. But who says you have to go at such a break neck speed? Who says that this is what everyone wants?

Not only was I able to identity with Violet's internal struggles, but I truly enjoyed her as a character. She reminded me of a female version of Holden Caufield - at least to an extent. Like I said before, Blake made Violet's narrative brutally honest - which sometimes makes her a little like Holden. She is of the world, but removed from it as well. She sees things differently, and often analyzes others (even those closest to her) from a distance. Her internal narrative is witty and honest - and always entertaining. However, Blake does a great job keeping Violet very human. She has a soft side; she wants to please people, which only makes herself more conflicted. There is a quote in the book about Violet, that I absolutely loved and identified with; "That's what I love about you, Violet. You're a cynic and a dreamer. Your a crowd of ten people who've fought to a standstill". Now, tell me this, who doesn't identify with that?

As the story continues Violet also has the deal with the changing dynamic of her relationship with her two best friends, Joey and Terran. The two of them begin dating and it puts Violet on the back burner. She has a difficult time with this, because like I said, she doesn't really know herself. She has always defined herself as one of the points of the Joey-Terran-Violet triangle, and for the first time in her life, she has to become her own person. She soon meets and befriends Joey's cousin, Brandon and he sort of helps her examine what she wants out of life. He is also the only one in her life that expresses that it is alright to not know.

I love the relationship between Brandon and Violet. It is never forced and like every other aspect in this novel, it is so utterly realistic. Brandon is not cast as the answer to all of Violet's problems and she does not become overly dependent on him - which I love.

The book is highly character driven and all of the secondary characters are just as well written as Violet. There is not a single "stock" or flat character - everyone has the ability to surprise you. Blake did a marvelous job creating a novel that truly has the ability to speak to today's youth. Sleepwalk Society is a beautifully written coming of age story that really hits home. This could be a story about anyone - you, your neighbor or your best friend. This book puts into terms the pressure today's youth feels in a beautiful and captivating way.

I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone. Do yourself a favor and go read it, right now!
Profile Image for Kristin.
170 reviews10 followers
October 12, 2012
I guess that I am in the minority here, but this book was one long, rambling rant brought on by too much drugs and over thinking. There was no plot other than Violet trying to figure out who she was. The whole thing was baffling, yet sometimes very thought provoking. The most profound point Violet made was how the American dream sucked her Father dry and he will never be satisfied with what he has achieved because he will always want more and in the meantime has neglected and ignored his wife who has become a drunk and a shell of her once vibrant self. Violet is the product of that lifestyle, no wonder she doesn't want to be an over achiever or decide on a career.

The best quote:
“Dad, I’m not good at anything. But I’m okay at everything. I’m a walking, talking B-minus. Which on the upside, means that I could do just about anything. Of course, it also means that no matter what I choose, I’m not going to be that great at it.”

Honestly, I didn't like Violet, Terran or Joey. All vapid, rich kids with too much time and money on their hands. Brandon made the story worthwhile, . The ending was just like the rest, it started and then it just stopped.
Profile Image for G Daniels.
286 reviews5 followers
November 24, 2020
I am going to dispense with my normal rules on this one because I am breaking my first rule and stating this is an ugly baby. I am confident it is just me, that I am missing something here, but after the first 30 pages I wanted to DNF it. And would have if it was not so short, (160 pages), so I gutted through, but by the last twenty pages it was so painful I couldn't wait to get to the end, (by that time it was the principle of the thing. Who abandons a book with only twenty pages left?)
Before I begin ragging on this book any more, let me state that I am a very big fan of Kendare Blake. I have read her 3 Dark Crowns series, Anna Dressed in Blood duology, the Antigoddess series, and loved them all!.. She is a very talented writer and I am always excited to read her works. So imagine my disappointment when I read Sleepwalk Society and found it so lacking. This was Ms. Blake's debut novel, and to be honest, if it was the first book I read of hers, I probably would not have read any of her later works which would be a great loss on my part.
This book is comparable to an essay assignment in school with the worn out theme, "How I spent my summer vacation" as if written by an entitled affluent rich kid describing their summer after the first year of college. It is the story of three friends, Violet, Terran and Joey who spend their summer together going to parties, getting high and generally just hanging out. That's it. Joey has always had a thing for Terran who is the beautiful and talented popular girl. This summer Joey and Terran finally get together leaving Violet as the third wheel, except Joey's cousin, who recently graduated college with a useless degree shows up and he and Violet hook up. So it is the story of how the four of them hang out, get drunk, get high and have sex. Interspersed in this they whine about the pointlessness of life and expound on their apathy and self-importance as if it is philosophical wisdom. As I read this I could not help but think of the recent events with Lori Laughlin and her daughters, the bribery to get them into college; the belief they were entitled and deserved to be given special consideration because they are wealthy, and the self-pity when caught.
I could not relate to the characters at all. They were like the characters in E. Lockhart's We Were Liars, in that they were affluent, spoiled self-indulgent, entitled, selfish rich kids who felt sorry for themselves because they were so put upon by their parents. These people , none of them, including the parents, had any redeeming qualities to make them likeable or even interesting. Frankly they were all pathetic and I could find no empathy or really care about any of them. Unlike We Were Liars there is no supernatural twist at the end to even attempt to make this interesting. It was just a boring view of the life of some whiny spoiled rich kids who didn't know what struggle really was. And the "bombshell" at the end sputtered with a fizzle instead of even making a ripple.
If you find this book on the bookshelves, pass it by. Kendare Blake has too many other offerings that are well worth the read, any of the series I mentioned above, but this one is not worth the time to even read the synopsis
Profile Image for Pixie/PageTurners Blog(Amber) C..
536 reviews57 followers
October 12, 2010
I am ashamed to say this, but had Kendare not sent me her book, I probably wouldn't have read it; which is sad because it's a great book. I found myself putting down, books I have been crazy for, to finish Sleepwalk Society. Kendare does an amazing job creating this completely believable story and characters.

You can read the rest of my review at

Sleepwalk Society takes place mostly in Violets head; it's the summer after 9-11 and she is home from her first year of college. She has spent the year blowing off picking a major, and is ready for a summer to just forget everything that has happened over the past year.
Profile Image for Emma Forrest.
7 reviews3 followers
February 20, 2020
I want to preface that I love Kendare Blake! She has amazing other books, but this book...
I read it when I was about 14 and found no flaws but 7 years later I must say this book is not what I remember.

To start on a good note, the last half of the book wasn't too bad.

Now... The main character. I wish Terran was our MC. She has so much going on for her, but Violet is so goddamn boring. bland, un-opinionated, melancholy. Its draining to read her POV. She has no cares, desires, wants, when bad things happen she doesnt give a damn and its boring! I get that's apart of the story, but when serious things are happening that require serious reactions of emotion, nothing happens... where's the emotion!
Thats why I feel Terran would be better. Having a melancholy best friend is great for the MC to have someone that will calm them down and snap them out of their crazy life for a moment with their carefree, whatever mentality Especially with everything that goes on in Terran's life but as the MC... its not great.

The language was a bit much for me to comprehend at times and as a story with not much plot it dragged on WAY too much. I had to pause every chapter for a break, even half way through chapters because I was getting a headache from the lack of stimulation and strain of reading endless paragraphs of nothing.

I adore her Anna Dressed in Blood series but this is a no from me.
Profile Image for Elia.
1,111 reviews26 followers
April 1, 2022
Ealy 00's obnoxious, rich, entitled college kids being obnoxious and whining about the futility of their lives.
Kendare Blake is one of my favorite YA authors, but this is very very obviously her first work, and she does much better when she is writing on the supernatural and the spooky.
Profile Image for Jayne.
29 reviews67 followers
July 29, 2010
Violet is a girl who doesn t see her own beauty. She refers to her name is "a joke, a plain girl having a name that s also a color. Violet says, One of my boyfriends in high school said that the only color on my face was in my eyes, and that was the color of a faded dollar bill. He also said they d be good looking if only they could express something. The year is 2002 and 18-year-old Violet is beginning summer break from college classes, a summer that will bring unexpected conflicts and discoveries. In her compelling debut, The Sleepwalk Society, Kendare Blake explores what it means to define ones self and how expectations and relationships influence the direction of one's life. Violet says, But over time, we get tired of other people. Other people get you caught up in things; they make it difficult to be what we are, indifferent, the sleepwalk society, drifting around the center of our lives. I know that by the end of the summer, it will just be us three, sitting in a car somewhere, talking less and less but louder and louder, one last rail against the new semester coming down to beat us over the heads. This summer doesn t turn out to be anything like previous summers. While on summer break, Violet's father also gives her an ultimatum: she will either declare a major or he will stop funding her education. Violet's mother, an alcoholic, wants Violet to return to school. "In the end, they both want the same thing, my mother and my father; only they want it for different reasons. My father wants me to go to school and be successful so that I will be like him, to prove that his life is worthy of envy. My mother wants me to go so that I ll never be like her, to prove that her life was a price that she didn t have to pay." The ultimatum from her father isn t the only thing weighing on Violet. Dynamics change dramatically between the trio of best friends--Violet, Terran, and Joey--with disturbing consequences and unexpected outcomes for each of them. Violet also meets Brandon, who sees more beauty and goodness in Violet than she sees in herself. The events that unfold over the summer causes Violet to question everything she believes about friendship and herself, and to emerge bruised but more confident than she ever imagined. Blake writes with a graceful subtlety and insight as she creates a complex and intriguing cast of characters, most notably Violet, who is wonderfully vulnerable and honest as she navigates the difficult journey toward independence and self-discovery.
Profile Image for Erin.
311 reviews18 followers
July 21, 2015
Having previously read Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares, Sleepwalk Society took me by surprise - in a good way! I found the Anna tales to be brilliant ghost stories and was intrigued by the premise of this novel - so different from Anna. I believe Sleepwalk Society (and Anna!) really showcase Blake's writing talent. Blake has created very real characters in Violet, Terran, and Joey - as well as Violet and Terran's parents! I too was in high school during 9/11 and could strongly identify with Violet's feelings of disenchantment in a post 9/11 society. Violet's inner monologues were a bit lengthy at times but I felt they reflected her character well. While I was a bit disappointed with the ending of our trio's summer, the ending felt authentic and realistic. Anything different and it would have felt forced. Sleepwalk Society is a very short novel but it is a thought provoking read, definitely passages to dog-ear/highlight.

I look forward to more of Blake's novels!
Profile Image for Sarah.
32 reviews
November 6, 2010
I enjoyed this book to a point and the characters were well developed. To be fair, I don't think I am a part of its intended youth audience. I had a hard time being invested in a plot where one of the central conflicts was that the protagonist clashed with her father because he insisted she commit to a major in college. I guess I'm at a point in life where I recognize that majors, like careers, are easily changed and eventually have little bearing on the rest of your life.

I did enjoy the relationships between the younger characters, though. And I was probably jealous of the relatively carefree life they were enjoying that summer. I'd probably recommend this book to my teenage and college-aged nieces.
Profile Image for Page Turners Blog.
30 reviews182 followers
December 21, 2010
Also found on Pixie's Goodreads Page

I am ashamed to say this, but had Kendare not sent me her book, I probably wouldn't have read it; which is sad because it's a great book. I found myself putting down, books I have been crazy for, to finish Sleepwalk Society. Kendare does an amazing job creating this completely believable story and characters.

You can read the rest of my review at
Profile Image for Tereca Moore.
12 reviews
September 22, 2010
Well developed personalities that the reader cares about. A more sophisticated look at young adults.
Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 reviews

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