Review: Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith



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 are the girl of his dreams.

Things that actually happen:

1. A stranger calls who says he knew your sister.

2. He says he has her stuff.

3. What stuff? Her stuff.

4. You tell him your parents won’t be able to—

5. Sukey died five years ago; can’t he—

6. You pick up a pen.

7. You scribble down the address.

8. You get on your bike and go.

9. Things . . . get a little crazy after that.*

*also, you fall in love, but not with Lukas.


This book is so not what I expected it to be like, and at the same time I couldn’t ask for anything more. It was such a deep and special experience to read this book, I cannot possibly describe what it feels like to live this story through Kiri’s eyes and be part of her quest to find what really happened to her sister and what is happening to her.

There’s a reason people get drunk at funerals, and I suddenly know what it is: the flip side of darkness is a dark devouring joy, a life that demands to be fed.

The book starts with a perfectly organized Kiri receiving a call about her death sister’s stuff. When she goes to pick it up she starts to discover that what she knew about her sister and what her family has told her wasn’t completely true. Kiri starts questioning herself, and what is worthy in life, how she should live it, while making some broken new friends along.

Guilt and jelousy splinter through me. Those missing months before Sukey died… they’re something I will never be a part of, something I’ll never get to know.

What I loved the most about this book is how Ms. Smith narrated the period in which Kiri gets lost before she can fully understand her life and how she wants to live it. It’s so intense and the writing makes it so relatable it kind of feels like you are the one who is falling and trying to find yourself. I had to actually stop reading and rethink my life choices a couple of times, it’s just that good. Kiri is a relatable character and it got me very emotional being able to see her succeed at the end, and find herself, I felt like I found myself a little bit too.

There are no mistakes, I realize… just detours whose significance only become clear when you see the whole picture at once.

The depth and complexity of the characters in the book was amazing, especially in Skunk and Kiri, where you can see and feel the character development. I would really recommend this book to anyone who has interest in complex and broken characters who are able to mend themselves and to never give up.

Stars: 4.5 i-am-amazed-by-this-book stars

Amazon Kindle link: Wild Awake






calloway sisters


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