Verdict: WIDE AWAKE may be an easy, young adult read, however the overall combination of coming-of-age and romance makes this book enjoyable and heart-warming.
WIDE AWAKE follows a teenage girl as she wakes up from a coma that has lasted six months and tries to remember who she is while inevitably creating a new identity for herself.
Emma, on waking up in hospice, cannot remember her life for the past nineteen years. Her family is a stranger to her and even her friends and boyfriend are unfamiliar. She struggles to try to remember them and her old life until she connects with her physical therapist, Mason. Emma’s friends, family and boyfriend all want the girl they used to know back, and through tension and frustration, Emma decides she can’t be that girl anymore. Her family is unwilling to accept this, and her boyfriend becomes so obsessed with getting Emma back that he takes drastic measures and reveals a horrible secret having to do with Emma’s accident.
At the core of this well-written story is a girl who must decide who she wants to be, something that will resonate with young adults and older generations alike. Though the romance in the novel between Emma and Mason is sweet and romantic, it is also conventional and unremarkable. This is no great love story, however readers will enjoy falling in love with Mason as easily as Emma does. His character is self-sacrificing—so much so that he almost becomes irritating—but he means well and the reader recognizes this. The other relationships that are tested throughout the book between Emma and her parents and Emma and her friends are realistic, though at times bothersome to get through because of their length or repetitiveness. The ultimate plot twist at the end of the book is a dark surprise, but if readers pay enough attention they may see it coming.
WIDE AWAKE may be an easy, young adult read, however the overall combination of coming-of-age and romance makes this book enjoyable and heart-warming.
Reviewed by Cassidy Holmes for IndieReader.