Sunday, April 21, 2013

Blog Tour: Wide Awake

Rating: 5 Stars
Author: Shelly Crane Blog :: Goodreads :: Facebook :: Twitter
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 22, 2013
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A girl.

A coma.

A life she can't remember.

When Emma Walker wakes up in the hospital with no knowledge of how she got there, she learns that she's been in a coma for six months. Strangers show up and claim to be her parents, but she can't remember them. She can't remember anyone. Not her friends, not even her boyfriend. Even though she can't remember, everyone wants her to just pick up where she left off, but what she learns about the 'old her' makes her start to wish she'd never woken up. 

Her boyfriend breaks up with the new girl he's dating to be with her, her parents want her to start planning for college, her friends want their leader back, and her physical therapist with the hazel eyes keeps his distance to save his position at the hospital.

Will she ever feel like she recognizes the girl in the mirror?


Shelly Crane does it again! I am a huge fan of Shelly and her Significance series, so when I was given the opportunity to read Wide Awake, I was more than excited.

The concept of this novel intrigued me immediately. The idea of being stuck inside a body you don't recognize, with expectations to live someone else's life who had a life that seems meaningless to go "back" to...well, you can see why I was interested. 

Shelly quickly paints an honest picture after Emma's tragedy. She begins the story waking in the hospital, slowly coming to her senses. Once she understands her prognosis, she is devastated, and rightfully so, but slowly rises from her horror and begins the long process of healing - finding herself. 

Now, while this makes the story sound like a simple coming-of-age, wet eyed, uplifting story, Wide Awake is so much more. I found myself laughing often with these characters and enjoying with the roles each is trying to play when their script hadn't yet been written.

Emma is completely likable. Finding the balance between the girl she feels like she is and the girl she finds she was before her accident is the purpose of the story...but she draws you in with her kindness and confusion. I felt like I would make similar choices if, forbid, I put myself in that situation. The romantic triangle between Emma, her "boyfriend" Andy, and Mason, the man who's attracted her from the first time she opens her eyes. Shelly writes some lovely romance that doesn't overwhelm the development of Emma as herself, without her complete association with one life or the other based on a childish idea of love. That being said, Emma's decisions at times can be frustrating, but it forces the reader to be patient with her and remember that she is simply trying to find herself.

Things that I love and therefore made me fall in love with Mason: tattoos, mama's boys, and true kindness. Don't get me wrong, I love me a bad boy, but in real life? My sweet, loving, handsome, tattooed husband is it for me. And Wide Awake made me feel like I was reading real life. Each page turned seemed to get faster and faster until suddenly I was finished and sighing at a book well done.

Congratulations Ms. Crane! Another knock out.

And here's an excerpt from Wide Awake by Shelly Crane:
The next couple of weeks brought plenty of action and events. I focused harder on the therapy and tried to focus less on Mason. He seemed to be doing the same. I had renewed vigor, which led to stamina, which led to more workouts, which led to exhaustion, which led to tons of sleep, which led to healing, which led to me walking. 
This simple task, this simple thing that we all take for granted, that's so cute and monumental when a baby takes his first steps, but these first steps were so much more than that. Though I cried like a baby, I wasn't one. And though my mother cooed and fawned over me (because I had invited them that day to come because I just knew that day was going to be the day) I wasn't a toddler. I was me. I was finally getting a little piece of myself back. And though I tried so hard not to, my eyes drifted to the one person in the room that I knew would understand all this better than anyone else. 
Mason's eyes were already on me from across the parallel walking bars. This time, I didn't shy away from his gaze. I knew that our terms were shaky, but so was I, and I needed the stability of my lifeline. As our gazes collided, I expected a smile and happiness, but I didn't expect the level of pride and utter joy to be so prominent. The man was bursting at the seams with it. It filled his face and the smile he wore was the beautiful one that made me feel like everything was going to be OK. 
His lips parted and even in the loud room, I could still hear his breath. He said quietly, "You did it, Em." He moved forward and touched my arm. It was the first time he had touched me in weeks that had nothing to do with therapy. "I'm so proud of you." 
As his fingers circled my elbow, and I tried not to shiver in his grasp, I asked softly, knowing the answer, "You didn't believe that I was going to walk again some day?" 
"Of course I did." He smiled wider. "But today was the first time that you've ever believed it." 
He was right. Having faith and having hope were not the same thing, and I was just now understanding that.
About Shelly Crane:

Shelly is a YA author from a small town in Georgia and loves everything about the south. She is wife to a wonderful husband and stay at home mom to two boisterous and mischievous boys who keep her on her toes. They currently reside in everywhere USA as they happily travel all over with her husband's job. 

She loves to spend time with her family and friends, go out to eat at new restaurants and site see in the new areas they travel to, listen to music and also LOVES to read. 

Her own books happen by accident and she revels in the writing and imagination process. She doesn't go anywhere without her notepad for fear of an idea creeping up and not being able to write it down immediately, even in the middle of the night, where her best ideas are born.


Jenna Lynne

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