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The book had my emotions going up and down There are not many books that i finish and then after, feel emotionally exhausted i can probably count the ones that do, on one handlove, humour, sex, self harm, euthanasia, dying, grieving, drugsWake not only has a gritty storyline but it is witty, moving and beautifully written the different perspectives of the same days of the week provide different perspectives of the main characters Jem and Willa What i love about both characters is that neither of them hold back from when they first met both Jem and Willa throw abuse at each other back and forth i loved how this book had a funny side as well as a very serious side at times though i started to resent the characters only to fall in love with them all over again what i liked about willa at the beginning was her stubbornness for not caring about what anyone thinks about her, and her recklessness i liked her snideness and her rudeness then i began to not like her for all these things as it seemed to cause nothing but hurt for her and jem what i loved about jem, was his romantic side and his vulnerable side even though he was so self conscious, he dealt with his illness very bravely, and didn t want to give up of course feeling sorry for jem was to be expected especially everything he went through but at times i wanted to shout at him and tell him to man up i think he lack of self esteem obviously has a lot to do with his illness and they way people treat him willa is exactly what jem needed and vice versa before each other they were a mess but together eventually they cleaned one another up Five stars xxx I did not enjoy this book not at all.The author claims a degree in English Literature, yet consistently breaks the I me rule This is one of the easiest and common rules of grammar, and if a published author delivers a work with this mistake I find it unforgivible Was there even a proof reader or editor involved It is just unacceptable for I to see this error see how annoying that is Then there is the problem of the characters and their sad drama Willa is a damaged smartass living with her not out gay brother Jem is a boy with cancer.We are subjected to these two constantly insulting each other, Jem vomiting in great detail, and Willa dealing with the death of her sister The characters are never really developed, and when we are told that they have feelings for each other I can t help but ask, Why Why do they have such deep feelings I never got it.The book last forever Every last detail of each hospital visit is described in painful detail I get it The kid is sick But, I don t need to have the gritty details to feel for him Pretty much, as a rule, just include one or two vomit scenes per book I know it happens, but don t need the play by play.In the end I guess they end up happily ever after The epilogue is set a few months after the end of the book, and I didn t really see the need for it We are treated to the emotional turmoil of Jem s first haircut Again, I understand the emotion, but at this point I m wondering where the therapist is, because these people are NOT handling their grief well. Eighteen Isn T Too Young To Run Your Life Into The Ground, But It S Not Too Old To Fix It, Either The Desire For Change Drives Willa Kirk From St John S, Newfoundland Back To Hometown Of Smiths Falls, Ontario, Away From Her Mistakes And The Place Where Her Sister Died She S Looking For A Place To Settle And Rebuild, But Jem Harper Just Wants To Get Out Of Town, Back To The Life He Knew Before Cancer By Letting The Tragedies In Their Lives Define Them, They Are Both Dying A Little Every Day Welcome To The Wake First I MUST start this review off by saying I HAVE NEVER read a book that had so many things tie in to one thing Abria has done a PHENOMENAL job of weaving a story of love,loss and secrets Where decisions are made and consequences are suffered I was so emotional reading this book because I had just finished another book that dealt with Cancer and loss.Jem was a very interesting character for me because he was a snarky little thing He was angry and confused and hurt and scared all in one and hid it well from his family and friends He is very close to his little sister and they share every thing and she even gives up her room so he can have privacy when he is sick He is in remission from the cancer but he is sick from all the medicine and very cranky Then Jem starts school again after thr treatments but his heart just isn t there because he is always tired and sick But he keeps going to school and it is there that he meets the new girl Willa Although he finds out she is not new at all because she used to live there but then she moved away and now she is back They start off with a lot of banter and snarkiness between them because Willa dishes out what he gives her They have this love hate relationship and go through a lot together.Willa has secrets and she is willing to go to the grave with them because all she wants to do is forget She moves in with her brother to start a new life and move on from the death of her sister from Cancer She becomes friends with Jem and treats him like he is not sick They share a lot in common and they are good for one another Willa realizes that Jem needs her in so many ways and she is willing to help him.This story was so heart wrenching and so intense that at times I was laughing and crying all in one This is a must read because it delves into emotions and situations that may arise for so many teens that are sick or who have family members that sre sick It will take you on an emotional ride and in the end it will leave you breathless.While I was reading this book a song came to mind that reminded me of Jem and Willa My Love by Sia and here is the link to the video I was not sure what to expect when I first started reading this book and please do not judge a book by its cover Many of us do, myself includedand I have found many GREAT books that I would not have really paid much attention to just by the cover This one included Willa and Jem have a lot in common, but they share a lot of differences also They get placed together as project partners in Sociology class and neither are too thrilled about it I loved their bantering back forth during their very first conversations I guess that I should mention that Jem is in remission of Cancer and Willa had lost her sister to cancer Jem still wallows in pity and hates the fact that people tip toe around him He quickly learns that Willa will do no such thing and just treats him like she would treat anyone else He loves it Willa is still trying to recover from losing her sister, but she holds a major secret that she had never told anyone She likes Jem, but tries to stay away when he starts to get too clingy.The two go on a rocky path between fighting their differences in opinion and trying to work through each of their demons together as well as individually There will need to be a lot of forgiveness and a lot of hope for the two to come together and finally be able to live the life they were meant to My favorite character was Ava, she was very snarky and a wise a I loved every minute with her She told it just like she saw it No sugar coating needed and if you didn t like it oh well There are many serious issues that this book deals with besides love..there is the aspect of cancer, assisted suicide and suicide itself I really liked the depiction of each of these scenarios and felt that the writer had hit the nail on the head I would suggest this book for a very mature teenI like you, he insists I believe you Willa Yeah I think I m gonna throw up Holding his head over the basin while he pukes, I can t help but think this is exactly how we first met Green Jell O included I think the reason fan fiction works so well is because we all ready have a relationship with the characters, so while there is a little explanation in the start of fan fiction stories about who is who, we pretty much already have it down And that was a huge issue with Wake, which used to be Dead on my Feet when it was still a Twilight fan fiction I loved the story when it was up on ffn, and I thought for sure I would love it as a book That just wasn t the case really A lot of that die to the fact that the author pulled it from ffn, changed the names and title, and published Sure, a few minor details were changed, but Wake and Dead on my Feet are the same exact thing Not to say I didn t like it the second time around, because I did The only problem I had was that I was not as invested in Jem Edward or Willa Bella as I was in the original In fact, I was confused as to who was who for about the first two or three chapters It took me a minute to figure out that Jem and Harper are the same person a la Edward Cullen Jem Harper The stories plot itself is genius She takes an ugly plot line and makes it funny, but brutally honest at the same time, and that is something I have always admired about Abria Mattina she isn t afraid to make us feel uncomfortable Cancer is scary, and never once did she sugar coat it Did I say it s almost 800 pages long Yeah, she cut nothing, which proved to be kind of boring at times, because while the little sister and her crush worked in the fic, it did not work in the book None of it worked, and Elsie and Kipp s relationship could have been left out completely Elsie Alice has a big enough role in Wake as it is Kipp Jasper added nothing to the plot, where in the fic it worked because they are Twilight characters In the end I m glad I read it again I wish she would have put a little effort into making it original, but it s a story that will stay with me for the rest of my life The last chapter is different and much better than Dead on my Feet s, and that left me with a good feeling She closed it up nicely I will totally rec this to family members and friends who have not read the original fan fiction version, but if you have, don t bother unless you feel like reading the same thing again which you might It s a fun read I love their banter. ok so the general gist is that this book centres around the two main characters, Willa a troubled girl who from the start has been through a lot but you re not quite sure of what And Jem who is in a remission from cancer It deals with themes of loss, guilt, depression and fighting to get your life back after surviving cancer, radiation chemo and all the side effects that come with them When I first started reading this book I made a few assumptions about how I thought the story would pan out As I continued reading, the author, through her incredible characters battered down every single one of my predictions These characters were honest and for once they react to situations much realistically than I realise I ve come to expect in books The characters have been through so much and with the book being like 700 pages long we are able to slowly find out all the secrets as they do.Jem the male lead was so true to life and I love how unlike most books he doesn t just overcome all of his body issues because his love interest says he looks fine I m so tired of someone having long term issues with themselves and literally getting over them in 2 seconds There was a bit of a role reversal in this book in that Willa was the one with the most experience and also the one reluctant to fall into a relationship All the characters, primary and secondary brought something to the table Jems whole family was awesome but I have to say Elise his little sister was definitely a scene stealer for me I personally know a few families who have gone are going through something similar to what Jems is and I was amazed by how true to life this book was I really liked how the author didn t feel the need to fix all the problems, because in real life some things are fixable while other things people just have to come to terms with things and move on I didn t quite know what to expect when I read this but I m glad I did This book is the result of an author who than excels in writing honest and larger than life characters It lets you into the world that millions of families all over the world are going through and it shows that great writing doesn t need massive plot twists to keep the reader hooked.Also I can t lie I originally wanted to read it cos of the EPIC book cover Didn t even know what genre it was just like click to read Gosh my good reads to read button gets some ABUSE We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival Winston Churchillin her desire to start a new life, Willa Kirk goes back to her hometown of Smith Falls, Ontario to live with her older brother Frank she meets Jem Harper who is on remission from cancer and as their relationship progresses, their lives and of those around them will never be the same author Abria Mattina s novel is certainly a hefty one and it deals with a lot of subject matter disease, teenage angst, suicide, sex, family dynamics, friendship, intimacy, homosexuality and deep dark secrets initially, Willa s and Jem s voices speak alternately later on in the book, Elise s voice, Jem s sister, is heard each has a story to tell and through these different points of view, the reader gets a clear picture of what is going on the language is contemporary and very graphic especially the dialogs between Willa and Jem the exchanges are raw, heavy and very emotional and affected me in ways than one particularly Jem s battle with cancer his struggle reminded me so much of my Mom whom i lost to the Big C a couple of years ago memories of those times spent in clinics and hospitals with her kept recurring in my mind although this was not an easy read for me, i have only high praises for this book it is is well researched, brilliantly written and filled with flesh and blood characters that leap off from its 700 plus pages do not let that number and the heavy themes daunt you or keep you from grabbing a copy of this must read novel i assure you that the time spent reading this phenomenal book is worth every letter, word, sentence, paragraph and punctuation mark Disclosure of Material Connection a copy was provided by the author i did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was i obligated to write a positive one all opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book s publisher and publicist or the readers of this review this disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Wake by Abria Mattina was a free book offered for the Kindle, which I grabbed since I m always interested in reading self published books, especially young adult Wake has received positive reviews for the most part, and this is a heavily, emotional young adult novel that s written an adult audience than a teen one There s a great deal of adult language, aka cursing, no fade to black love scenes and a lot of talk about dying, euthanasia and death Wake has a great deal to recommend for it but there are many cons I have, including a big, big issue that unfortunately ruined my reading experience when I found out where this story evolved from Wake has many POVs, here, but starts out with the POVs from the two main characters Jem, the male protagonist is recovering from cancer and is still dealing with the side effects of his illness His family is very supportive of him, including his younger sister Elise who is very protective of Jem and makes him homemade milkshakes, the only thing he can keep down Because Jem missed too many days of school because of his cancer, he has stayed back a year He s not thrilled about going back to school because he s still very sick He can t eat correctly, lost a great deal of weight that makes him look skeletal and is bald He feels like a freak and everyone treats him with kid gloves He just wants to be a normal teenage boy again but his body stops him for doing so During his Social Studies class, Jem is partnered up with a new girl, Willa He and Willa don t hit it off right away Jem wants to be left alone but for some reason Willa sneaks into his thoughts and he decides to give her a chance and see if they can be friends Willa on the other hand isn t sure what to think of Jem She s really not interested in being friends with him or anyone else at her new school She now lives with her older brother since she can t live with her parents, especially with her mother who can barely look or talk to her Willa is hiding a big secret that has to do with the death of her sister who also died from cancer She seems to understand what Jem is going through and goes out of her way to make him soup like she did with her sister to help him gain weight, including establishing a relationship with him, although she doesn t want to rely on Jem too much because there s a possibility his cancer could come back and he could die.Jem starts to fall in love with Willa and wants to break down those emotional walls she has put up around her Most of the time she drives him crazy and they end up fighting and screaming and not talking to one another for days But eventually they come back to one another because of the bond they have created Then Willa takes a chance and tells Jem her dark secret, which causes Jem to lash out at her where she almost falls into a destructive behavior that could destroy not only herself but Jem who feels the only reason he can keep living is because of Willa.Wake does hit you hard Abria doesn t hold back any punches, especially with Jem and what he goes through because of his cancer For the most part, Jem s illness was handled wonderfully and I do wish there were YA type books with the POV from the primary male character I adored Jem and everything he stood for I rooted for him to get better and wanted him to live a full and happy life I loved Jem s relationship with his family, but his sister Elisa is unrealistic because she acts much younger than she is She s a sixteen year old who acts like a pre teen or perhaps even younger and she had a very grating personality.I couldn t stand Willa The way she acts is a big contradiction most of the time and the twist regarding her sister fell flat for me, as well as the constant fighting, and tension for tension sake between Jem and her was incredibly annoying At times I felt these two were perfect for one another, but then something would happen and I wanted to smack them and tell them to search elsewhere for satisfaction Their relationship was a combustible one, but by the end I did believe their HEA, although the ending was too pat and sudden A big problem I had with Wake was the length It could have been cut by 100 or 150 pages Half way through there s too much head jumping and POVs that threw me out of the story and far too many secondary characters who don t seem to have any importance as a whole to the story There were also some actions and scenes that don t make sense and again don t bring any importance to the plot or help motivate Jem or Willa The language and sex is in your face, not watered down, but does have a sense of truthfulness to it The way Jem obsesses with sex and having sex with Willa is exactly what I would expect from a boy his age Even though this is considered a young adult novel, again with the situations, language and sex, it fits of an adult audience Even though this is about teens, the subject matter is very adult There s a lot of cursing and many sexual situations, none fade to black that you usually find in young adult books When it comes to young adult books, IMO, I expect it to be subtle But again that s my opinion and a subjective view.I was ready to give Wake a B grade because I was engaged to a point, but as I was reading I found out a big WTF for me I had no idea this was former Twilight fan fiction Because of that I m lowering this a grade and can t recommend Wake to readers Some may think I m being mean and cruel as a reviewer, but my opinion about publishing fan fiction that has been posted on a fan fiction board, much like E.L James, among other authors where they make their money off their former fan fiction is very well known and one I don t agree with If I find out a book I ve read is former fan fiction that has been published, as is the case of most Twilight fan fiction being published these days, I will lower my grade, and so is the case with Wake.Wake has a lot to recommend for it but needs to be heavily edited and fixed to be a cohesive story I can see there being a sequel As for reading that sequel if it does get written, I won t be reading it because after reading some excerpts of Dead on my Feet starring Edward and Bella as Jem and Willa, I ve become sour regarding Wake and will try to find other young adult fiction that isn t former Twilight fan fiction Was once Twilight fan fic called Dead on My Feet by Cesca Marie Can be read here Wow, Wake was wow Insanely long, but not long Sometimes books seem to drag on and on and you re just thinking When will this endeven if they are not long you still fell like they re huge Wake was actually long, but I just wanted and and Books are small chapters of the characters lives Wake was many chapters for Willa and Jem and I loved it and I could easily read another book about them.I got to know the characters inside and out completely Their points of view, their pasts, what haunts them and how they evolve Which was beautiful It was not a sad story, not at all it was tough, but not sad And the whole ending was great.From the moment I started the book, Jem s voice sucked me into the story and I was addicted Both Jem and Will had such strong voices and they were so so sofunny Lots and lots of swearing, but God, I don t think I ve ever laughed so much with a book Especially considering that every single joke here was dark and bittersweet And no matter how depressing the situation was, there was always some sarcastic bitter joke somewhere A Fantastic approach to a novel that revolves around a cancer patient.I highly Highly suggest you read Wake Won t regret it, and you ll be very satisfied You should do your best to read it slowly, savor each chapter, word and joke It s so worth it I LOVED this book I bow to author Abria Mattina She wrote and exceptional book, and I m still blown away by how good it was.Strong characters, fierce novel and a new favorite Wake is simply Amazing.