Wake by Mattina is a beautiful yet compelling story about two teenagers who form a reluctant friendship to each other. Wake will make you want to smack the characters and also cry with them during their journey of finding common ground and friendship. I for one felt bad for both teenagers and their pasts, one dealing with a deadly disease and the other dealing with a family situation. Both Jem (cancer patient in remission) and Willia (the popular girl with a past) dialogue in the story was very real and fresh. I really enjoyed reading the talk between them as they learn each other’s secrets. Mattina has a way of writing about the two as if they are actually talking to you and it makes the book entertaining and a great read. Those who are a looking for a book that you can learn from, but also a beautiful story about friendship then you will have to read Wake.
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 her 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 more every day. Welcome to the wake.