Don’t Wake Me Up

Young Adult

PARANORMAL:  On the outside Colleen is your typical high schooler, but on the inside she possesses a unique ability: she can astro-project to the spirit world.  As she struggles to deal with her father’s death, her mother's helicopter parenting, and her abusive boyfriend, she is also working a side job in the spirit world, where she helps spirits with unresolved issues to cross over.  This is where she meets Daemon, a recently deceased her own age, and they quickly fall for one another.

This story deals realistically with how an abusive person can keep hold over a young girl’s psyche.  Readers dealing with similar challenges would be able to easily relate to scenes that touch on that issue.  The characters are fairly well fleshed out, and even with the perspective being in the first person, each character is distinct, with its own voice.

The biggest problem with this story is that it’s hard for the reader to determine what they should be rooting for.  There are so many conflicts, the reader is left feeling confused as to what the plot is about.  It starts out seeming like Colleen’s challenge is to disconnect from her abusive boyfriend, but this conflict quickly changes to something else, and then it changes again, and yet again.  The end is wrapped up with details that leave the reader wondering what happened.  The last scene feels very unclear and ambiguous.  With a bit of refinement to the plot, the characters would have supported the story for an interesting and unique read.  

MB Rose