Cover Image: A Little Like Waking

A Little Like Waking

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I don't see this book it doing well in our libraries, but it's a really neat play on format and I hope it is successful.

Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan for the ARC.
Was this review helpful?
- thank you to netgalley and the publisher for an arc to review! 

- the story was a little disjointed for me, considering a lot of the plot was in the dream space both Zelda and Langston are stuck in together. the dreams were wacky and fantastical, and though i don’t mind that kind of thing, a lot of the randomness drew me out of the story and had me questioning a lot of what was going on. 

- a decent debut otherwise, but the randomness of the dreams really impacted my reading experience, as i felt myself drawing back more than being engaged.
Was this review helpful?
The concept of this book was so interesting and reminded me of "Elsewhere" by Gabrielle Zevin, which has always been one of my favorite books. However, the book started right in the middle of nonsensical action and after about 100 pages with no real plot, I just couldn't get into it. The author did a very good job of capturing the bizarre feelings that dreams can give you, there was just not enough to ground the book for me in understanding what the point was, so I couldn't get myself to finish it.
Was this review helpful?
I adored the story, the world building was amazing. I love meeting the different characters. I felt completely immersed in the story and couldn't stop reading it.  The writing was also really nice.  I couldn't put the book down and I can't wait for others to read and enjoy this story as well.
Was this review helpful?
'A Little Like Waking' is such a lovely book. If I had a quarter for all the times I've thought this, I would have enough for a down payment. And my thoughts ring very true. This novel oozes life from its pages. I feel like I was reading a graphic novel from how well every person, thing, and scene was described. The world-building is fantastic! Every character and thing written in this book is so relatable that they feel real. I want them to be real.

The main gang: Zelda, Langston, Erx, and Patches are charismatic and fun that they make any situation funnier/ridiculous the more you think of it. I didn't expect these characters to have such depth that all their actions seem unique to who they are, which is wonderful. For example, I especially didn't like Zelda because she seemed like the self-centered type. However, her character fits the narrative, so I came to like what she was supposed to be for the story! Patches the cat is my favorite because he adds so much prestige and snark to the writing and story; I adore him. 

From the title and beautiful cover, all the way to the acknowledgments, I was completely intrigued by this story and the themes it offered. Even when I put it down to take a beak, I still thought about it! (I'm thinking about it as you read this very sentence.) The beginning and the ending of this book are especially my favorites. The writing in these places is especially strong and well-organized!

There are a few things I didn't quite like in this novel, though: I found it odd that the book started in middle grade and seemed to suddenly switch to YA. I even assumed that Zelda was an 8th/9th grader initially! The book should consistently keep the YA themes and language throughout because it fits so well! The poetic and lyrical quality of the writing is so beautiful and fitting. Still, it becomes confusing when this is paired with a heavy imagery scene, as it became hard for me to understand what was happening. I had to reread some of these areas. 

And lastly, my favorite sections are the beginning and end. The middle of this book feels a bit random because the pacing feels like a push and pull. I also feel this with the development of Zelda and Langston's romance. Some ideas are rushed in some areas, and certain scenes are super slow and drags on. It makes sense because of the type of setting (A super wacky dream). Still, the middle could use better plot organization and pacing. The romance can feel less like a jump with more tension building because it feels like Zelda basically rushed everything (Which makes perfect sense in context, though!)

Overall, 'A Little Like Waking' is awesome. It's so relatable, and the writing is so fresh that it is such a satisfying read. Thank you to NetGallery and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for the opportunity to review this book!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers of this book for accepting my request on this read.

This book is definitely something I would’ve devoured as a young middle grade individual. It gives so many dimensions and creative thinking that I would’ve loved. As an adult it didn’t really connect with me how I wanted it to, but that’s not to say this isn’t a great book because it is. It’s something I’d  definitely recommend to the younger people in my life. I give it a solid 3.5/5
Was this review helpful?
This was a super fun, quick read that was a mix of dreamscape and fantasy. It was more of a middle grade novel to me, but it was fun going through the world!
Was this review helpful?
This story was not what I wasn't expected in a good way. This story blew my mind. I couldn't wait to pick it up when I had to put it down. This story kept me on the edge of my seat
Was this review helpful?
This book was a fun experience. It is a cute kids book about Zelda, a girl who realizes she is in a dream world when she runs into a new person for the first time in her life. Langston introduces her to the rest of the dream scape which he has been studying. Together they realize that whoever the dreamer is needs to wake up, and they go on an adventure to find the edge of the dream world to do so. With Patches the cat, Zelda, and Langston all convinced they’re the dreamer, they each have control over some of the dream world. But who is the dreamer? And what dreams and nightmares exist in the dreamscape?

This book feels like a fun mix of Alice in wonderland, The Good Place, and Inception. It feels whimsical and interesting, and the character development from everyone in the book (including the obviously dream created characters) is really fun. This is a lovely adventure about finding your strength and facing your fears.

Parents guide:
Sex & Nudity: mild 
Violence & Gore: mild 
Profanity: mild
Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking: mild
Frightening & Intense Scenes: mild ( death of a character on screen, death of a family member in the past, nightmares, someone in a coma)
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley and publishers for the opportunity to read and review. This book is definitely for a younger audience, I would put it in the middle grade category. Going in with that knowledge, the book was pretty good. The characters were alright, but there really was no like-likeness to them, the characterization fell flat and didn't find any connection to them. I found it quite hard to care about anything happening in the book unfortunately.
Was this review helpful?
i’m going to rate this book a solid 2 ⭐️. this was an extreme miss for me. i just didn’t really find anything memorable. the writing style was just okay, since i am not the biggest fan of third person pov. i didn’t relate to the characters at times. there wasn’t that magical and mystical feeling happening when reading. the book blurb said this was an “unconventional love story”, but only like one part talked about their romantic relationship. although the ending, i was satisfied and content with, and that was like the last 10% of the book. i just wish there was some consistency to where i enjoyed the book throughout, and not at the end. 

what drawn me to the book was the synopsis. it’s an unpredictable adventure where zelda is stuck in a dream and is trying to get out and go back to reality. she meets her dream boy, langston, and they are set out for an adventure trying to get out of the dream they are stuck in. i think the plot line for most of the book is figuring out who is the dreamer. this simple plot line turned into chaos! so many things were happening all at once, i felt a bit overwhelmed trying to process everything. it makes sense though because it is a dream where weird and odd things occur, but it just took away everything the story was trying to tell in my opinion. 

for instance, not trying to give anything away but there’s a talking cat named patches who’s with langston and zelda. there’s gym teachers on horses that started to randomly play dodgeball with zelda for no reason. a talking stuffed animal bear. outrageous ice cream flavors where the ice cream man was trying to sell to patches (the cat), and the cat just ends up choosing vanilla. someone trying to grow a corndog by using lemonade and it grew into a carnival ride. baby presidents. witches made out of cobwebs. patches randomly breaking out into a poem. also when talking about most of the dialogue, it just felt like someone was pressing random keys on the keyboard and hoped for the best. for instance, when the dialogue was in all caps didn’t do it for me, or dialogue that included the ‘#’ and ‘;’. 

overall, i just don’t think the book is for me. it may be for someone though. there are some illustrations in the book that were so detailed and gorgeous, i would say! it was probably the strongest part of the book because i was able to visualize what was going on in the chaotic plot lines. nonetheless, i am glad that i tried out a new genre! 

thank you netgalley and roaring brook press for the advanced reader copy! i’m really grateful! and if interested, this book will release on august 1st, 2023! 🌌💫✨
Was this review helpful?
What do a talking cat (whose actually dead), laundromat clown, and a town where everyone knows your name have in common? They are all a part of Zelda's dream. Or is it Langston's dream? Or Patches (the dead, talking cat)?

For Zelda, everyday feels the same. There's always a test she's running late for, the neighbor whose name she doesn't know giving her advice, the classmates who are suddenly nude or start to fly or both. It never seems strange to Zelda. Until a boy falls out of a bush and throws her dream off track. 

With the advice of a wizard and the help of Patches, Zelda and Langston team up to find the edge of the dream. The dream will morph along the way, pushing them closer and pulling them apart. All the while, no one quite knows what will happen if and when the dreamer wakes up. 

The text occasionally includes illustrations, which reassure you that yes, that wasn't a typo. That sentence about the clown or giant or band of witches was very much meant to be. A LITTLE LIKE WAKING is an unpredictable, surrealist meet cute that will appeal to romance readers, but also those who enjoy humorous adventures. Recommended for middle, high school, and public libraries.
Was this review helpful?
First off I just want to say thank you to the author , publisher and NetGalley for this arc . This is nothing against the author because I’m sure the author is absolutely amazing . But I dnf’d a book I just couldn’t get into the book it very much felt like a ya or teen book . I absolutely one hundred percent believe people will absolutely love the book this just wasn’t the book for me
Was this review helpful?
I really wanted to like this book. I loved the cover art and the description, and I figured this book would be an easy, engrossing read. I'm disappointed to say it was not for me. I picked up this book on multiple occasions, trying to get into it and failing each time. I found the characters grating and underdeveloped, and the chaos of the story made it hard to follow as a reader. I do think some of the prose in this book is absolutely lovely, and I did enjoy the illustrations. There were even moments I laughed out loud. Still, these moments were few and far between for me. I think there will be plenty of people who love this book, however the author's style and the ambiguity of the story resulted in me giving up at the halfway point instead of trying to keep pushing through.
Was this review helpful?
I read this book with my 12 year old daughter and we both loved it!
What a fantastic adventure we went on with Zelda! We never knew where she'd end up or what would happen next!
Was this review helpful?
Zelda is stuck inside a dream world where everyone knows her name and anything is possible. There, she meets Langston, a mysterious boy who she can’t stop thinking about. Together, they set off to try to figure out what is going on and hopefully find a way to wake up before it’s too late. Oh, did I mention there’s a talking cat? 

I found the writing to be childlike and whimsical, and in this case, given the subject matter, this wasn’t a bad thing at all and I believe that was intentional. It was confusing, especially at the beginning, but I’m sure that was intentional too-to make you feel what the character is feeling. It worked. 

This story was absolutely adorable and reminded me heavily of the movie Bedtime Stories that I used to love as a kid mixed with Fairly Odd Parents, but Zelda is her own Cosmo and Wanda. Call me a child, but I loved the added illustrations-I think it really brought the dream world to life. When you take this book at face value and for what the author intended, I think it definitely landed. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the kind of story I was looking for. However, I will not hold that against the book itself. 

Thank you to Macmillan children’s publishing, the author  and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
I DNF'd this book for now. I think that I ,ay pick it back up at a later date but I don't think that this book is for me at the moment
Was this review helpful?
3.75/5 stars! This book reminded me of a YA version of one of my favorite Robin Williams movies "What Dreams May Come." I even wondered if the name of the main character (Zelda), was in reference to Robin Williams' own daughter; secretly I hope so. I felt like Zelda was a fully-formed character and Langston was about 70% of one. But I also wonder if through the dream premise alone if that was an intentional choice to make him less than 3-dimensional. This was a fun story to follow and really captivated me as a reader.

I received an advance review copy for free through NetGalley, and I am leaving this review voluntarily
Was this review helpful?
"A Little Like Waking" is an imaginative adventure story through a surreal landscape. We follow Zelda and Langston through a dreamscape as they try to determine who is the dreamer (one of them? a townsperson? Patches the talking cat?), what each odd dream event symbolizes, and why has the dreamer been dreaming for so long. It's bursting with creativity (pay attention to the whole story of the laundromat clown) and at times quite funny—Langston's dream logic about the quality of his "map," for example, made me smile. It's poignant, too, as the teenage protagonists sift through what it means to be the hero of your own story. The narrative wanders at times, causing some of the scenes to feel redundant, but redeems itself at the end when a tight resolution brings sought after closure and answers. I recommend including this in your middle and high school classroom libraries. It won't attract every student, but it will be the exact quirky book that a handful of your students need.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book. 

A Little Like Waking is a mysterious tale of dreams and stories all wrapped into one. I found this book to be extremely clever and funny in the dry sort of way that I appreciate. Zelda was a great lead character. While we didn't learn too much about her outside of the dreams, she seemed like a very caring and gracious person, ready to sacrifice herself from gym teachers on horses with dodgeballs. Langston was just OK. I know the point was for him to be timid, but he was almost one dimensional. The book lost a star because of the supposed love story between Zelda and Langston. It was virtually non-existent. Patches also confused me since he was Zelda's cat, but I digress. Overall, I enjoyed this crazy tale but could have done without the love story, which is saying a lot as a romance reader.
Was this review helpful?