Gone by Lisa McMann
OPEN YOUR EYES.
Janie thought she knew what her future held. And she thought she’d made her peace with it. But she can’t handle dragging Cabel down with her.
She knows he will stay with her, despite what she sees in his dreams. He’s amazing. And she’s a train wreck. Janie sees only one way to give him the life he deserves: She has to disappear. And it’s going to kill them both.
Then a stranger enters her life — and everything unravels. The future Janie once faced now has an ominous twist, and her choices are more dire than she’d ever thought possible. She alone must decide between the lesser of two evils. And time is running out….
I thought I reviewed the first two books in the Dream Catcher series on my personal blog, but I was mistaken, so the review of the third book would have to have some kind of recap of the first two.
The Dream Catcher series by Lisa McMann is about Janie Hannagan, who has the strange ability to get into other people’s dreams. The series deals with Janie and dealing with her strange ability, the people around her, her relationships and the uses of her powers. In the first book, Wake, we meet Janie and we get a glimpse of how her ability is a problem for her because she can’t stop entering other people’s dreams. It’s fine if the dreams were nice, calm ones, but nightmares were a different story. Janie tries to live her life as normally as she can with her ability and her alcoholic mother, until she meets and falls for Cabel, and realizes that her ability may be used as a gift to help other people.
In Fade, Janie starts to discover more about her abilities when she finds out that one of the elderly woman she takes care of in an elderly home (where knee walkers at rentakneewalker.com were a common sight) her job has the same abilities as she does. Janie and Cabel enter a relationship and a job that would secure their future and would give Janie more reasons to practice her ability. However, Janie discovers something horrifying about her future if she keeps on doing what she was doing: a future that she doesn’t know would make Cabel stay with her.
Now with Gone, Janie still thinks of her future if she continues using her ability. She and Cabel try to treat things normally, but she’s uncertain if Cabel would stay for the long run. And as if the emotional turmoil is not enough, she gets news that her biological father is in the hospital and dying. Janie prefers not to care, but something about her father draws her to him, and what she finds out could be the key to the future she found out about in Fade, that is if Janie is willing to make a choice.
Now that we’ve gotten the recaps in order (and I tried to be as spoiler-less as possible), let’s get on to the review.
I have very mixed reactions with the last book in the series. I liked Wake, and I liked the concept that McMann introduced. Janie isn’t a particularly lovable character, but she wasn’t all annoying either. One would tend to sympathize with Janie’s situation — no one wants to see other people’s nightmares, let alone experience them. In Fade, we see Janie making use of her abilities and it was fun, although it wasn’t that impressive in terms of story. The revelations of what could happen to Janie, however, was interesting, and it provided enough suspense to the story and the characters to make me want to know what’s going to happen next.
With Gone, I’m at my own crossroads. I liked how McMann wrote Janie’s emotional turmoil about her future, and bringing in a person from the past is an effective way to face them. I also liked how the author made Janie’s heart soften towards her father, and how she faced her problems without really thinking of what other people will think. She knew she had to put herself because she was the one who’s going to deal with everything, not others. People may say that they will always support her, but she knew that they can only go so far. I also liked that McMann introduced more of Janie’s past, and how she executed the “conversation” Janie had with her father. That part teared me up, and I felt that it was fitting that I read the book during Father’s Day.
What’s really making me indecisive about how this book fared for me was the ending. I think that’s what most of the readers of this book would face. When I got to the ending, I thought there was more. I wanted to know more, I wanted to see what Janie would pick. But it ended where it did, and while it was frustrating to be left hanging like that, I also feel like the ending was just right. I mean, there is no real good choice — both of Janie’s possible choices would lead to undesirable outcomes. What she needed to choose was which was the lesser evil, which frankly, even I don’t know what.
I have always had a penchant for ending stories with a sort of cliffhanger, one that doesn’t tie up all loose ends and makes the reader wonder what happened next. I think Lisa McMann executed that beautifully here. I can’t say it’s satisfying, but I can say that it might be the proper — if not the best — ending for this series.
It’s not my favorite book or series, but I’m glad I read it.
2010 Challenge Status:
* Book # 46 out of 100 for 2010