Sunday, March 16, 2014

Review of "Wakefield" by Erin Callahan and Troy H. Gardner

I was given this to read for a book tour and I appreciate it. I was excited to sign up for it because it took place at a Mental Health Center inpatient unit and me, being a Psychiatric RN, thought it may be interesting, or atleast good. It was neither.

I was 40 percent into the book before something interesting happened. The main kids that were detained at Wakefield had no depth to them at all. Sure you had your suicide attempts, your cutters, your kids that thought they were vampires. But it did not go past that. In fact the
only TINY bit of information you got was out of the two main characters Max and Astrid. You got a little of their home life and background through conversations they had with each other.

So at 40 percent into the book you find out that some of the side effects (and I am not going to spoil it) that the kids were experiencing was coming from this drug that the head Psychiatrist Dr. Lycen was prescribing to what it seemed like were only certain kids. You think things are going to get interesting when you find out about this medication, but they do not.

Life at Wakefield continues on. There is an attempt to break out by some of the kids. And some other weird things happen after that, if developed more or organized better, this book would have been better.

There was an event at the end and it was a mess. This "explanation": of what kids had been wondering about, dreaming of, or feeling their whole time at Wakefield made no sense at all. I was lost and it was not interesting or as scary which is what I thought the author intended this part of the book to be.

93 percent of the way in, everything was finally explained. It was interesting for a little bit to finally find out this information. It was a great concept but the writing was horrible. I think with better writing this would have been a great book and is a great idea once you find out what is going on.

That being said it definitely fell flat for me. The pacing was off even though it built toward nothing. The character development - there was none. This book I hope is not a series because it was bad.

I was surprised to find out that one of the authors "took a job as a case manager at a residential facility similar to the one featured in Wakefield". I do not want to be rude but sometimes case managers do not spend the time that the RNs and other staff spend with the kids and therefore only see things on the surface, as in this book. Which I know is fiction but then do not refer to it from the standpoint of something tangible.

I do not even think any magical powers would have saved this book. But you can save yourself and read another book.