Monday, May 13, 2013

SPOTLIGHT: Wide Awake by Shelly Crane

Our review for Wide Awake by Shelly Crane

4.5 Stars

If a horrible accident left you with no memories and a second chance to change your life would you take it?

 Emma Walker, now 19 years old, has been in a coma for six months. Prior to her coma, she was a spoiled teenager, senior in high school with a popular playboy boyfriend. She was the leader of the pack so to speak.  Now that she is awake, she can’t remember anyone or anything about her life. When she wakes up at Regal Hospice and not the hospital, she quickly realizes that they weren't expecting her to make it.
Everyone is a stranger including her parents, Rhett and Isabella. Everyone also expects her to be who she was but the problem is, the more she learns about herself the more she wishes she were still in a coma. The one person who doesn’t judge her, scold her or force her to be who she was is Mason. 

“It doesn’t matter who you were or what you’ve done in the past. The only thing that matters is who you are right now.”

Mason Wright is tattooed, gorgeous and has been Emma’s physical and occupational therapist.  At 23, he is only a few years older than her. He has been caring for her since was transferred to Regal City Hospice a few weeks after her accident. He is invested in getting Emma back on her feet and to helping her recover with no added pressure. She is beautiful, raw and sweet. He cares for her more than he should and he does his best to distance himself from her. He needs this job for his family’s sake. 

“Emma?” he whispered. When I didn’t answer, I felt his fingers under my chin, lifting my head to force me to look at him. I stared silently. “ are a really great girl, but I...”
Girl... I sighed and closed my eyes for a pause. I knew what else was coming, so I forged on to stop him. “I understand.”

When Emma is back on her feet, she attempts to embrace her old life at home, at school and even with her boyfriend, Andrew. She quickly learns that trying to embrace what everyone wants her to, won’t work. She doesn’t want any of it. She is disappointed in herself for being so shallow. It is time to make everyone understand that she may never be the “Emmie” everyone wants her to be. 

Rhett swallowed and stick his hands into his grey suit jacket pockets. “You want to go to school? You’ve always done anything and everything to get out of it. Puppy dog eyes, lying about being sick, begging...literal begging.”

When Emma finds she just isn’t fitting the mold, she finds comfort hanging out with Mason. Already warned to stay away from him, they have this connection that can’t be ignored.  The more they are together the harder it is to fight their feelings for each other. 

My breaths were raging. I tried to calm myself. “I...” I failed.
“I want to give you back your first kiss, the one that jerk stole from you. And I want it to be something that even a coma can’t make you forget.” I gave him the smile he wanted. Even though I couldn’t remember my life, I was positive no one had ever said anything like that to me before.

 Like everything in life there are bumps in the road. When Emma learns of Mason's secrets, he expects her to run away. Mason has taught her so much, even his book of useless facts he gave her has helped. Did you know that on average, people are more scared of spiders than death? Taking the time to absorb what she had learned and everything she is feeling, she needs some space and Mason reluctantly gives it to her. The one thing Emma knows is that she can’t live another day without Mason in it. He has been there for her from the moment she opened her eyes. Finally feeling like things are falling into place, her world is rocked again with the shocking truth about her accident but she doesn't have to go through it alone, Mason is by her side every single step of the way.

Emma is able to form new relationships with her parents and she puts her foot down with her so called friends.  Emma is feeling blessed. Given a second chance and she is going to make the most of it and do what makes her happy and be who she wants to be.

The things we should focus on in any life shouldn’t be what we’ve lost, but what we’ve gained

Shelly Crane is such a talented writer. She has such an amazing capability of being able to suck you into her stories with just a few paragraphs. She made Emma so vulnerable but at the same time so strong. Mason *sighs* seriously, He is absolutely 100% loveable and sexy and just so perfect. They saved each other, they balanced each other. To see the hurt and hope her parents had, was just heart breaking.

I adored this story and some of the lessons that went along with it. I especially loved how at the beginning of each chapter we were given a useless fact, I found myself wanting to know what fact would be next. I loved them.

Shelly has written an emotionally beautiful story. With every tear, smile, touch and "Hey you’s", this story really had me Wide Awake. 


Our interview with Emma and Mason

“This is it, Mason’s tattoo shop, we are here ladies,” Jen says as she puts the car in park. “Hmm, maybe I will get another tattoo,” Kristie says, while getting out of the car. Lisa laughs and says, “I don’t think your hubby would approve, he freaked out about your last one.” Kristie’s makes a face then says, “Well, we will see.” We walk toward the back door and Jen knocks while stating, “That was so nice of him to close up shop for a few so we could conduct this interview.” Lisa and Kristie nod their heads in agreement. Lisa says, “Considering the situation with his mother and his younger brother, it 's pretty cool he was able to open this shop and become an Occupational Therapist as well, it says a lot about the type of person he is. They are both amazing people. I am so excited to meet them,” Kristie says, while the door is pulled open and both Emma and Mason are there to greet us. Kristie extends her hand, “I’m Kristie and this is Lisa and Jen, we're the Three Chicks. It is such an honor to meet you both.” Jen smiles and says, “Your story was amazing and thank you so much for taking the time to meet with us.” After our introductions Lisa clears her throat and asks, “So, where would you like to do this?” We follow Mason down the hall into the main area. He directs us to the waiting area and we have a seat on the comfy couch. “Ready to begin?” Kristie asks while getting comfortable. Both Emma and Mason nod yes......

Three Chicks: Emma,What does it feel like not being able to remember your past? Has it been a blessing or a curse?
 *looks at Mason. He gives sympathetic smile* Both. I mean, I didn't like who I was before. And I would never have changed the way I did had the accident not happened. And Mason...I wouldn't know him. So yeah, blessing.

Three Chicks: Mason, When Emma first woke up, it was obvious that there was a connection between you two. When did you realize that you loved her?
*chuckles* Would saying the first time I saw her be too cheesy? Honestly, after that party that night, I had every intention of finding out who she was. It was fate that she fell into my lap at the Hospice. I knew right then that even if she slept forever, she was the girl I was supposed to love.

Three Chicks: Emma, You tried to be the old Emma by allowing your parents (and others) tell you what to do, how to act, what to wear and who to date. Why did you allow this when clearly you knew it wasn’t happening?
It's who I WAS once. Can you imagine waking up one day and everyone telling you that you were this person. You couldn't remember who you were at all, so don't you think you might try to see if what they told you carried any water? I was nobody and they told me I was somebody. I had to give it a shot. And I don't regret it. My parents deserved that I at least tried.

Three Chicks: Mason, Why was Emma’s mother so adamant about you staying away from her?
She was upset that I didn't have any money. That I was older. Emma was my patient. That my mom was sick and she knew I had no intentions of leaving her. She didn't want that life for her daughter. But she just didn't realize that her daughter was different

Three Chicks: Emma, Mason was there from the moment you woke up. Although you had no clue who you are/were when did you realize that you loved him?
I think I fell in love with him a little every day. Even when he was pushing me away for my own good, to let me just get better and figure things out, he was still so supportive and amazing. But the day I knew without a shadow of doubt was the day that I walked by myself for the first time. He let all his true feelings shine right on his face and it was obviously right than what he had been doing. It sounds strange, knowing when to hold on is just as important as knowing when to hold back. For Mason to see that and not take advantage of the situation showed me right then and there that he cared for me more than I ever knew. My love bubbled up to the surface and stayed there.

Three Chicks: Mason, You gave Emma a bunch of mixed signals. Why did you let her in and then push her away?
She needed to get better. She needed to figure out what she wanted, to see if her memories would come back after seeing a glimpse of the old her. Plus, she was my patient. What kind of man would I have been had I just swooped in and claimed her when she didn't even know who she was yet? It was really hard to just let her be. I felt awful that she could see my struggle with it, but the pull to her was driving me crazy while I still tried to do the right thing.

Three Chicks: Emma, When you found out the truth about what happened that night of your accident? What was going through your mind?
How could he? How could someone who claimed to love me just leave me there, even if he thought I was dead. How could he come and try to pick up where we left off and pretend that never happened, and why did he think that doing that was the best way to make it up to me? And why did I call him that night?

Three Chicks: Mason, You were there with Emma when the truth about her accident was confessed. What was going through your mind?
Honestly...*rubs Emma's thigh with him palm* I really just thought I was going to kill him. I thought after the bullcrap he spouted, he deserved it. But I could never do that to Emma. I just hoped I could control myself.

Three Chicks: Emma, Has your family finally come to terms with the fact that “Emmie” is gone?
Yes. I no longer feel like a stranger there. Things are really good with them. My brother and sister are probably the only ones who still seem a little strange about it, but that's definitely because I don't see them that often. It's hard to get to know them and let them get to know the new me.

Three Chicks: Mason, You haven’t had the easiest life and sometimes you feel unworthy. How has Emma’s love for you changed that? How does she make you feel?
*smiles, bashful* Like I'm not worthless. If someone like her, this gorgeous girl who's been through so much, can look at me and honestly see what's behind all the guilt I felt? *shakes head* you'll never know what that weight being lifted felt like. 

Three Chicks: Emma, Do you still read the book of useless facts?
Every day. We've even found more volumes and different editions of them. It's our thing to find them all and know them all. It might sound silly, but not being able to remember my life makes me crave things that I can remember. Silly facts seem insignificant, but these kinds of things were the only memories that carried through the coma with me.

Three Chicks: Mason, Why did you leave that book for Emma?
I just thought it would take her mind off things. Learn some things that had absolutely no meaning or reason to them, but it was something she could control. I wanted to do anything I could to help her through those first few hard months.

Three Chicks: Emma, Besides the Dragonfly, any new tattoos?
Not yet, but I plan to get more. It hurt, like really hurt, but I like the idea of Mason marking me. *Mason gives her a sly grin* Shut up. *Laughs*

Three Chicks: Mason, What was going on with you and Adeline? She seemed to have had an ulterior motive, especially with the advice she gave to Emma.
Mason: Adeline is a piranha. My very first day at the hospice, she was overly throwing herself at me. I wasn't dating anyone and I think it was just a blow to her ego that I wasn't interested. I'm sure it was all over my face when I looked at Emma that I absolutely adored her. Pretty quick, Adeline caught on and began to practically crawling all over me every chance she got. It took a few times of me making sure she understood that there was no chance for us for her to get it.
Emma: You never told me that. What do you mean?
Mason: *touches her chin* Nothing, baby. It doesn't even matter. She's sad. And a little pathetic. *looks back at the Three Chicks, but pulls Emma closer with an arm around her waist* She took it out on Emma. I hated that, but knew Emma would be out soon and wouldn't ever have to see her again. I'm sure she's moved on by now.
Emma: *mutters under breath* I highly doubt that.
Mason: *smirks and shakes head*

Three Chicks this question is for you both: Where do you see yourselves in 5 years?
Mason: To the ends of the earth, anywhere Emma goes.
Emma: Ah! Nothing I say will matter now. That was the sweetest thing.
Mason: It was the truth. I'm doing what I always wanted. Now I want you to find your dream and go for it. I'll be right behind you.
Emma: *Sniffs and blinks rapidly* Next question please before I cry.

Three Chicks, Another question for the both of you: What do second chances mean to you?
Mason: Emma is my second chance. I never thought I'd be able to be with someone. I never thought I could love anyone and be worthy of them loving me back. But... *looks at Emma* my second chance came along in the form of a sexy girl who everyone thought was broken. But she wasn't. She was perfect the way she was.
Emma: Aw, you're gonna make me cry. I love you.
Mason:  I love you.
Emma: Obviously, my second chance means the world to me. A second chance is better than sleeping for twenty years, right?

Three Chicks: We enjoyed the useless facts so much that we searched for a few that weren't mentioned and we wanted share them with you. Did you both know that.....
It is impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.
Slugs have 4 noses.
Elephants can’t jump, every other mammal can.

BOTH: Those are awesome! 

“Can I just say how truly awesome you two are. I mean seriously, life handed you some pretty crappy cards and you have managed to keep on going and with a positive outlook on things. You both are such inspirations and such great role models,” Kristie says to them in awe. Lisa and Jen are nodding profusely wiping away a few tears. “Again, thank you so much for meeting with us. It has been amazing,” Jen says, as she and Emma hug. Lisa turns and hugs Mason and gives me a wink in the process then says, “Our Kris here was thinking about getting another tattoo, you think you can do it?” Kristie’s eyes pop open and she immediately blushes and gives Lisa the death glare. Everyone starts to laugh and Kristie states, “Well, I am not really sure of what I want right now. I'm still brainstorming.” We head back down the hall to the back door. Mason kindly holds it open for us as we exit his shop. The three of us turn and Lisa says, “You two are going to be just fine. Thanks so much and good luck with everything!”. We all wave goodbye and the three of us head back to the car.

Note from the author: Be sure to look for more fun facts in Milo's book, Wide Open, coming out the end of this year.

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1 comment:

  1. Aw such a great little interview, thanks Shelly and you Three Chicks!


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