Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Gorgeous. Fearless. Dangerous. They're the kind of girls you envy; the kind of girls you want to hate. Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Lexi and Thea have caught everyone's attention - but it's Gemma who's attracted theirs. She's the only they've chosen to be part of their group.
Gemma seems to have it all - she's carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door. He's always been just a friend, but this summer they've taken their relationship to the next level, and now there's no going back. Then one night, Gemma's ordinary life changes forever. She's taking a late night swim under the stars when she finds Penn, Lexi and Thea partying on the cove. They invite her to join them, and the next morning she wakes up on the beach feeling groggy and sick, knowing something is different.
Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price. And as she uncovers the truth, she's forced to choose between staying with those she loves - or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets.
After finishing Amanda Hocking's Trylle series, a series that I enjoyed immensely despite some of its critics, I was really looking forward to seeing what else the author would put up onto the reading table. Wake, the first of a new young adult trilogy, was a very promising start to a series and even with the smallest of flaws I was still entranced by the entire tale weaved together by some beautiful oceans, cutesy romances and some of the most deadliest of mythological creatures known to us all.
Now unlike the author's previous series, WAKE is told from two points-of-view by two sisters, the youngest sister, Gemma, and her slightly older sister, Harper, who couldn't be anymore different to one another. However, the tale is mostly focused on Gemma, an aspiring sixteen-year-old Olympic swimmer whom is caught up in a deadly scheme by three insanely beautiful-but-strange girls that are new to the small seaside town, Penn, Lexi and Thea. These three girls may seem innocent at first, but unknown to most, these strangers want Gemma for one purpose and for one purpose only, one that you will find out about soon enough. But when Gemma wakes up one morning - scratched, bruised, alone, and wrapped in a gold fishing net, and when people within the small seaside town begin to disappear and be found dead, it's up to Gemma, her sister, and some possible new love interests for both of the girls to figure out what's going on . . . before Gemma becomes something wrong and monstrous.
Okay I'll go ahead and say it! I wasn't necessarily blown away by this title compared to Hocking's other YA series and because of my own reasonings, but I did get sucked into the story regardless. What stood out for me in this book personally was not the romance but the friendship and the overall relationships that were shared between the two sisters, Gemma and Harper, and I loved how those two interacted with one another and with me getting to see what sisters are really like under one roof. A secret part of me admits, since being the only child, wished I had this type of sister kinship in my life because I love reading about it!
When it comes to the characters, Gemma and Harper can easily be depicted as being different for obvious reasons and more so in their personalities than anything else. Harper, being the oldest sister, was much more likable and I could see much of myself in her to relate to since she was the one being the strongest, the most head-strong and just the kind of girl who thinks before she acts. Gemma, on the other hand, was the impulsive sister, the one who is a bit more selfish than most and was too often caught up in the moment than one should be, leading her into some pretty dangerous situations. But on a whole, I loved these two sisters and I really enjoyed their own sets of adventures along the way. The same goes with the villains of the story, Penn, Lexi, and Thea, the newbies in the town.
Ahhhhhhhh, these three girls were my favourite part of the book. There was something so wrong about them and yet so right at the same time too. I mean, by reading the plot and learning about Penn, Lexi and Thea as you go along, it was pretty darn obvious what they were from the very beginning, but do keep in mind they are not what you first might believe them to be and once all of the mythology is out in the open (myths that are a little confusing at first), you will soon begin to be mesmerized by these three strange girls and desperately wanting to know more and more about them and what exactly they are up to. Trust me here: You feel like you should stay away from these girls and yet you just . . . can't!
But unlike the girls in WAKE, what I struggled with the most with was the romance introduced to the storyline and it was probably the reason why I didn't give this book a higher star rating. The romance kind of ruined it for me to be honest with you all, it really did. Both sisters, Gemma and Harper, have their own set of romances throughout the book but that's the thing . . . romances are supposed to knock you on your feet and fly banners for the boy's teams, but for whatever reason I found the romance was too bland and too insta-love for my liking, more so for Gemma's love interest that happened far too quickly. Hmm, I guess you will have to be judge of it yourselves when you come to read this book and see what you think in the end of it.
Overall, while I wasn't totally amazed by WAKE but with a heart-stopping ending and so many questions left imprinted on my mind, I have to say I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of its sequel, Lullaby, which is out now!
3 1/2 / 5 stars