Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Awake - YA Book Review

What would you do if everything you thought you knew turned out to be a lie? Is your family really your family? Is your boyfriend really your boyfriend?

That's sort of the premise behind Natasha Preston's YA novel Awake. Scarlett lives with her mom, dad, and brother in a very normal setting. She goes to school, has friends, and lives a very normal life. The only exception is that Scarlett doesn't remember anything before she was 4 years old due to the traumatic experience of surviving a house fire.

Or so she's been told.

Not having those memories freaks out Scarlett. (Although, I don't remember things from before I was 4 years old, and I think that's totally normal for most human beings traumatic experiences or not, but whatever.) But then a car accident helps to jolt Scarlett's memory of her past, and when she learns the truth, she's not so sure she wants to know. Can her family protect her from what's out there? Can her new boyfriend? Does he really want to protect her?

I did like the premise of this book, which is why I finished it. I wanted to know what was going to happen to Scarlett and how it was all going to play out. The only problem is that the dialogue was very stiff and unrealistic. There were also a few parts of the story that I thought didn't make sense or weren't fully developed enough. Part of the story deals with a cult, and I really wanted to know more about the cult - how did it get started and why did it believe what it believed? The leaders of the cult couldn't even explain it very well to the main character.

Apparently the author's first book The Cellar was really good, so I'm eager to read her books backwards and see if The Cellar is more my speed.

Awake is published by Sourcebooks and is on bookstore shelves now. I received a free advance reader copy at Book Expo America with no obligation to review.

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