Friday, August 7, 2015

Review: Awake by Natasha Preston
Awake by Natasha Preston
ARC Paperback
Published August 4th 2015 by Sourcebooks Fire
Rating: 3 stars

Summary (Goodreads): Scarlett doesn’t remember anything before the age of five. Her parents say it’s from the trauma of seeing her house burn down, and she accepts the life they’ve created for her without question—until a car accident causes Scarlett to start remembering pieces of an unfamiliar past.

When a new guy moves into town, Scarlett feels an instant spark. But Noah knows the truth of Scarlett’s past, and he’s determined to shield her from it...because Scarlett grew up in a cult called Eternal Light, controlled by her biological parents.

And they want her back.

My Thoughts: 

I received Awake through a goodreads first reads giveaway. This does not affect my rating or review, it is still an honest one.

Scarlett is a teenage girl in high school, just like every other girl her age - except for one thing. She can't remember anything before the fire that happened when she was little. She's happy enough to forget about it after the constant headaches from trying so hard to remember when she was younger. This all changes when she and her family find themselves in a car crash, and Scarlett's dreams take her into her memories. This leads her to having more questions on her past though than answers, and unfortunately, those answers are less than ideal. Scarlett finds this out the hard way.

Awake by Natasha Preston was definitely a unique book for me to read. I've never read a book that had a cult in it. The idea of it sparked my interest over the concept and dragged me into the story.

Unfortunately, at the beginning of the story, I was left unimpressed. The first few lines involve the new student arriving and forming an instant bond with Scarlett, and when I say instant, I mean instant. While it made this part of the story quicker so the more important things could start happening, the insta-love was awful. I mean I understand instant attraction, but they were basically in love with one another after day one. Not to mention the way it was portrayed made the characters seem very flat. I personally didn't like any of the characters for a long time.

Thankfully this book was to have more than just the insta-love romance. The twist is what kept me reading on. Once the memories began coming back I started to gain some interest in Scarlett's story. I was still annoyed by the romance, but while it was still a big focus, it wasn't the only focus. The mystery around her past drew me in though, and as big things began happening, I didn't mind the romance as much. By the end of the story I could even say I liked the couple together, I just didn't like a good chunk of them together in the story itself.

I feel like the writing of this book is a little hit or miss. Though I felt like the parts drug in the beginning to plot the story points for the reader, I felt like the author didn't put much effort into it. Later on in the book I feel like her writing was much better as it was the big thing she had been building up to (that or by that time I was just used to it?). It did make it very hard in the beginning to keep reading on because the writing fell flat, just like the characters. I am glad I kept reading though as I began to enjoy the story more and actually like some of the characters. It was definitely unique for me to read about the crazy cult in the story. I liked seeing the characters' mental struggles when facing the seven rituals and how they fought to overcome what felt like the inevitable. 

If you like reading about cults, killers, and the like - and you don't mind reading a decent amount of insta-love romance to get to the interesting parts,then I would give it a try. If you absolutely hate insta-love turn away now. You'll have trouble making it past little more than the first page.