Thursday, February 21, 2013

YA Adult Thursday Review: Wake by Amanda Hocking

Wake (Watersong, #1) 
by Amanda Hocking

Summary: Fall under the spell of Wake—the first book in an achingly beautiful new series by celebrated author Amanda Hocking—and lose yourself to the Watersong.

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 one 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 is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets.

Review: Admittedly this is the first book I've read by Amanda Hocking (I know, shame on me! I have the first of the Trylle series but haven't read it yet!) and I have to say I am very glad this book lived up to all the good things I've heard about it, at least in my opinion. Wake's main character is Gemma, a teenaged swim god (pun intended) who is the youngest of two children and ends up in a situation that changes her life, forever. Penn, Lexi and Thea are the new girls in town and seem to attract attention wherever they go, unfortunately for Gemma they trick her into becoming something they need her to be but she doesn't want. You see, they are Sirens, the greek myth of women who can enthrall men with just their voice and it usually means to their doom. Except this isn't a myth anymore and these girls have turned Gemma into one of them to complete the quartet needed for them to survive. This means they want Gemma to leave with them immediately or she will die, putting her in an impossible scenario.....or is it?
       Well, to be honest we don't really know if Gemma has a choice or not, just the threats the girls have made that she can't survive on her own. However, by the end of the book she does make a decision but we aren't going to find out what happens til the next book! Well played Ms Hocking, well played indeed, because I HAVE to read the next one now just to find out what happens to all the characters! I think that's also the most frustrating part of this book, we got such a build up of the girls, Gemma, her family and the other characters that I wanted to know more and got cut off at the end leaving me wanting more. I like Gemma a lot as a character. She is young and a little naive but she's a good girl. She is dedicated and clearly passionate about the things she loves, and willing to sacrifice herself for the people in her life. At least that's what she does at the end of the story, doing what she has no desire to do in order to save her sister, Harper, and the guy that she has fallen for, Alex. 
      Her sister Harper is another major subject of the story and almost equally a main character. Harper, however, rubs me the wrong way a lot in this story. As the older child she has taken on the responsibility of running her household when their mother was in a horrible accident, leaving her unable to even live at home with her family. She cooks, cleans, drives, nags, bitches and moans more than I have ever read a character read in my entire life and that's I think she bothers me so much. Don't get me wrong I admire the fact she has stepped up in a huge way to help her family but she isn't the parent to Gemma and a lot of times I felt like telling her to BACK THE HELL OFF. She also comes off as a snob who thinks she is so much smarter than anyone else in her town, especially when interacting with Daniel the boy who lives on his boat. She clearly has a crush on him at the end, but the way she talked to him throughout most of it really grated on me, why judge him when she doesn't even know him? I'm hoping we rectify this situation in the next book because I really want to like Harper but I just can't do it right now!
     Another minor part of the story that bothered me was at the end when Penn, Lexi and Thea attack Alex. Gemma didn't even put up a fight! She looked at the situation, gave up and did what they wanted. I know Penn went all beast mode on her and she is probably ten times stronger than Gemma but do SOMETHING, anything really, but she didn't. I like my girl characters bad-ass, and it may be because she is just too young, but I believed in Gemma. I really thought she could have done something more, something to fight back. 
     I think I've said this before but it is worth repeating: I LOVE MYTHOLOGY STORIES! Was this book god/goddess centric? No, but it was an interesting story integrated with a legend I knew about, which made it really interesting to me. I would have loved to hear more about what the sirens have been doing for the past couple millenniums, and the same can be said for the girl's family or town as well.  I'm hoping Harper can turn me into a Team Harper member in the next one, as well as save Gemma from the life she has been sucked into. Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot. It sucked me in from the beginning and it left me wanting more!- My Opinion- Buy

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