Friday, May 25, 2012

Did Not Finish: Wake by Amanda Hocking

Published by: St. Martin's Press
(Thank you to ATWT for allowing me to participate on this tour!)
Release Date: August 7, 2012

Wake by Amanda Hocking

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.

First off, I actually only got to page 50 and getting there was a struggle. There have only been two YA novels I haven't finished for this reason (The Forest of Hands and Teeth & Article 5). I usually try to finish books, even when they bore me, because I like to give the authors more than one chance (and if I bought the book, then hell, why shouldn't I finish it?)... but in order for me to give them another chance, there has to be something compelling enough about the book - its premise, its protagonist, its edgy writing, something....

Nothing interested me.

The prologue?  It started off okay, with the hint of blood and gore and something not being right with Penn, Lexi, and Thea.... But then the book went into this weird omniscient switching of POVs in the first chapter. Gemma likes to swim at night, and her car broke down so she has to rely on Alex to take her there. At some point, Alex is looking at her, and we get his perspective and how he sees Gemma. Except is his really all that different from hers? Every description that I read seemed to be the standard hair and eyes type, regardless of who was narrating the page. This weird switching of POVs happens throughout, or so it seemed, based on what I read.

It was such a distant, third person POV that I felt like I couldn't connect with the characters at all. The POVs also sounded almost exactly alike, with the exception of what the characters were doing (so Gemma's included swimming & her coach while Harper's included worrying about Gemma, etc.). I can understand wanting to use multiple POVs because it builds suspense, and this kind of story seems to rely on that, but I think that in this case, it just made it a lot harder to follow the story (with all the switching) and connect with the characters.

And by page 50, there was no hint of the world-building. Not unless you count the fact that numerous people had said that yes, there used to be four girls, and said girls were really weird, and trying to build a small town vibe by going into random details about one man (as a means of explaining his reaction to a strange event).

There was just nothing to keep me reading. Not enough world-building, not a character I could care about, not the writing, not even the hint of romance (which, by the way, was the only thing of this list that was there in the first 50 pages).  I wanted to like this book, I wanted to understand why it's getting a six-figure publicity campaign, and I just can't.

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately, if you had continued reading, it wouldn't have gotten any better with the turning of the pages. This book was just.... not good. For me. Many people love this series, and I can see why. It is an interesting premise. It is Amanda Hocking (I haven't read anything else by her, so I have no other opinion). Wake just isn't for me. It almost feels like the writing is just too simplistic. Maybe even stunted at times. So, I completely understand the DNF. It is something I rarely, rarely ever do, so I know it sucks when you can't help it. But there are so many books waiting in line that I can't wait for! By the way, if you haven't tried again yet, I would urge you to retry with Article 5. It really is a fantastic story!


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