Summary: AWAKEN to a NEW WORLD.
What if your entire life had been nothing more than a few broken images? What if every time you closed your eyes, another memory was lost? … Then … What if one day, those memories began to resurface…? Coralie Collier has never questioned the elements in her life … Until now. Strange dreams and unexplained encounters begin to unravel the world around her. As images begin to rise to the surface, missing pieces to her life begin to fall into place. Could there be more to Coralie’s existence than what appears? Will Coralie be able to unlock the secrets to her past? And what lies within the truth?
Source: I received a digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Awaken was a great YA romance with a paranormal backdrop. Coralie had a pretty normal life with wonderful, loving parents in a small-ish town. Except for some reason, she experienced strange dreams that felt real to her. And there were holes or gaps in her memory that she couldn’t explain. As those gaps became more noticeable to her, her awareness increased. With the help of Court, a gorgeous guy who seemed to have only eyes for her, she was thrust into a world she couldn’t quite understand.
One of the first things I noticed about Awaken was that Coralie’s parents existed. And had lines. And were actually there! I always love it when I see parental involvement in YA books because it is so rarely apparent. So, I appreciated Coralie’s parents having a role in the story and being there for their daughter. They also had a wonderful relationship with each other, which I also appreciated. I loved the adorable romance between Coralie and Court. It was so cute and even though he was all dreamy and gorgeous, I loved how their relationship was sort of slow to develop and more of a bonding type of connection than a physical one.
The book was written in third person, but mostly followed Coralie’s point of view. Occasionally, there were scenes without Coralie present, usually involving Court or Coralie’s parents, but they were so cryptic. It was nice because while it was obvious that people were hiding things from Coralie, but I didn’t get enough information to unravel the mystery, despite being a tad bit more aware of the situation than Coralie. I also liked Coralie as a character because even thought her missing memories made her naive and innocent, she was really tough at the same time. It was a great balance. And I loved Court because I felt like he really wanted to help Coralie and push her to be better and more knowledgeable even though he wasn’t supposed to. The addition of another character in the middle to end of the story was wonderful. I can’t give any information about the character away, but it added a little bit of conflict and mystery just when I was thinking all the cards were out on the table.
I liked all the characters, but sometimes I felt like the dialogue was forced. The author used a lot of …’s in her dialogue and it got to be somewhat distracting. In fact, there were so many .. pauses, it reminded me of Bella in the Twilight movies, where she’s all slow and mouth-breathing and sighing and gasping every 5 minutes about everything. Even though the pauses made sense in context, I thought the use of .. made it way more in my face and obvious and unnatural than the use of a comma would have in most of the situations. Also, while I enjoyed the scenes where Coralie’s parents hint at how they should tell her the truth, it got kind of aggravating that they kept pushing it off and not telling her and that I kept reading about all the moments where they wanted to and didn’t. It was almost like the boy who cried wolf, where I just stopped caring about whether they were really going to tell her this time, so when the moment finally came, it felt somewhat uneventful to me when it should have been the OMG moment. These issues were just things that bothered me a little, but won’t necessarily negatively affect other reader’s opinions.
Overall, I enjoyed Awaken and want to continue the series. I loved the premise and characters and I thought it was a great read. I would recommend it to others.
“How long has it been?” Katelyn asked her husband. “Surely, we have not lost track …”“A while … but I’m not so sure. I can’t be certain. Do you think she has become immune to – I mean, maybe it just quit working, or –” Cal babbled.“Maybe… I don’t know … Cal, do you think … that maybe it’s,” Katelyn stumbled around for words, “… time?”“No– No, Kate … not yet … she’s not ready!” Cal said, grasping at words of expression.Katelyn walked over to his side, where he had taken a seat atop an island bar stool, and put her arms around his neck. She leaned in close and spoke the words, “She’s not ready, Cal, or you’re not ready?”He sighed at his wife’s words, knowing there could be truth to them.
Her chest was rising and falling even faster between breaths. Coralie looked back at the figure, and although she could not see their face in the blackness underneath the hooded jacket, she knew that his eyes were focused solely on her.Suddenly, she stopped. Coralie saw something that made her freeze in her motion. She saw something frightening. Something alarming. A simple, miniscule flicker of green appeared underneath the figure’s hood. Startled, Coralie held her breath for only a mere moment. For that moment, there was silence.
Coralie remained still, silently in the night, her eyes closed tight. She could hear them. She knew that it wouldn’t be long. She began to tense as she could hear them nearing. She struck out against the night air, feeling it rush against her. She was running now … running fast … faster and faster.They won’t get away … faster, run faster … Coralie told herself. Faster, run faster…Trees, shrubs, street lamps, houses, buildings, park cars…all just a background of fading darkness in her peripheral view, combining into one long, dark blur.There they are … up ahead … she said to herself. Tunnel vision had seemed to take her over, so that all she could see was them.Closer and closer, she approached them, but she continued to push herself to run even faster, with each step and stride.I’m getting closer …Coralie thought, as she began to feel herself tense as she prepared to meet her fleeing opponents. She felt a rush of tension, like a predator zoning in and closing on its prey, ready to pounce. The hunt is almost over, and the ‘kill’ will be quick … she thought, feeling her muscles tense predatorily.Either her opponents had begun to slow or she was gaining ground. Probably the latter. They slowed to a halt& turned … but Coralie had leapt into the air, meeting them where theystood. Coralie gave a stunning jab with her extended arm that was stretched out beyond her body. The one she struck first, stumbled back a few spaces, and then began to advance on her. Coralie leapt into the air once more, this time landing her outstretched heel into the chest of her adversary.Stumbling backward, her challenger fell to the ground, hard, but not hard enough. The staggering body returned to its feet and began its advancement upon the girl.Coralie heard movement now from the east and west of her. Three … there are three … great … she said to herself. She crouched into a defensive stance, and awaited her advancers. She jumped into the air, coming down onto two of them with a crushing blow, causing them to tumble to the ground. She stood, quickly, throwing a jab into the side of the other, knocking their body into a tree. Commencing in a firm stance and planting her feet solidly on the ground, she beckoned their return to joining her fight. They began their unsteadily stagger back towards her. Coralie grinned confidently.Without hesitance, instinctively, Coralie threw a stunning punch into the gut of the one on that came at her from her left. She tensed again, throwing a jabbing left punch into the side of the one approaching her from the right. As the two fell against the hard ground, the third advanced on her quickly, slugging towards her. Coralie ducked swiftly, dodging a blow. She jumped speedily to her feet, delivering a reciprocating knock backwards, causing her rival to slam hard against a tree trunk and fall even harder to the ground.Coralie looked at the pounded heaps that lie on the ground. She perused her surroundings, taking inventory of those who took occupancy on the leaf covered ground around her. One of them started to move, as the others lay motionless.Slowly walking toward their pummeled bodies, Coralie reached behind her back retrieving her weapon of choice, her ancient Makhaira sword. She could feel its power exuding as she held it tight within her hands.Coralie felt the tension in her muscles begin to relax. She looked down at them, as the powering glow of her sword illuminated her face in the dark. With the radiance that surrounded them, she could see the look of blatant fear on the face of her wakeful foe. Holding her sword high above her, pointing downward, she flashed an angelic, conquering smirk.
*Excerpts were provided by the author and I’m using them with permission from the author. They are not for redistribution.