Author: Amanda Hocking
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Watersong (Book 1)
Publication Date: August 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 320 Pages
ISBN-10: 1250008123 (Mac Teen)
ISBN-13: 978-1250008121 (Mac Teen)
Reviewed by: Emmy
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.
Quick & Dirty: Another mermaid series that falls flat in the plot and has shallow characters, but the world-building is something a reader can get invested in.
Opening Sentence: The engine made a bizarre chugging sound, like a dying robot llama, followed by an ominous click-click.
I was pleasantly surprised by Wake. Told between the alternating perspectives of two sisters, Harper and Gemma, their relationship is really what drives the plot of the story. When Gemma spends the night hanging out with Penn, Thea and Lexi, only to wake up feeling changed. Most people shy away from the three beautiful strangers, and as Gemma tries to find out what happened to her that night, she begins to learn why. With a new boyfriend and loving family, Gemma’s choices through the novel might just break the only relationships she cares about.
The siren-basis for Wake and the Watersong Quartet is exceptionally well-explored and really my favorite part of the book. Based in myth, Hocking doesn’t pull punches when it comes to real sirens. This isn’t The Little Mermaid. It’s a battle of kill-or-be-killed and Gemma’s choices in Wake (and Lullaby) are going to define her life. Gemma wants to do what’s right, but if it means dying herself, what choice does she have?
Gemma lives for the water, pretty much revolving her life around swimming. The younger sister, she’s carefree and beautiful, leaving Harper to take on the role of protective, mothering older sister. A little cliché, but it’s easy for the reader to see they love each other. The fact they care about each other is what makes the reader see past the shallow cliché and invest in them. The two POVs are well done, even if there are a few points where you get confused about who’s speaking.
The love interests for both girls are different, yet loveable. Alex, the geeky boy-next-door- who’s sexy and sweet ends up matching with Gemma. Their relationship seems a little bit forced and a little too insta-love for me to really get invested in them. Then there’s Daniel, Harper’s love interest, who’s somehow immune to the siren’s powers. Their relationship is clumsy and a little awkward and completely perfect. He’s funny and I found myself enjoying scenes with Daniel more than others in the book. I fell a bit in love with him when I saw how much he cared for Harper, because why can’t real guys be that perfect?
The writing isn’t the best it could be, but I love the way Hocking gives the reader both the main character’s thoughts and feelings as well as the secondary characters. It’s written in the third person with multiple perspectives, so we get to see the story from all sides. The novel picks up speed towards the end as the truth about the siren myth is explored and hard choices have to be made. If you like The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter, this series strikes the same chord. I hope to see the characters develop more in Lullaby so their unique, and if the plot pans out the way it’s hinted at in Wake the rest of this series has a lot of promise.
“You look…good,” Harper said, for lack of a better word.
Gemma glanced down, looking herself over, but she knew what Harper meant. She’d already noticed it today. While she’d never been prone to acne, her skin was smoother, and it almost appeared to be glowing. She’d gone beyond her usual scope of pretty into something almost supernatural.
“I’ve just been using a different moisturizer,” Gemma shrugged, trying to play it off.
“Really?” Harper asked.
“No, actually”—Gemma sighed and rubbed her forehead—“that’s what I came in here to talk to you about.”
“You came to talk to me about moisturizer?” Harper raised an eyebrow.
“No it’s not moisturizer.”
3. Tidal (April 16, 2013)
4. Elegy (August 6, 2013)
FTC Advisory: St. Martin’s Press/Macmillan provided me with a copy of Wake. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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