“My dad always said that you know you are in love when someone comes along that makes you question everything.” -Noah, Awake
As I’ve said in another post, I recently bought a ton of stuff during Black Friday. Two of those things happened to be books, Awake by Natasha Preston and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. Unfortunately, my mom made me pick one of the books to read now, which happened to be Awake, and the other one my mom is making me wait until Christmas to get. This made me extra sad because I didn’t count of finishing Awake in two days, which has only happened twice before.
Now, I’ll be honest, I was kind of hesitant to purchase this book since I read her previous book The Cellar, and although the book had what I thought was a really creative and Criminal Mind-y plot line, there were a lot of flaws I found (including the character development) that made me at least a little hesitant to try out another one (If you would like to know more about exactly I had problems with the first book, I actually did a book review on that one as well which you can find here.). In the end, though, I’m really glad I gave Natasha Preston a second chance. Despite the fact that it seems like most people do not agree with me on this, I thought you could really see improvement in her writing style and story development in this book versus her previous one, and I’m personally hoping that she comes out with a sequel which I would definitely try hard to get my hands on.
This is going to be a bit hard trying not to give too much away, but I shall try my best. Basically, Awake is about a girl named Scarlett who is not able to remember anything before the age of four, supposedly due to a fire that happened at that time. She has long since accepted the fact that she will never be able to regain these memories until she meets this handsome new guy named Noah. They almost instantly fall in love (or so it would seem), and Noah begins to make her rethink her decision to leave those memories in the past. That is until Scarlett and her family get into a car crash suddenly bringing pieces of those memories back, which sends her on a mission to remember everything. In the process, she discovers more than she ever wanted to know about her childhood, family, and, eventually, her new boyfriend and finds herself fighting for her life because of it.
What I Enjoyed
- The plot line. I think above anything else, Natasha Preston does a great job a coming up with plot lines. Even though I’ve only read two of her books, I just find her stories to be so unique and interesting. Almost like I’m reading something that came right out of Criminal Minds (and we all know how much I love Criminal Minds 😉 ).
- It deals with cults. I really haven’t read many books that dive into the world of cults, and I happen to find cults fascinating and terrifying at the same time. Because it’s a fiction book, it makes you feel like something of this nature couldn’t actually happen when, in all honesty, it’s definitely out there. It’s seems impossible that someone could brainwash an entire group of people, but history has shown that when people seclude themselves from the rest of the world, it makes it that much easier for them to fall for lies coming from an authority figure within the group, especially when those people are already hurting and vulnerable. Like I said before, to me, this is a really scary thought.
- I found myself feeling the same things as the characters. When the book spent a lot of time focusing on Scarlett getting frustrated at the fact that she couldn’t remember, my immediate thought the book was moving too slowly, but then I realized that I was really just feeling the same type of frustration in her not being able to remember faster that she was feeling herself.
- The ending. I don’t really want to talk about too much of this because I don’t want there to be a lot of spoilers, but I like how she ended the book with another mystery waiting to be discovered. If she decides to write another book, then she’s already set up another interesting plot line, and if she doesn’t, it just shows you that we don’t always get to learn everything about what happened.
What I Didn’t Like So Much
- She couldn’t remember anything before the age of four, and that was supposed to be a really big deal. Maybe I’m just crazy, but there’s not much I remember before the age of four either. She even made the comment at one point that she “lost four years of her life.” I haven’t met anyone who can remember stuff from when they were born to age two, so at most, she only missed like maybe two years of very fragmented memories.
- The romance. At some points, it was just really cheesy. The romance seemed to be written for middle school kids and the rest of the plot line was more for high school to college students which I was kind of disappointed about.
- The grammar mistakes!! This is something that really got to me with The Cellar, so I was really disappointed that they showed up again in Awake. I realize that she wrote the book on Wattpad to begin with, and most people probably didn’t care about the mistakes on there. In my opinion, though, a published book should have little to no (bordering on no) mistakes, and someone just isn’t doing the best job proofreading it.
Basically, I thought the story line was on point and everything else was not so much. As I said with her first book, I think high school students and anyone looking to kill some time would enjoy this book. In the end, I’d give it about three stars out of five.