About the book
Wake is the first book in the Watersong series by Amanda Hocking. The book was published by Tor on 16th August 2012 and the book is 356 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy for review.
Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads.com)
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.
What I thought
There are very few mermaid/ under the sea kind of creature books in the young adult genre which is why I wanted to read this one so much. The premise sounded very different from the other few mermaid books I have read so I was immediately interested.
Wake tells the story of sisters Harper and Gemma although technically, I guess Gemma should be called the protagonist. Harper generally keeps to herself and is the complete opposite of her beautiful, swimmer sister Gemma. Their mother doesn’t live with them anymore and Harper has taken it upon herself to play that very role, being very overprotective of Gemma and what she gets up to. I really liked that the two sisters were very different and they had varying interests. It gave each character their own distinct voice and made their personalities clear.
While the beginning of the story is a little drawn out, it sets the scene well. Gemma loves her late night swims and is determined to keep them up even though there has been a few people gone missing recently. While out at the bay swimming, Gemma notices a group of insanely pretty girls, girls who are new in town but have definitely been noticed. Both Gemma and Harper think something is off with these girls but can’t quite put their fingers on it. A large chunk of the beginning of the story is spent getting to know the girls and where they live and I think the main plot could have been gotten to quicker.
There are slight romantic themes throughout Wake although they do not overpower the main plot. Love interests Alex (for Gemma) and Daniel (for Harper) were both great characters and again, very different. Daniel is the smouldering older guy who randomly lives on a boat while Alex is the boy next door and also Harper’s friend. I have to say, as nice as geeky Alex was, I much preferred Daniel. He seemed like a slight bad boy with a past and someone who could be a whole lot of hot trouble in the future. Alex was just too nice and predictable for me.
So, the main plot. Wake isn’t actually about mermaid but Sirens. This was something that I absolutely loved and was very thankful for something different. There is actually quite a lot of background information about the Sirens and where they came from/ why they came to begin with. The mythology behind this new and exciting creature was fantastic and I loved learning more about them. However, I did hate to see Gemma tricked into something she wouldn’t have wanted but the end outcome and cliff-hanger was amazing and so exciting.
While I do think Wake could have been better, it was still a really good read and now I’m looking forward to reading the sequel, Lullaby.