Monday, August 6, 2012
Review: Wake (Watersong, #1)
Author: Amanda Hocking
Publication date: August 7th 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
My rating: 3 stars and an extra star for the terrifying mermaids... errr, sirens.
Some of you may have noticed that I’m not around much lately. That’s because it’s summer, I live by the sea, and I can’t resist spending every available moment at the beach, which made end of this July the best and the worst time for me to read Wake by Amanda Hocking. On the one hand, it’s a perfect summer read, but on the other, I keep expecting an evil siren to show up and eat me while I'm swimming and generally minding my own business. Who’s afraid of sharks? Not me, no siree, I’m terrified of sirens!
Harper is not much older than her sister Gemma, but their responsibilities are vastly different. Their mother became institutionalized after suffering severe brain damage, and Harper started taking care of their father and the house, but most of all, she assumed the role of a parent for Gemma. She is serious and organized, and she has her life planned to the smallest detail. Gemma isn’t quite as put together as her older sister, but she’s hardly problematic either. She is good at school, very beautiful and completely dedicated to her swimming career. She is so good, in fact, that her coach wants to take her to the Olympics. When three strange girls show up in their tiny town, Gemma is the only one who sees that there’s something wrong with them, but she can’t really avoid them when they’re around water and her favorite cove all the time.
If there’s one thing I loved about Wake, it’s the villains. I fear Hocking’s sirens for the same reason I fear the fae – they’re gorgeous and alluring, but deceitful and rotten beneath the surface. The sirens may be stunning on the outside, but if you look closely, their teeth seem to elongate and sharpen and there is a coldness in their eyes that stands in stark contrast to their wonderful, inviting exterior. Penn, Lexi and Thea showed up in town one day and everyone just assumed they’re early tourists. No one questioned their presence, not even when three young boys went missing one after the other, all because they’re young, frail-looking and heartstoppingly gorgeous. Gemma, however, was very uncomfortable around them, at least until they turned her into one of their own.
What would a summer read be without romance? No worries, there is a double dose of swoon-worthy boys in this one! Personally, I preferred Daniel – he is somewhat older and definitely more charming, but I think younger girls might find a perfect book crush in Alex. Just like the sisters are as different as they can be, these two boys are nothing alike, which means there’s something there for everyone!
Third person omniscient narrator is a rare and strange choice for young adult literature, but it’s also a welcome change. Younger readers might find themselves uncomfortable with it as it creates a certain barrier between the reader and the main character(s). Having insight into thoughts of all characters can be quite useful, but it also weakens the connection with the protagonist. I do think it worked great here and it’s one of my favorite things about this book.
All in all, Wake by Amanda Hocking is a surprisingly dark tale and I’m so glad I decided to read it.