Wake by Amanda Hocking
Release Date: August 7, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Genre: YA Sirens
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Gemma loves the water and takes a nightly swim in the ocean. Only problem is three other girls have noticed her beauty and love of the water. Three girls that used to be a group of four... Three girls that are very creepy and seem to be stalking Gemma. Gemma's sister, Harper, doesn't want Gemma anywhere near them. Harper is a very protective older sister and takes care of Gemma, ever since their mom got in a horrible car accident and is now living in a care home. Gemma is a dedicated swimmer planning to head to the Olympics one day and she doesn't want to give up her nightly swims. It's the one time she can relax and just enjoy the water.
I liked the family dynamic of the story. I felt a strong sisterly connection between the two girls. They also have a very caring father that sets curfews and loves them very much. They are still lonely though because their Dad has to work and is still mourning his wife who will never be the same. Then there is the sweet next door neighbor, Alex, who has been Harper's best friend forever. He has always had a thing for Gemma and they begin flirting when she needs a ride to the ocean one night. Alex is the sweet nerdy type and even though Gemma is known for her beauty, I love that she saw the good in Alex all along. Harper is a little more distant because she has had to take on a mom role for so long. A cute guy down at the docks where her dad works is interested but she continually blows him off. Harper is the more logical sister while Gemma is more of a free spirit.
The creepy girls, Penn, Thea, and Lexi hang around town in the summer. They used to have a fourth girl and now that she is gone they want Gemma. One night they talk her into hanging out with them and she wakes up not remembering a thing. But she notices that she is different and there may be no way to change back. There was an interesting history to the girls and they were incredibly scary. They did some sick things I was not expecting. I honestly have no clue what Gemma and Harper are going to do to get Gemma out of this situation but I am curious to find out.
The book sets up the series really well but not very much happens. I did like that I got to know the characters really well. I liked the book but I think the reason why I didn't fully love it was because it wasn't written in first person POV. I think it was so that we got to know both Gemma and Harper and it was also to set up the next book. It makes sense but it was just harder for me to enjoy personally. At the end there was a bit of action but things were left very open. The series is supposed to release one book every six months so at least we don't have to wait too long. I've found the same to be true with some of Amanda Hocking's other books. The first book is usually not my favorite so I am expecting the series to pick up in the next three books after this.
"That, of course, isn't the worst part of the curse, " Thea explained with a wry smile. "Every man would fall in love with their voice, their lovely appearance, but no man would ever get past that. They'd never really know the girls for who they actually were, never really love them. It would be impossible for any of the four girls to ever really fall in love and be genuinely loved in return."
"But what if I..." Gemma trailed off and lowered her eyes, thinking of Harper, her parents, Alex. She lifted her head, meeting Penn's eyes. "I don't want this."
"Then you will die," Penn said. She shrugged, as if she couldn't care less, but her voice was hard and her eyes burned. "If that's what you wish, then so be it."
Rating: 4/5 Stars!