ARC Review: Awake by Natasha Preston

ARC Review: Awake by Natasha Preston
by Natasha Preston

Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Religion, Romance, Suspense, Young Adult
Publication date: August 4th 2015
by Sourcebooks

Format: ARC


Amazon | Book Depository

Scarlett doesn’t remember anything before the age of five. Her parents say it’s from the trauma of seeing her house burn down, and she accepts the life they’ve created for her without question—until a car accident causes Scarlett to start remembering pieces of an unfamiliar past.

When a new guy moves into town, Scarlett feels an instant spark. But Noah knows the truth of Scarlett’s past, and he’s determined to shield her from it...because Scarlett grew up in a cult called Eternal Light, controlled by her biological parents.

And they want her back.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

DNF at 106 pages.

So, what makes you want to throw a book in a river? Is it:

a. When the wishy-washy heroine is a total idiot;
b. When the love interest’s creepy as fuck;
c. When there’s a horrible case of let-me-ditch-my-friends-for-the-new-guy instalove;
d. When there’s 95% more telling than showing; or
e. When you finally realize that you don’t give a shit about the mystery?

Well, dear friends, I definitely wanted to throw this book in a river. (And yes, I did answer all a, b, c, d and e!)

I read and enjoyed Natasha Preston’s novels Silence and Broken Silence back when she was still an unpublished Wattpad writer. I guess that’s what made me do a little happy dance when Sourcebooks sent me a copy of her newest book. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t my cup of tea… At all. Like, not even a little bit.

First and foremost, I just couldn’t stand the heroine. Scarlett was one of the most naive and annoying heroine I’ve read about in a long time. Come on, she revealed her past to the new guy on page six. PAGE. SIX.

Oh and yes, let’s talk about the romance. Really, I can’t put into words how much I wanted to hurl into my mouth. Let these lines speak for themselves:

The guy standing beside Mr. Wells’s door was gorgeous–like, shouldn’t even be at our school gorgeous. (pg. 1, ARC)

Whatever was going on between us was real, and I was definitely not ready for that. (pg. 28, ARC)

It was me and him, probably about four years older than we were now, standing outside a beautiful wooden house, surrounded by a meadow. (pg. 35, ARC)

The love interest himself was pretty creepy as well. I know it’s probably because of the mystery, but no. This is the type of creepy that teenage girls shouldn’t trust–hell, at one point he even noticed how many times the heroine blinked. *shudder*

I really couldn’t get into Preston’s writing in this one as well. It was choppy and rushed–sometimes we could even switch settings three times within one 4-page chapter. It was just incredibly telly and had almost no showing. There was an entire major scene that was just told in one paragraph.

I could probably continue the book just to find out what happens in regards to the mystery aspect, but I really don’t want to.

Rating Report
Overall: 0.8
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Aimee is a sixteen year old bookworm from the Phillipines! She reads any book that catches her attention, but she mostly reads YA. She's into graphic design, writing and sleeping. You can find her at Deadly Darlings, The Book Geek, Goodreads and on Twitter.

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  1. says

    I so noticed Preston’s choppy writing too! It was pretty terrible. And the bad thing is, I liked her first published book, The Cellar. It was so sad hating this one. But this book… Oh god it was just awful.

    And seriously, so what if she doesn’t remember anything before 4 or 5. I can remember nothing at that age. It’s normal not to remember anything that young. (I also received an ARC of this and wanted to barf)
    Christina recently posted…Sunday Discussion: How do you feel about chapter lengths?My Profile

    • says

      The choppy writing = blegh. And so sorry to hear that! I read her Wattpad books Silence and Broken Silence, so I was sad to hate this too. :(

      EXACTLY. They say memories from before you were 3 are all probably fake, anyway.

  2. says

    OH NO! *facepalm*

    Thank you for the heads up! I just recently added this on my TBR, but this review is pretty clear. I WILL DEFINITELY AVOID THIS!

  3. says

    So… 106 pages is more than 20% of the book? I wanted to see if you were the chosen one – the one who would take one for the group and read the entire book. Haha, but I don’t blame you. I knew this book was terrible, and your review cracked me up. Seriously, my eyeballs almost dropped – and only with those quotes!
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  4. says

    I will definitely be giving this book a pass, then! I have read romance that just makes me cringe before, and this looks like it would trump them all. Ew is right! And I don’t know, but I’m starting to think that the “slowly remembering his/her past throughout the book” thing is getting pretty cliche.
    Thank you for the honest review!
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  5. says

    I just… it’s times like this that make me wonder why certain books are accepted to get published and other really great one’s aren’t?
    What are some other reasons they guy was creepy? What’s that look like? What even was the mystery in this book supposed to be!?
    SJ Bouquet recently posted…Every Last Word ReviewMy Profile

    • says

      I guess I understand why publishers would publish this one, but I agree that a lot of the GREAT books aren’t even being considered, which kind of sucks.
      Like Sophia said in a comment above, the guy often asked LOTS of personal questions when they’d just met, and also he said that they’ve gone so long without physical contact, when in fact they do a lot. o_o
      The “mystery” is that the MC can’t remember anything from before she was 4.

  6. says

    Oh no no no no. SO much no. I read that first quote and just looked quizzically at my screen because 1) It doesn’t even make SENSE- is there some kind of ugliness quota the school needs to fill? and 2) I assume that means he will have exactly zero substance.

    And then I looked at the page number of the second quote and actually laughed out loud when it said page 28. So basically, that is some kind of insta-love record, no?

    I do need to know though- how does one count blinks? Would the person’s OWN blinking skew the count? Oh, and also that is the creepiest shit I’ve ever heard of. Thank you for me never having to read this book. You took one for the team, Aimee, and we are grateful.
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    • says

      Bahaha, I know, right! Is it ILLEGAL to have a handsome classmate? Someone call the Handsome Guy Police! They’ve been dating a few weeks (months?) during the second quote, which is still too fast paced for me because we don’t actually see the development. -_-

      Now THAT is an important question… One of which I can’t answer. He didn’t really count them per se, but he mentioned her “blinking x times” before answering his question… Still creepy.

  7. says

    “When there’s a horrible case of let-me-ditch-my-friends-for-the-new-guy instalove”


    “at one point he even noticed how many times the heroine blinked. *shudder*”

    Wait, wait wait….what? What the actual…..DOES HE WATCH HER SLEEP? Is his last name Grey? I’m quite concerned and I am afraid for this MC.
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