Book Review : Awake by Natasha Preston

June 22, 2015 Book review 12 ★½

OK, I quite honestly don’t know where to start with this one! There was a lot of things that hampered by enjoyment of the book so I think I’ll just lay them all out straight out for you so you can see exactly the kind of issues I had.

Book Review : Awake by Natasha PrestonAwake by Natasha Preston
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on August 4th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA Contemporary
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon

Scarlett doesn’t remember anything before the age of four. 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.

First Line of Awake by Natasha Preston:

“Imogen nudged my arm, nodding toward the classroom door. “

 What I liked about Awake by Natasha Preston:

Well I finished the book so that means I did get some enjoyment as I don’t think twice about DNF’ing a book that I’m hating. What kept me reading was the cult theme, I wanted to see the cult in action and I wanted to know what happened. Both of these kept me curious enough to keep flicking the pages. And I enjoyed that the plot wasn’t the same old trite plot that I’ve read too many times before.

What I disliked about Awake by Natasha Preston:

The character development wasn’t good. All the characters were one dimensional and just felt wooden. The depth that I appreciate in characters was lacking and they felt stereotypical. I want characters that feel alive and I didn’t get that.

Teenage Insta-love. Need I say any more. And it was verging on ridiculous; there was a mention of marriage after 1 month.

The age of the main character changed! But not in the normal way….she got younger as the book went on. She was 16 at the start and 15 at the end. I’m assuming that this is an editing issue that will be resolved before the final publication though.

Scarlett makes a huge issue out of not remembering things before the age of 4. I really don’t get this at all. Lots of people don’t remember early memories and it’s not anything that odd. I think if this age had been moved up to 8 or so, it would have felt it a bit more peculiar and would have rang more alarm bells for me

Things didn’t add up. At one critical point in the book, Scarlett had an opportunity to call for help but she was waiting like a sitting duck for the cult to catch up with her. I really didn’t get why she didn’t explain what was happening, it just made no sense to me. It actually made me rage.


Overall this one just didn’t work for. I think the shell of a good story is there but it needed more character development, more polish and more realistic sequences. So it was pretty much a fail for me and I’m not in any way tempted to read the follow up.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: one-half-stars


Who should read Awake by Natasha Preston?

After not enjoying the book very much, I’m not going to turn around and recommend it. However there are some positive reviews on Goodreads, so maybe check some of those out and see if they make it more appealing for you.

Thanks to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.



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12 Responses to “Book Review : Awake by Natasha Preston”

    • trish

      I’m looking forward to reading other peoples reviews now as I just know I won’t be alone in my criticism. The points that annoyed me were impossible to overlook.

    • trish

      I had to finish it as I was curious about just what happened. So I do think with some ruthless editing it could have been a much better book.

  1. Babus Ahmed

    Glad I wasn’t the only one to find this one lacking. I don’t think I have reviewed a book that has so unanimously received a thumbs down for the same things by a variety of reviewers.
    Babus Ahmed recently posted…Mental Toughness

    • trish

      I did spot the low rating on GR before I started and I was determined to approach it with an open mind. But it really had so many problems that I can fully understand just why it’s getting such a widespread thumbs down. And I feel bad for the author as the concept is ok, it just needs a lot more work and development. It reads like a first draft!

  2. Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

    Yeah I’ll pass. Even though it does sound like there was some okay intrigue the insta-love between teenagers and the lack of character development doesn’t make it sound worth it. Plus I don’t get the whole trauma about not being able to remember anything before age 4. I was trying to think back and I’m not sure I remember much before age 6 or so and what I do remember is flashes vs a long continuous memory. I’m pretty sure there’s no cults or other big secrets hiding in my past.
    Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library recently posted…Her Sister’s Shoes – Review

    • trish

      I don’t want to overly alarm you BUT maybe you should be worrying about cults in your early years as apparently this is a major warning sign! And it wasn’t that intriguing, I was just say I was mildly curious about how it all ended and what the cult would be like.

    • trish

      What you have just said above was my thoughts for pretty much the whole book. It doesn’t get better but I was curious enough to get the whole way through it. If it were any other setting apart from a cult, I would have DNF. But I wanted to see how that would be handled so I persevered.

    • trish

      The insta-love is grating but I could have gotten over that if the character development was better. The cult setting was my favourite part but it’s not enough to rescue the book from all the other issues I had.

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