Book Review: Awaken by Sarah M. Ross

Book Review: Awaken by Sarah M. RossAwaken by Sarah M. Ross
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on 2012-01-01
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 232
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Lucy Donovan was supposed to have a weekend of fun in the sun, celebrating her upcoming graduation from college. In a split second, everything changed. A drunk driver ended Lucy's mortal life. Lucy opens her eyes to a world she never imagined possible and a new destiny: as a Patronus, a guardian of spirits. Adjusting to her new role and abilities while negotiating this confusing realm will test her limits and push her further than she ever dreamed she would go. From wayward spirits who don't want her help to soul stealing vampires, and even a stuck-up British royal, Lucy must brave them all to save one spirit she can't bear to lose. Further complicating her confusing life is an inexplicable yet growing connection she feels to a member of her team, Max, whose mysterious behavior leaves her both confused and intrigued. Waking up dead was just the beginning of her problems. Lucy's death is about to become the greatest adventure of her life.


Awaken was really neither here nor there for me. It was fine. I enjoyed reading it. But it wasn’t anything special.

Some of the writing was a little rough, with some spelling and grammar issues. Not too bad, and I usually just ignore them, especially in a self-published book, but I know it really bothers many people. It was a little annoying, but it didn’t detract too much from the story. If it was really prevalent, it would have irked me more, but it was fairly rare.

The action starts right away with Lucy dying on the first page. Awaken is fast-paced and packed with action. Throughout the book, Lucy finds herself in dangerous situations where she isn’t saved as quickly as I expected.

I did think the premise was interesting; I really liked the take on vampires. Instead of turning humans into vamps through biting or some other violent method, these vamps steal the souls of newly deceased to create more bloodsuckers. So when you want to kill a vampire, you have to suck the stolen soul out of their heart with a silver syringe like weapon. I thought all of that was interesting. And since Vamps were the main antagonists, I enjoyed the conflict quite a bit.

There were also some major eye-roll moments, however.

Patroni  are immortal, so there are a lot of historical figures hanging around. The main characters are fortunately not anyone recognizable, but when Queen Elizabeth and Amelia Earhart showed up, I may have gagged a little.

I don’t know why, but it was just laughable. The main character Lucy, gets trained in all ways Patronus by Elizabeth and Amelia, and it was really hard for me to read those chapters. And then Anne Frank was hanging out in the Commons a lot and that was silly too. It started feeling like Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

For some reason, Lucy was SO SUPER AMAZING AT EVERYTHING. WOOHOO. Good for her. And yet completely ridiculous, since people were like “IT TOOK ME 300 YEARS TO GET GOOD AT THAT AND YOU DID IT IN THREE HOURS”. I’m not exaggerating. I wanted her to struggle more. Just a little. At least with something. She was just kind of like “mind over matter” and then suddenly she was awesome at it. UM NO.

There was some annoying insta-love that got explained in the last chapter but was annoying for the entire book. I knew something else was going on, because Lucy kept informing the reader that she shouldn’t feel so strongly about Max, and yet she did. I was like, we get it. You lurve him, but you just met him. How strange. There must be something supernatural going on here. And there is. I still haven’t decided if I’m pleased with that explanation or if I think it’s ridiculous.

I will say I’m glad that there was an actual explanation that I wasn’t expecting. So even if I decide I don’t like the explanation, I appreciate the creativity that went into making said explanation.

I REALLY wanted to swoon over Max. I always want to swoon over the hot boyfriend who is sweet, sensitive, and completely unrealistic. Max just wasn’t super swoonworthy for me. Not sure what it was. I kind of half-swooned, so I’m sure people out there have full out swooned over him. Maybe it’s because I just finished reading Under the Never Sky and White Hot Kiss and I had high standards for guys.

Anyway, I may or may not pick up the sequel. This was a quick read with lots of action, so it’s worth a few hours of your time if you’re a YA Paranormal Romance junkie.

3 Stars

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