Awake (But Falling Asleep)

Awake - Natasha Preston

I was really hoping this was going to be one of those zippy books that I get sucked straight into and can't put down. The premise is interesting, I do like dual-narration, especially when there are secrets involved, and it sounded a bit unusual.


I felt let down.


The characters never drew me in at all. It started badly, with a "best friend" interaction that would have had me putting out an ad on Craig's List for a new one, because wow, that is not how you treat your best friend of many years. Or your friend. Or your acquaintance, even. Or, for that matter, anyone that you don't want to hate you forever. It was treated as a normal interaction, too. From there, we moved straight into the insta-love to end all insta-loves.


Now, I would like to digress a moment and state that "love at first sight" books are not the abomination to me that many in the book community feel they are. I'm a fan of the old Cinderella story, and I'm willing to accept moving fast in bookish relationships. Heck, my parents got married very quickly (if you're reading this, hi Mom! Love you guys!) and have been happily married for many years. It happens. It can work. It is sometimes adorable to watch people fall head-over-heels very fast. 


Not these people.


I don't really understand what they saw in each other, which is particularly problematic for two main reasons. Firstly, we get the viewpoint of both "love interest" characters, so how do I not understand their attraction to each other? Even if I can't see it from one character's point-of-view, I should be able to see it from the point-of-view of the person in love with them, no?


Secondly, the center of the story is not really the plot, it is their love. I find this problematic in itself, given it was the plot that originally drew me into the story, but to have two characters I don't really feel anything for going through the motions of a potentially interesting plot while telling this love story that is incomprehensible as such except for all of the cutesy nicknaming and immediate declarations of complete adoration is rather horrifying to wade through to get to the parts that I care about.


And in the end, the plot wasn't that great, either. That's probably the worst part, the biggest letdown: I forced myself to continue through to see how things would end up, and there are no surprises, no shades of grey, nothing to make me understand the thinking behind this other group even a little bit.  Why are they doing these things? I'm not sure it even makes sense in the context of the book, and the convenient plot holes are rather alarmingly numerous.


I was hoping to be thrilled and willing to allow an awful lot if the book gave me that, but in the end it didn't. It gave me a dry, overblown love story with simple main characters, simple dialogue, simple villains, and secondary characters that completely fall out of the plot occasionally they are so impersonal.


The author left a hook for the next book, and while I'm kind of interested in the plot, I think I'll be leaving that one alone, because it will be just packed to the brim with moments of mushy teenage love fest, and I just don't want to bother trying to struggle through to the interesting bits.


This book was provided to me for free by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.