We Awaken by Calista Lynne

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT+
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Publication Date: July 14th 2016

2 OUT OF 5 STARS

Disclaimer: A free copy of this book was received through the author in exchange for an honest review.

After a car crash kills her father and sends her brother into a coma life looks pretty bleak for Victoria. She wants to get into dance school in New York, but aside from pursuing that dream she’s lost interest in anything else. Until she meets Ashlinn, a girl in charge of weaving good dreams for people all over the world. Victoria is desperate to be with Ashlinn and discover herself but their relationship may have unforeseen consequences.

While Lynne’s descriptive writing style is captivating at moments the plot and characters in the novel leave something to be desired.

The story isn’t really much of a story. The fantasy elements don’t get nearly enough development (to the point where their inclusion makes the book weaker than a contemporary) and there’s not a lot of real conflict. The romance is instant with not organic build, but somehow the characters are painfully in love after a few days. The dialogue isn’t consistent for any of the characters which makes it hard to figure them out. They’ll speak one way for several chapters and then say something shockingly out of character which makes you have to reevaluate them. Most of the dialogue felt old which was only appropriate for one of the characters. We’re left with three main characters who are more or less the same aside from their main interests (dance, dreams and sex).

Lynne does represent asexuality (although there was some confusion as someone can definitely be lesbian and asexual) quite well, and I would label We Awaken as more of a coming out story than a fantasy which is a shame. Victoria’s sexuality features prominently in the book, it’s not a matter of a protagonist who happens to be asexual it is a large art of the plot which wasn’t what I was hoping for. It is very important to have books that delve deep into this topic but I am just personally sick of coming out/discovery books.

I think if Lynne had chosen to do a contemporary story centering on asexuality entirely instead of trying to incorporate fantasy and tragedy it would have worked much better. The fantasy bits are far too weak to be good. We learn very little about the “villain” (for about 20 pages) Semira even though she’s arguably the most interesting character and it’s very easy for the characters to tie up their conflict while ignoring all the important universe questions that should have been answered.

A weak conflict, insta-love romance and underdeveloped characters but an excellent read for those interested in learning more about asexuality.

For Fans Of: Keeping Her Secret

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