Monday, July 23, 2012

ARC REVIEW & AUTHOR Q&A: Wake by Amanda Hocking

Wake (Watersong, #1)

Title: Wake
Author:  Amanda Hocking
Series:  Watersong (#1)
Pages:  320
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Date Published:  August 7, 2012
Format:  Paperback ARC
Source:  Received from author for review
Buy It:  Amazon or B&N

Gemma seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door. He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now there’s no going back. Then one night, Gemma’s ordinary life changes forever. She’s taking a late night swim under the stars when she finds Penn, Lexi and Thea partying on the cove. They invite her to join them, and the next morning she wakes up on the beach feeling groggy and sick, knowing something is different.

Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price. And as she uncovers the truth, she’s is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets.


"Lexi put her arm around her, and something about the touch made the hair on the back of Gemma's neck stand up.  Instinctively Gemma pulled away from her, but then Lexi began singing again, and Gemma melted in her arm."

This is the first siren story I've read, and I enjoyed it so much!  It has a good dose of romance, family drama, and it's super spooky.  Wake follows Gemma and Harper, two sisters with very different personalities.  Gemma, the younger of the two, is a free spirit.  She loves swimming, especially at night, and she tends to be bit self absorbed.  Harper, on the other hand, is extremely level-headed and responsible.  She tends to be more of a parental figure than a sister.  One night Gemma is out swimming when she runs into Penn, Lexi and Thea, three girls that are new in town.  They are beautiful, captivating and strangely scary.  She can't put her finger on it, but Gemma knows they can't be trusted. After her late night meeting with them everything starts to change.

I've been a fan of Amanda's since she self-published her first series, My Blood Approves.  She has a very unique writing style that seems to draw you into the story.  I was so excited to read Wake because I knew that a story about sirens, something so magical, was exactly the kind of thing Amanda could put her own spin on and make it wonderful.  Wake is an extremely compelling story.  It grabbed me from the very first page.  Gemma and Harper have a somewhat strained relationship, but it's obvious that they love each other.  They have a great dad that manages to be there for them even though he's basically a single father.  Their mother was injured in a car wreck, and she lives in an assisted living home.  Although she's got a lot of mental issues she still comes across as a caring and loving mother.  I have a feeling that there may be more to her that we haven't seen yet.  Gemma's love interest, Alex, happens to be the boy next door.  He's always just been a friend, but things have started to change between them.  I didn't really connect with Alex very well, and I would have liked to have seen more of him.  I think his real personality will come out in the next book because he now as an important job to do.  Harper's love interest, Daniel, is definitely my favorite character.  He lives on his boat in the harbor and leads a pretty quite life.  At first Harper doesn't like him, and she's really rude to him.  I love how he takes it all in stride and never lets it get to him.  He's constantly throwing out witty comments, which I love.  And then we have Penn, Lexi and Thea.  Oh my goodness are these girls creepy!  Every time they speak the people around them hang on every word.  But Gemma and Harper seem to sense that they are evil.  When they came to town there were four of them.  Now there are only three and they want Gemma to join them.  How creepy is that!?  My only complaint with them is that I never really got a grasp on who was who.  They didn't seem to have very unique personalities.  I suppose this could be part of the mythology of the sirens always functioning as a group.  They don't really have unique personalities.

I really enjoyed Wake, and I love that I'm now addicted to a new series that is so different and magical.  I'm excited to see where The Watersong Series takes us.  I'm sure it will be an adventure!

4 Stars * * * *
Q & A with Amanda Hocking

Thank you so much to the readers that participated in our Q&A!  We got some really great questions.  A big Congratulations to Amy @ Read to My Heart's Content!!  She is the winner of the ARC copy of Wake.

Out of all the characters you have wrote so far, who was the hardest to write and who was easier? Did you have a favorite?  ~Amy @ Read to My Heart's Content
Lazlo was the hardest to write, because he was a soft male lead. He was more of a damsel in distress than Remy, so it was a little hard to make sure he didn't come across as weak or un-sexy.

You're book is about mermaids/sirens. What made you write about them? Did you have a fascination with them when you were younger? Or was it just a dream?  ~TayteH
I was really into mythology growing up, so I think that played a part in it. I think Eric helped plant the seeds for the idea, because he really loves mermaids, and lady villains.

When did you realize that you wanted to write? How did you get the idea for this book?  ~Maria Stanica
I always knew that I wanted to write, since I was a kid. Even when I had other interests, I still wanted to be a writer. I wanted to be a paleontologist/writer, and a lawyer/writer.

When you were younger (teenager or kid), did you want to become a writer? Like when teachers asked you what you wanted to be, did you say "An author."? ~Cierra P
Yes. I always wanted to be an author. When I was a kid, I would sometimes say other things, like a farmer, (or a paleontologist or a lawyer), but I would always say I wanted to be an author.

If stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would you NEED to survive? food and water don't count :) ~madnzanymomma
My cell phone, a Gilligans Island-style cell phone charger, and a jet ski.

How did you come up with ideas for your books? Is there any mainstream authors that you pulled inspiration from and made you want to be a writer? Did you put any thoughts or feelings or anything from your life growing up into your characters? ~Jolene and Family
My ideas come from everywhere, I literally take some inspiration from everything. I think the authors that most inspired and influenced my writing would be Judy Blume and Stephen King, but when I'm writing I'm not thinking "Well, how would Judy Blume say this?" I think that there's definitely some inspiration from my own life, but no direct situations, characters, or feelings are based on me or anyone in my life.

Which book so far has been your favorite to write and why? Thanks! ~Danielle B
So far, my favorite book to write has been Lullaby, which is the third book in the Watersong series. And before that, it was Torn from the Trylle Trilogy.

If you could take a week vacation with any of your book characters, who would you chose and why? :D ~Karen

Probably Bobby from My Blood Approves and Marcy from Watersong. That would be the best vacation ever.

Where does the inspiration for you stories come from? When you get an idea do you do an outline or do you just write? Out of all the dreamy boys you have invented who do you think is the most swoon worthy? ~Bridget Howard

I do always outline before I write a book, I take notes, character outlines, chapter outlines, just so I know where everything will be before I start writing. I think the most swoon-worthy guy I've written, for me at least, would be Loki from the Trylle books or Daniel from Watersong.

If you could hop into the life of any book character for a day, who would if be and why? Thank you for the giveaway! ~Gabby
Batman. Because he's Batman.

Who is your favorite muppet? ~Claudia Carozza
Beaker or Gonzo

What's your favorite book that you've read this year? ~ryllina

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

What was the first novel you completed and was it published? ~Kirsti
The first novel I completed was called "Dreams I Can't Remember," and no it was not published, because it is terrible.

Are any of your characters based on your real life friends/family members? ~jayandmelb
No. I think some characters might take some inspiration from different people, but none of them are solely based on anyone.

Did you always want to be an author? When did you first know? ~Erika
As soon as I learned what an author was, that's what I wanted to be.

Amanda, You're achieved so much success already. Are there any major milestones you're still looking forward to with your writing career that you're aiming for? ~Heather
The biggest thing I look forward to in my career, is to hopefully keep writing and entertaining readers...that's not really a milestone, but it's my favorite part.
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