Hello everyone! I’ve been exploring this thing called NetGalley recently and I thought that I should at least read some of the books on my shelf and review them. That’s what the site is about after all. So here’s yet another review from yours truly.
!! minor spoilers ahead. read at your own risk !!
by Calista Lynne
Genre: LGBTQ, Young Adult
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Expected Publication Date: 14 July 2016
My Rating: 3.5 / 5
Victoria Dinham doesn’t have much left to look forward to. Since her father died in a car accident, she lives only to fulfill her dream of being accepted into the Manhattan Dance Conservatory. But soon she finds another reason to look forward to dreams when she encounters an otherworldly girl named Ashlinn, who bears a message from Victoria’s comatose brother. Ashlinn is tasked with conjuring pleasant dreams for humans, and through the course of their nightly meetings in Victoria’s mind, the two become close. Ashlinn also helps Victoria understand asexuality and realize that she, too, is asexual.
But then Victoria needs Ashlinn’s aid outside the realm of dreams, and Ashlinn assumes human form to help Victoria make it to her dance audition. They take the opportunity to explore New York City, their feelings for each other, and the nature of their shared asexuality. But like any dream, it’s too good to last. Ashlinn must shrug off her human guise and resume her duties creating pleasant nighttime visions—or all of humanity will pay the price.
If this were a non-fiction book, it probably would have a tag phrase like: love through the eyes of an asexual person.
What is asexuality?
That’s the main issue the book tackles and I love it. We Awaken seamlessly manages to integrate the answers to that question without it being too awkward or dreary. Also, the main characters being asexual gives rise to a bunch of cute moments and there is so much fluff that I just can’t help but smile. Now this is the kind of romance I enjoy reading about. No need for a two page kiss scene, give me a whole chapter of them hugging each other in their pillow fort and watching Singing In The Rain instead.
Truth be told, I was thinking of dropping the novel somewhere around 20%. Romance was never my favourite genre and Victoria and Ashlinn’s rushed relationship kinda put me off. It felt much like an insta-love. But something made me keep reading, and that something was the writing (that and also I wanted to find out how a relationship like Victoria and Ashlinn’s would pan out). The writing is beautiful, in the sense that it’s neither too simplistic, nor too flowery. It made it really fun to read from Victoria’s perspective.
However, I felt that the novel could be so much more in terms of the building of the dream world. Why are there only two people controlling dreams? How does Ashlinn create dreams for others while still being able to remain in Victoria’s dreams? Does she like create multiple copie of herself? If other people are able to take over her job, then can’t other people work alongside with her??
In the blurb, it says “or all of humanity will pay the price”. Kinda sounds a bit apocalyptic doesn’t it? But the way it was resolved was a bit anti-climactic and does not live up to this phrase at all. It was basically “hey let’s meet up and let’s just come to a compromise in a diplomatic manner”.
Overall, I am impressed by We Awaken. I picked it up as I thought that I should try reading some books from the LGTBQ genre and it did not disappoint. I’m glad that the author decided to choose to feature asexuality, something that is not commonly seen of in fiction books.
Would I recommend this? Hell yes I would. The plot may be lacking in some areas but it’s definitely worth a read, especially for the subject matter.