Book Review: Wake

(Watersong #1)
Published By: Tor
Publication Date: August 7, 2012
Page Count:  309 pages
Buy it at:  Amazon
Source:  Purchased by Reviewer
  Audience:  Young Adult Paranormal

Wake by Amanda Hocking had a good basic premise; a group of scarily pretty girls turn out to be a bit paranormal and evil, and follow around a girl, Gemma, who they need to join their group and make their lives complete. Gemma is happy(ish) in her life, training to be a top swimmer with Olympic dreams, and would really rather be left alone to swim and flirt with her big sister's friend who happens to live next door. 

The main problem for me with this read was that I found the style of narration far too removed from the characters; I felt like I didn't know much about any of the main characters for quite a lot of the book. I also found it distracting when the narrative cut and switched to following a different person. It did mean I got to 'see' more of the story, but I felt like it was a more superficial experience than reading a first person perspective narrative and it really wasn't for me. Others who would be less bothered by that would no doubt find this book more gripping.

I found the story quite exciting though, once I got over my issues with the narrative style, and it wasn't really hard to follow at all, without straying into the realms of the predictable. The pages flipped by as Gemma became more and more sucked into the thrall of Penn, Lexi and Thea, and their specific paranormal origins were revealed a little more. Gemma's burgeoning romance with the boy-next-door was sweet, but not particularly enthralling. I much preferred the developments between her older sister, Harper, and Daniel - a scruffy boy who lived on a boat at the docks, and seemed to just hang out nearby, shirtless and oh-so-understanding, exactly when Harper needed someone to talk to about the changes in Gemma.  

I did enjoy the particular slant of the paranormal genre that Wake took, but I don't think I will be reading the sequel as I disagreed with many of the central character's choices and I just didn't gel with the narration style.


Gorgeous. Fearless. Dangerous. They're the kind of girls you envy; the kind of girls you want to hate. Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Lexi and Thea have caught everyone's attention—but it’s Gemma who’s attracted theirs. She’s the one they’ve chosen to be part of their group.

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.


  1. I enjoyed reading this book as well. I agree with you on Harper and Daniel, i preferred their development than Gemma and Alex.


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