(When you see this cover, do you not think "maybe there will be mermaids. Gee, I hope there are mermaids!")
Goodreads actually has a really great synopsis for Wake, so here it is: "Fall under the spell of Wake—the first book in an achingly beautiful new series by celebrated author Amanda Hocking—and lose yourself to the Watersong.
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."
There was so much to love about Wake! The main character, Gemma, is awesome: she's independent and fun and a good friend and a good sister and a good daughter. She's determined and she works hard, even under less-than-ideal circumstances. These less-than-ideal circumstances include a dad who works hard hours, a mom who lives nearly an hour away in a group home after suffering a traumatic brain injury, and an older sister who is having trouble letting go of her caretaker role as she transitions to college. Through it all, she remains a very active member of her school's swim team, maintains good grades, plan to go to college after graduation, and is a loyal friend who knows how to have fun.
I loved that Gemma and Harper, her sister, wasn't perfect. Because that's real. There is never, ever a question of whether or not they love each other: they love each other nearly to a fault. But that doesn't mean that they will always see eye to eye or never say a hurtful word to each other. That's just the way it is, and I love that Amanda Hocking is able to convey that fiercely loyal never perfect sisterly love.
I also love that there may or may not be mermaids in Wake. Ya'll know I love me some potential mermaidness. No spoilers! You'll have to read the book. Either way, the characters live on the coast, and there's lots of ocean interaction.
While I loved Wake and want to give it an enthusiastic five stars, there's one little thing holding me back a little: willing suspension of disbelief. Amanda Hocking does demand a little bit of willing suspension of disbelief at times. And by a little, I mean a good dose of willing suspension of disbelief. If you go into Wake fully committed to a great time and a fantastic story, you're in for a treat. If you're a skeptical person, this book may not be for you. But I loved it, and I also plan to hand over my copy to my own sister in the near future. I think she'll love it as much as I did.
*I received an ARC of Wake from the publisher. Thank you!