Author: Calista Lynne
Series Number: 1
Publication Date: July 14, 2016
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Where I received the book: I received a review copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: 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.
i was very excited to read this book. there aren’t many books with asexual main characters. i’d heard conflicting things before starting, but i was excited nonetheless.
unfortunately, i was quickly disappointed. i found this book very slow and boring – the plot was lacking. we awaken focuses so much on asexuality that it seems to forget how difficult victoria’s life is. her dad has died and her brother is in a coma, but hey lets forget that and throw in a dictionary definition of asexuality every few chapters. the book mainly focuses on sexuality over anything else, and i would’ve really enjoyed it if there were a more in depth look into asexuality rather than just brushing over it (something anyone can do with a couple google searches).
another thing i had a problem with was the insta love. the characters are “in love” with each other by like their second (dream) meeting. honestly, it felt so unrealistic. not to mention, they seem to love each other because they’re both asexual rather than for their other qualities/interests.
the world building was very weak in we awaken. by the end of it, i had so many unanswered questions about the dream things. there’s this whole magical world that could’ve been explored, but it seems to have been forgotten entirely. not to mention the climax. it was such an easy way out of everything. it didn’t make any sense because of the lack of world building and i didn’t understand what was going on or how it worked.
aside from that, i really did enjoy ashlinn’s character. i found her relatable and interesting. victoria felt very boring and flat. i mean, she loves ballet but it’s never really shown as something she loves, just an afterthought to her personality.
overall, the book felt very rushed but i enjoyed the use of asexuality because it’s not something that’s often used in books. i felt the book could’ve gone through another lot of editing to get the plot and writing a little better but it was still a decent read.