Review: Awake by Natasha Preston (ARC)

So it’s time for my first official review! Recently, I’ve been lucky enough the join the NetGalley community(they have eARCs for reviewers). It’s been amazing, and gives me great opportunities.

About two weeks ago I saw Awake by Natasha Preston up, and immediately put my request in. I saw how successful Cellar was and couldn’t wait to read this book. When I was given permission to read it, I dove right into it. I was craving a really good, creepy-vibe, keep-you-up-all-night mystery novel. Is that what I got? Well, I’ll tell ya.

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Author: Natasha Preston 

Genre: Mystery & Thriller 

Page Number: 325

Publication Date: August 2015

Of course. The dress was white. It’s what I’m supposed to die in, I thought. Not many people know what their last outfit would be.

I pulled it over my head. It fit me perfectly. It had long, loose fitting sleeves. A modest neckline, and waves of material on the skirt. I hated it.

There were no shoes, and I was afraid I’d have to run through the forest barefoot, but there weren’t a lot of options. Besides, I’d run barefoot over a bed of nails to get away.

“Scarlett, are you ready?” He called.

I look in the mirror and take a deep breath. Time to fight for my life.

(From back of book)

After reading that I was more than intrigued. I knew from her previous work that her books took a turn for the Creepshow which I love.

As I began reading it didn’t seem as this would also, though. I was confused for the first few chapters. I was constantly trying to figure out the story, searching for anything mysterious. Once I stopped and just read the book – I did.

The story is about a fifteen year old, high schooler named Scarlett. It takes place in England, and you can tell right away by the language( seriously, I read this book, in my mind, with a British accent). She lives a seemingly normal life. All right parents, annoying older brother, boy-crazy best friend etc. Enter the oh-so gorgeous (sarcastic chuckle) Noah. He seems perfect. Friendly, considerate, romantic, totally into Scarlett…right?

“Trust no one” a motto to live by. Obviously not for Scarlett, though. Their budding friendship turns quickly into a trusting  relationship.  As they become a warm little couple, we learn a secret about Scarlett.

She has no memory before the age of four.

Noah, finding this to be the oddest thing he’s ever heard of, presses her to try and remember. Nothing but headaches come from her struggle to regain her memory. Her parents and brother are no help. Playing the “Oh just forget it. It doesn’t matter” card. It annoys her to the point of nightmares. She begins to lose trust in her parents, and is determined to try to remember. After that, it seems as though the same thing keeps happening over and over again. Nothing new.

By page 187 it felt like 400. It felt as if nothing was going to happen. Until…

Until on a family vacation thier car is involved in a wreck. In the hospital, as she awakens, she is bombarded with disturbing memories of her as a young girl. Met with avoiding eyes, and a resistance to answer her questions. She realizes her family isn’t telling her anything. So it’s up to her and, a now wary, Noah to figure things out. Or just Scarlett. Noah seems uninterested in helping her remember a thing. He tried to get her to just let it go, which arouses even more suspicion on her part.

By now, we have learned that Noah and his family didn’t move to England for honest reasons. They’re here for a reason.

For Scarlett.

Once again, I got a bit bored in the middle of the book. It wasn’t until her parent’s confession, that I was once again interested. Purely for spoiler reasons, I’m not getting into any specific detail. All I’ll say is, “Welcome goosebumps!!”

Finally that feeling that makes your bones cold, arrives. I didn’t expect a cult. Honestly, it never came to mind. I’ve never read a book based on a cult, that began like this. Though, this isn’t like any other book I’ve read before. I got hooked at this point.  This book was like a fishing rod, and I the fish. The hook somehow letting me go, and finding me father down the lake again. I put it down for awhile, even though I was interested. I made excuses, started other books. Then, finally, sucked it up and finished it.  And we were introduced into world of cults, I was sucked in by surprise at how these people were so brainwashed. It was like a car crash. Look. Don’t look. Look… Now I’m sick.

“Things used to be so clear and easy. Eternal Light came first, like any other religion. Being on the outside made me realize religion is flawed. People twist things to suit themselves and their needs. It makes normal people fight and kill and hate. It’s supposed to be pure, but people make it the most tainted thing on the planet. I didn’t see it until I saw the outside world… until I fell in love with you”

It must’ve been the same way with Scarlett. Wanting nothing to do with it, but having no choice. To make things worse Noah shows who he really is – her captor. Things aren’t going so good for Scarlett..

As both the reader and Scarlett become disgusted with this cult, the book begins to drag. A lot. A lot, a lot. A little and a lot happens at the same time. Scarlett’s fate doesn’t look the best… for a long time… A long time. It felt as though the author couldn’t figure out what to write next, so she just kept writing the same thing for awhile. Did anything interesting happen? Absolutely. Did it go back into the same pattern. Absolutely.

By the end of the book it didn’t feel too slow, rather that she rushed the ending. I really don’t want to say much about it for spoiling reasons, but I really hope she writes anther book. There are a few unanswered questions, that I’d love to know the answers to.

So, did I enjoy? Yes. Would I read it again? Probably not. I would only suggest it to others who read books as I do, and not as just as a random suggestion. The book has its good parts and bad. It’s definitely not a bad book. Not at all. Just not what I was hoping for.

⭐⭐ and a half stars out of five.

Awake Playlist:  

Found A Light – Charlotte Carpenter   

Night After Night – Laura Marling  

Mines – Tina Dico      

Everywhere I Go – Lissie         

If I Go – Ella Erye                                        

Long And Lost–  Florence + The Machine

Pull Me Down –  Mikky Ekko

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