Awake - Natasha Preston

This book has received rave reviews from many reader.  It is destined to find a beloved home on many a bookshelf and reading list.  I'll even be recommending it to my YA audience when the need for thrillers pops up in October.  But here's why it's not bound for my personal favorites list:



In this YA romance/cult thriller, 16 year old Scartlett has no memory of life before the age of 4.  Hunky Noah moves into the neighborhood and suddenly, she falls in love and begins to have fleeting visions of her past.  Trick is, Noah is really part of a cult with a link to Scarlett's past and bad intentions for her future. 

The less than stellar bits: (Let's get this out of the way, shall we?)  Sporadic plot rate.  (You know, the pace at which a plot builds, climaxes, and falls.  Plot rate.)  Both the romance between Noah & Scarlett and the return of Scarlett's memories are instantaneous and contrived.  Neither event has any real build up or believable trigger.  Just BAM!  We're in love.  BAM!  Memories back.  


The quite enjoyable bits:    Everybody loves a good cult story!  This one's pretty high up on the list of 'crazy beliefs.'  The cult members and rituals are rather scarily believable.  Awake makes you take a long pause to think about loyalty, family, betrayal, and forgiveness.  


So, while not the top of my list this fall, it's combination of romance, suspense, and cult oddities will certainly entertain.  And make you get to know your neighbors just a little bit better.      


3.25 stars.