Saturday, April 7, 2012

review: Awake

Title by Author: Awake by Jessica Grey
Series (if applicable): Fairytale Series
Publisher: Tall House Books
Publication Date: February 2012
Page Count:  e-book
Blurb: Alexandra Martin didn’t believe in fairytales…
Alex has always been more interested in rocks and science than stories about princesses and magic. Now she’s far too busy with her summer internship at the Gem and Mineral Museum to think about children’s stories. Between avoiding her former best friend and high school baseball star, Luke Reed, and trying to hide her unrequited crush on her mentor at the museum, the real world is occupying all of her time.
…Until she walked into one.
It turns out fairytales aren’t all fun and games. A curse has turned her neat and orderly world upside down, and to break it, she bands together with a fellow intern and a recently awakened princess who’s been asleep for 900 years. Can this trio of unlikely heroines put an end to an ominous enchantment, discover true love, and keep an ancient and evil magic from being unleashed on modern-day Los Angeles?

My Interest in this book is: I fell in love with Jessica Grey’s ‘Attempting Elizabeth’ short story that she had submitted for the Jane Austen Made Me Do It project.  Started following her and found out that she had self-published a re-write of Sleeping Beauty – and had to read it… glad I did!

My Review:
Alex Martin, having just graduated high school, was looking forward to her summer internship at GeMMLA, that was…until Luke Reed showed up!  Why would the high school baseball star be working at the museum?  Just because their moms were friendly, Alex did not like being around Jake, ever since Freshman year.  But, Alex did have her best friend, Becca, working with her for the summer; now she had to convince Becca that their boss, Nick, was not a bad guy!  And, no, Alex did not have a crush on her boss.

Alex got a frantic message from Nick in the middle of the night, so she went to GeMMLA early to find out what was happening.  Instead of finding Nick, she finds a strange girl in Renaissance garb standing in the middle of the store room, with no sign of Nick or Luke…. And thus the fairy re-telling begins.

Alex doesn’t believe in magic – she’s more of a science gal – show me the evidence.  When she hears Lilia’s story, she is still rather skeptical.  But when an unexplained storm brews over Los Angeles, Alex starts to believe.  This is a very smart story; it is well-written with language that has substance and intelligence.  I also loved how skeptical Alex is until she ‘feels the power.’  Luke is also quite swoon-worthy in this story, a boy with heart.  Becca, the best friend, is quirky and a great companion to the story.

This story makes you realize that there just might be magic in the world.. you just have to tap in to it, to believe and to see it all around you.  I will read anything by Jessica Grey, as she spins tales easily, with heart, intelligence and wit.  I am looking forward to ‘Atone’ – a retelling of Beauty and the Beast (one of my personal favorites).

Favorite Quotes:
Kids were the worst: it was as if they could smell the fear on you, like little predators.  Once they smelled it they would move in for the kill – acting out, touching things they weren’t supposed to.

Is it true that you have never experienced any magic at all? That is quite odd.  Perhaps you just have not noticed it?

She closed her mind to the storm, to the voices inside her own head that said she wasn’t good enough, that she was too small, too quiet to be noticed.  Finally, there it was, where she had shoved it, all the way into the back of her mind, at the back of her heart, the piece of herself that she knew to be the most true.

When I finished this book, I felt: glad that I picked this one up.  I recommend it to anyone who love fairy re-tellings, intelligent and witty characters, and a little bit of magic – and don’t forget a good love story!
Rating:  5 stars
Other books to read by this author or theme:  Cameron Dokey has written some fabulous fary re-tellings, and I also love Shannon Hale and Gail Carson Levine.  I cannot wait for more stories by Jessica Grey… she is definitely one to watch!
Tag: contemporary, fairy re-telling, magic, romance, Sleeping Beauty, recommend
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