Scott, E. (2011). As I wake. NY: Dutton Books.
YA Lit / Dystopian /Sci-Fi / Mystery
288 pages; ages 14+
I gave this book 2 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
The cover is awesome. Quite possibly, this is the best YA cover from 2011. (hooray for not having a view from the back of a girl in a formal gown.) And it's a very quick read, even with having to re-read so many paragraphs for clarity. And the whole parallel universes/existences premise is great! Unfortunately, these are about all of the positives I can say about this story.
The book starts off intentionally confusing, but even as the reader begins to understand the main character's confusion, the repetition and pounding of the same messages gets old. We get it already! We were paying attention the first (and second, and third) time you told us that Ava (main character) can't remember diddly squat, doesn't recognize anyone, doesn't beloooooong here. Her memories of her "other" life are painful and she faints a lot.
A pet peeve of mine is when a published book has typographical errors, and there were more than a few in this book, which brought things to a screeching halt for me. Also, there were a few unanswered questions that were fairly important to the plot, and leaps of faith the reader was expected to take that weren't worth the jump.
There was so much potential in the premise -- that everyone exists in multiple lives in multiple planes and that sometimes they can move between these places. That true love remains throughout existence. That deep-down, people are basically the same regardless of the environment. Unfortunately, the message was delivered in a rather clunky and confusing way. Truly, I have no idea how the book ended. I re-read it three times and just don't have a clue.
On the Clean-O-Meter rating, I have to give this one a 6, but it easily could have been a perfect 10. The parts that dropped it down were completely unnecessary and even awkward. There's really no violence other than a fist-fight. There was one F-Bomb dropped about 3/4 of the way through the book, and it was really out of place and sudden. The character who said it hadn't even uttered a "damn" before that. And the weirdest thing was the odd inclusion of someone overhearing masturbation and in turn masturbating and then later recalling the whole thing. No details of the actions, but odd inclusion of it and completely out of place with a story that doesn't have pining, yearning, or fondling. Just a few kisses that were nondescript.
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