Book One of the Watersong series
By Amanda Hocking
Available now from St. Martin's Griffin
Gemma loves to swim. She's at swim practice everyday, swimming in the bay at night, and a potential Olympian. Her older sister, Harper, worries about her midnight swims. She's been watching out for Gemma since their mother had a traumatic brain injury. In a few months she'll be at college and no longer able to keep an eye out. And there is reason to worry since several local boys have gone missing.
Penn, Thea, and Lexi are three incredibly beautiful girls who have come to the tourist town for the summer. But there's something creepy about them. Gemma always stays away when they're partying on the beach during one of her swims. Until one day something happens and she gives in, waking up the next day hungover and bruised. Something happened to her that night, and now she's changing.
WAKE is the first book by Amanda Hocking to be traditionally published since her phenomenal success with self-publishing. It's also the first book I've read by Hocking, despite downloading a few of her earlier books. I enjoyed it and can see why she's become so popular. WAKE is a fast read that incorporates many young adult urban fantasy tropes while cleverly twisting a few.
I particularly liked that all of the main characters - Gemma, Harper, and their love interests - weren't drawn to Penn's group despite thinking they were dangerous. They do their best to stay away because they know something isn't right with those girls and they have a sense of self-preservation. I also liked that Gemma never denies something supernatural is happening to her. She might not know what it is, but she tries to figure out more about her transformation immediately instead of denying the obvious.
I wished the love interests, Alex and Daniel, got a little more pagetime. They seem like decent guys and they had chemistry with Gemma and Harper, respectively, but I wanted WAKE to delve deeper into who they were behind the flirtatious banter. (Daniel does do this, a little.) Both male love interests being human was also refreshing.
I think WAKE was a good start to the Watersong series, even if it ended a bit abruptly. Book Two, LULLABY, should be out November 27, so it's not like there's going to be a long wait. I am looking forward to reading it because I want to know how everything turns out!
In addition to urban fantasy fans, I think WAKE might appeal to all the girls watching the Olympics this summer. Considering fifteen-year-old Katie Ledecky went to the Olympics in the 800-meter freestyle after breaking the previous trial record and then took home the gold, it's an exciting time for young women who love swimming.