Synopsis via Goodreads:
Three things run through my mind at this very moment…
ONE, my life as I once knew it will never be the same.
TWO, the person I’m in love with might not even exist.
THREE, the deception that has unfolded before me has the power of life and death.
Sixteen year old, Breanna Davis, has heard the saying; life isn’t always what it seems…well, that saying rings true now more than ever. As horrifying visions appear before her, revealing tragedies that will forever change the fate of those she loves, she realizes that she may be the only person who can stop them from becoming reality.
Amongst the chaos of this new discovery, Bre is faced with a stranger, Eve, who moves in on Bre’s friends and begins to follow her every move. As Eve’s true motives begin to surface, Bre must fight against, not only the visions, but the dangers Eve holds close.
There is another secret kept- Collin, a boy held captive in Bre’s dreams, the boy she is secretly falling in love with but isn’t sure he even exists. As she tries to make it work with Austin, an old friend who could possibly be more, Bre battles against her feelings for Collin.
Bre is faced with an almost impossible decision, to choose her life or follow her destiny. If she doesn’t intercede, people will certainly die. If she does, her own life could be at stake. In the end, if she fails, she’ll lose everything.
Released: March 2013
About the Author:
In late 2008, Jaime found the pieces of her novel beginning to take form and a story was born. Soon she had a full novel in her hands and a writer was developed. Awaken is Jaime’s first published novel. With many features still in the works, this debut novel is just a taste of the action-packed romantic thrillers to come from this aspiring new author.
Jaime now lives in Nevada with her husband and three boys. Loving life, and living a dream.
In a word: a plot filled with twists, amazing family relationships, dynamic characters, but a paranormal sub-plot that ultimately didn’t work for me.
Awaken is debut author Jaime Guerard’s first book in a series, and when you get to the end of this story, you might want to scream, because the ending is going to make you want to grab a copy of the sequel, Lost, as soon as possible. I know it’s strange to start a review by talking about the ending of a book, but there you have it. Having just finished Awaken, and experienced the cliff hanger ending, I’m dying to know what happens next. Jaime’s first book is a gripping and angst-filled romance that also delves into complex family relationships. I was expecting a mostly paranormal tale about a girl whose visions come true, but what I got was something completely different.
Breanna “Bre” Davis is a high school girl who starts the book in a rather unpleasant relationship with a boy named Josh, a controlling and jealous type that also happens to be cheating on Bre behind her back. But Bre can’t seem to tear herself away from this clearly toxic relationship, and she makes excuses to stay with Josh. Meanwhile, Bre begins to have strange visions, one about a couple named Paul and Kim who are in some kind of danger, and another about a mysterious stranger named Collin who makes Bre’s heart beat faster. And right after her visions start, she meets a new girl at school named Eve who follows her wherever she goes.
As if this weren’t enough to deal with, Bre’s home life isn’t exactly perfect. Her negligent mother is rarely home due to work, and her kind-hearted but overworked father has had to practically raise Bre and her younger brother Caleb by himself. Bre’s life is in turmoil, and unfortunately it’s only going to get worse. When she acts on what she thinks her vision is telling her to do, she ends up helping Paul and Kim, but the rest of her life begins to unravel. Bre must determine what her heart wants and begin to stand up for herself in order to make things right again.
Guerard has a wonderful way of describing relationships, especially family ones. By far my favorite parts of the story were those that centered around Bre’s family and the ups and downs they experience by having a mostly absent mother who breezes into town for a day or two, then breezes right back out. Bre’s feelings of anger toward her mother Susan were believable and heartbreaking, and I felt for Caleb, the younger child who almost seems caught in the middle between Bre and her mother. When Susan loses her job and is forced to move back home permanently, the family dynamics implode, and all four must figure out how to make things work. In contrast to this, Bre’s friend Austin has a warm and loving mother and step-father that welcome Bre with open arms. Guerard doesn’t shy away from the pain of difficult relationships between parents and their children, and I loved the emotional layer these relationships added to the story.
There’s plenty of high school drama as well. Bre makes her way through no less than three different boyfriends during the course of the book, so you can count on jealousies galore. What I loved about Bre is that she really doesn’t want to hurt anyone, and she goes out of her way to smooth things over when her relationships turn nasty. And it wouldn’t be high school without lots of girl drama. Bre gets lots of grief from several girls that want whatever guy she’s with at the time, and the mysterious Eve always seems to be hovering in the background, stirring up trouble. But Bre’s bestie Becka was a nice constant in the story, a loyal friend who was one of the few characters that remained true to her.
The part that just didn’t quite work for me was the story involving Bre’s visions, and the dream-like connection she has with Collin. Guerard’s focus is really on the relationships—between families, friends and romantic partners. The paranormal aspect of the precognitive visions is introduced in the first part of the story, then only appears sporadically during the rest of the book, which left me feeling a little bewildered as to what it all meant. Eve’s character and the reasons behind her menacing behavior toward Bre aren’t explained until the end, and by that time I was just confused. Also, a shadowy figure with glowing eyes that appears in the woods at one point didn’t seem to fit in with the story at all, although it also is explained later in the book. I wanted either more of the supernatural elements, or less, I’m not sure which.
But you can’t deny that Awaken is a thrilling read. A lot happens in 400 pages, and readers will have to pay close attention. If you are in the mood for a relationship-driven story filled with romantic tension and lots of suspense, then this is one story you don’t want to miss.
Many thanks to the publisher for supplying a review copy.
My knees were buckling and I didn’t have it in me to be mad at him anymore. He was like an addiction to sweets; no matter how bad they were for me or how hard I tried to stop eating them, the craving returned, that much stronger, overriding all sense of reasoning and will. One glance in those perfect eyes and I was paralyzed, not able to think straight or reject him and his intentions.
And now for the giveaway! Jaime is offering one U.S. winner a copy of Awaken. Simply click the button below to enter now!