Paranormal Romance, Young Adult

Review: Awaken

Awaken by Lori Adams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Buy here on Amazon
A stunningly impossible love, set in a beautiful winter wonderland backdrop.

“We were not made to be together, or meant to be apart.”

Awaken is an emotional rollercoaster of a story, gorgeously written with an incredible imagination and great attention to detail on both sides of the aesthetics scale. From the picturesque and exquisite to the gruesome and horrendous. Lori Adams excels at giving us feast for the senses, especially the visual, spiritual and funny.

Michael and Sophia have fallen in love. Their love is forbidden, but they’ve managed to hide it from everyone, so far. But Michael is no ordinary boy. In fact, he’s not a boy at all. He’s an angel and soon to be part of the elite Halos of the Son warriors.

Besides being blissfully happy when she’s with Michael, Sophia also craves to be useful and independent. She’s looking forward to being a “spirit walker,” a person who helps guide and protect spirits from demons and reapers from hell. This is obviously a very important job, it’s also very dangerous. And it’s the reason why Michael is completely opposed to her “Awakening.” Of course it’s not his decision make.

While they struggle with great highs and sad lows due to their difference of opinion regarding her future, we get to see a very passionate, almost domineering and obsessed Michael. But what I was mostly left with was his borderline mean and cruel attitude towards Sophia’s decision to pursue her goals. Giving her no support and leaving her in a close to desperate need of his approval. I found myself continually irked by his disregard towards her.

She has her very funny BFF and sidekick Bailey with the YOLO attitude and her righteous and totally adorable surfer dude and Ascended Master Rama Kuan. Who sports dreadlocks and speaks in totally bodacious ways and tends to end statements with a question, “cha?”

And then there’s Dante who also doesn’t want Sophia to finish with her Awakening, or at least not in the way she has envisioned to. I feel so at odds with Dante’s character. His love for Sophia feels so epic, his faith in their adoration everlasting. I somehow find myself rooting for him. I hate to see him suffer, I feel for him, for all that he has endured, for all that he has done to keep his promise to his one, true, long lost love. There are so many sweet, tender moments between him and Sophia. I hate that she is using him even though she at least feels empathy for his suffering. I hate that he has nefarious plans… well, they seem bad to me. For him they’re just his view of a happily ever after.

In between all the excitement I found myself loving the small town events and descriptions that took me to a sort of fairytale place. Laughing my butt off with all the Star Wars and Star Trek references that appeal so much to my inner geek (I bet something big that Lori is a Star Wars geek as well). I was even cheering for Vaughn and Santiago. I enjoyed all spiritual depictions, some of which I plan on putting to practice myself. I will name tomorrow as Happiness instead of x-day and make it true to the word.

I only have one if or but, even though I know it serves the purpose of the plot. I don’t like Sophia’s plan to achieve her goal and overcome to what seems to me like a nuisance of a problem. I’m sure she’s not the only one person training to be a spirit walker, there must be other trainees with similar issues, why take such a huger risk? It seems unfeasible and not well thought out. But that’s just me being too practical, because in the end it made for a very dramatic cliffhanger.

I eagerly await the final installment of this series. I can’t envision how Lori will tie all loose ends and solve this very interesting storyline.

4.5 Awakened stars

I can’t believe I wrote this review with just the one quote, there’s so much I highlighted! I guess I’ll just have to wait until the publishing date to insert at least a couple more. But in the meantime I’m sure I can leave you with one more. Care to guess who said this first almost 40 years ago?

“Aren’t you a little short for a storm trooper?”

NOTE: This is not a standalone book. It is the second book in a trilogy and should be read in order. As mentioned before, this story concludes with very affected “The end… of nothing.” Please be warned.

* I was given an ARC of this book for an honest review from Netgalley. The excerpts are from that copy. *

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