Reviewed by Jessica Sherman
The Awakening is the first book of Melissa A. Craven’s Emerge series.
Allie Carmichael is tired of moving around. For as long she can remember, she has had to leave everything behind at a moment’s notice, hopping from country to country. Lonely and frustrated, she arrives in Kelleys Island for what her parents promise is the final time. Allie just wants a normal life and finally has friends and a boyfriend, leading her to hope that maybe, possibly, this is her chance for a real life. But something is coming; a storm has been brewing around the world and inside her. Its effects will forever change her definition of normal and she and her friends follow their destiny.
If you’re planning on reading this book, I wholeheartedly encourage you to get at least halfway in before you decide whether you want to finish it. The first few chapters were slow, bogged down by awkward language and shallow character descriptions. Between dated slang, forced nicknames, and awkward interactions, I had trouble getting into the story at first.
Thirty minutes later, I was hooked and finished the rest of the book in one sitting! The characters were well rounded and pretty relatable. I sympathized their emotions, especially Allie’s struggles to come to terms with her life and her future. (I’m still not a huge fan of excessive nicknames, and that didn’t change throughout the book, but I stopped noticing as I learned more about the characters.) In addition, the story was very interesting and well-thought out. I loved Allie’s passion and strong adherence to her feelings and beliefs. I watched her grow into a strong young woman who knows what she wants and doesn’t let anyone stop her.
I truly enjoyed this book and would recommend it. It is sometimes classified as young adult fiction, and though I am no longer considered a “young” adult, I was pulled into the story and the lives of its characters. I would recommend it to anyone looking for an enjoyable fantasy experience in a modern setting. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series and look forward to discovering more about the amazing world that Craven has created.