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on 15 January 2013
Before reviewing this I have to declare that I'm probably not atypical of the readership expected for this novel, being middle-aged and male!
I read the Trylle trilogy a while ago, which were quite entertaining. Better than a lot of YA fiction, but not up to the standard of (say) the Hunger Games trilogy, for example.
This book is the start of a new series, and certainly ends leaving the reader wanting to know more, which is clearly a good idea if you're writing a book 2! It revolves around two sisters, one of whom is caught into a supernatural nightmare. I don't want to give away any of the plot, but there's some good interplay between the characters who are quite well drawn for a novel of this type. There's a smattering of romance, some mildly gruesome scenes, and a plot which encourages that 'I'll just read the next chapter' thing.
All in all, a good start to a new series, and whilst it wouldn't make my favourite books of all time list, I'd not be telling people to avoid it either. Worth a punt if you've not tried the author before.
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on 4 January 2013
There are very few mermaid/ under the sea kind of creature books in the young adult genre which is why I wanted to read this one so much. The premise sounded very different from the other few mermaid books I have read so I was immediately interested.

Wake tells the story of sisters Harper and Gemma although technically, I guess Gemma should be called the protagonist. Harper generally keeps to herself and is the complete opposite of her beautiful, swimmer sister Gemma. Their mother doesn't live with them anymore and Harper has taken it upon herself to play that very role, being very overprotective of Gemma and what she gets up to. I really liked that the two sisters were very different and they had varying interests. It gave each character their own distinct voice and made their personalities clear.

While the beginning of the story is a little drawn out, it sets the scene well. Gemma loves her late night swims and is determined to keep them up even though there has been a few people gone missing recently. While out at the bay swimming, Gemma notices a group of insanely pretty girls, girls who are new in town but have definitely been noticed. Both Gemma and Harper think something is off with these girls but can't quite put their fingers on it. A large chunk of the beginning of the story is spent getting to know the girls and where they live and I think the main plot could have been gotten to quicker.

There are slight romantic themes throughout Wake although they do not overpower the main plot. Love interests Alex (for Gemma) and Daniel (for Harper) were both great characters and again, very different. Daniel is the smouldering older guy who randomly lives on a boat while Alex is the boy next door and also Harper's friend. I have to say, as nice as geeky Alex was, I much preferred Daniel. He seemed like a slight bad boy with a past and someone who could be a whole lot of hot trouble in the future. Alex was just too nice and predictable for me.

So, the main plot. Wake isn't actually about mermaid but Sirens. This was something that I absolutely loved and was very thankful for something different. There is actually quite a lot of background information about the Sirens and where they came from/ why they came to begin with. The mythology behind this new and exciting creature was fantastic and I loved learning more about them. However, I did hate to see Gemma tricked into something she wouldn't have wanted but the end outcome and cliff-hanger was amazing and so exciting.

While I do think Wake could have been better, it was still a really good read and now I'm looking forward to reading the sequel, Lullaby.
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on 20 January 2013
I'm a big fan of Amanda Hocking's books and I've really been looking forward to finding out where this new series would take me.

The prologue seemed dark and a little bit scary and I wasn't expecting this at all, in fact the whole book was a lot darker than I thought it would be. When sisters Harper and Gemma were introduced it was clear that there was some friction between them, they had very different personalities and Harper seemed motherly towards Gemma (the reasons for this were explained further into the story). I was keen to see how things would evolve for them throughout the book.

There were a couple of relationships in the storyline, firstly between Gemma and Alex (boy next door) and also Harper and Daniel (a guy who lives on a boat), out of the two couples I felt more interested in Harper and Daniel and I'm really looking forward to seeing how that progresses in the next book.

The mysterious three girls - Penn, Thea and Lexi - were what made this book so eerie, although I had figured out what they were I couldn't wait for the moment to arise when all would be revealed.

I struggled to get into the first half of book, it just took too long to capture my interest and felt a bit flat. I was disappointed by this because I really do love the other books by this author, I suppose I had expected to feel the same as I did for her previous series (completely hooked from the very first page). However, the second half was where it got exciting - I found myself speeding through the pages to find out what would happen so in the end my faith was restored.

The night that changed everything for Gemma was strange and when it was mixed with the disappearances of local boys and girls I just knew something dark and deadly was going on. The mythological story told by Penn was interesting and answered many of the questions that I had swirling around in my mind.

The ending really captured my interest and I'm now quite excited about reading the next book Lullaby which is already on my to read pile.

This was an eerie book that unfortunately took a while to get going, but once it did it was fantastic!
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on 21 August 2012
Wake is the first novel in the Watersong series. Full of mysteries and fluffy romance, Amanda Hocking will captivate fans with this new and exciting world.

Gemma is a swimmer. She loves to swim, especially at night at the far end of the beach. When three beautiful girls start appearing around town, Gemma doesn't feel safe. Most people think the girls are just ordinary tourists hanging around the beach for the summer, but they've got a secret. One that will change Gemma's life forever.

I enjoyed Gemma's character and personality, she was fun and unpredictable. Her sister, Harper, however, wasn't the most easiest of characters to get along with. Harper is fiercely protective with no sense of adventure of whatsoever. There were a few moments in the books when I felt like Harper could have just dived into the deep end, I wanted her to dive in the deep end. But, she didn't. Typical, boring Harper.

The romance wasn't bad, it was cute, nothing too heavy. I liked the relationship between Gemma and the-boy-next-door, Alex. Alex is a complete nerd but looks gorgeous and owns an amazing body. He blushes and he has a slight cowlick, but, damn it, who cares? It made him more realistic, a more believable character, not like some other YA guys who are flawless.

Putting aside Alex and Gemma, and moving on to Gemma's older sister, Harper, and Daniel, a guy who lives on a boat near where Gemma and Harper's dad works. To be perfectly honest, I enjoyed reading more about their relationship than Gemma and Alex's. Daniel made me laugh so much! The flirting was adorable! But knowing Harper she would never go for a guy who hasn't got his life sorted out and lives on a boat. Seriously, this girl needs to live her life, open her eyes....and go out with Daniel. I think you guys will love the way Daniel and Harper met. ;)

If you have not read any of Amanda Hocking's books then I urge you to check the out as soon as possible.

Overall, Wake is an exciting, tense and gripping read. I would recommend this book to any Amanda Hocking fan or anyone who loves a spooky paranormal read. I can't wait to read Lullaby because the ending of Wake has left me of what's to come . I'm expecting a lot more from Lullaby including some more romance and action.
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on 25 October 2013
Wake was a likable read and a good introduction to the `Watersong' series.
I'm not going to go over the description again because I think it pretty much covers everything I would say anyway so on with my thoughts....
Wake felt like a coming of age story that was made more intriguing by a plot involving mysterious strangers, unsolved murders and first love with just a splash of paranormal. We have two main characters - sisters Gemma & Harper - and we get both POV's throughout the book. I thought both characters were very likeable in different ways.. I liked Gemma for her carefree ways, someone who was driven & determined and not afraid to take a risk whereas Harper was more grounded and took a more responsible roll, you will find out why during the book and it is understandable when you find out why they are that way which does help the reader connect to the characters, especially Harper for me, as an older sister myself it's easy to connect with her maternal side towards her sister. It was nice reading about how their relationship was & how they viewed each other. I really enjoyed that they both got a bit of romance, first loves for the pair of them really but whilst Gemma's was more innocent & straight forward, Harper's - not so much but I liked that, it totally fit with her up tight, bossy nature and I thought Daniel was perfect for her just as the boy next door - Alex - was perfect for Gemma. You can tell that the strength & basis of both relationships are going to become a major factor in the series.
The storyline was very intriguing, when you have a trio of strangers causing a stir around town & a murder investigation underway at the same time, it isn't hard to connect the dots but it's the discoveries made along the way that keep your attention and turning the pages waiting for the big reveal and that just grows when Gemma is brought into the situation in a big way, giving the book that paranormal element. I think the less I say about the plot, the better because a lot of it hinges on what is found out during the story but as I already stated, this is a good read, definitely a page turner and so easy to read, it was very intriguing and even though we got big reveals at the end, it does leave you wanting more.. I think you definitely have to be in this for the whole series though because there is a lot left `in the air' and you are not going to get any real conclusion from this one book, it felt a lot like a taster of bigger things to come, so it will keep you reading and with that, I'm off to read the sequel Lullaby ;)
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 10 September 2012
The town of Capri is always filled with tourists during the warmer months. So when Penn, Lexi, and Thea show up, no one notices anything odd for awhile. The only thing different in the area lately is the fact that some people have gone missing. But soon everyone is talking about Penn, Lexi, and Thea. They are super gorgeous. They are the kind you want to hate, but you actually envy. They have captured the attention of everybody in Capri, but is Gemma the three girls seem to want.

Sixteen-year-old Gemma Fisher is pretty, carefree, and enjoys nothing more than swimming. Even though school is out, she still has swim practice. Gemma is in training. She has dreams of being in the Olympics someday. But swim practice is work, not fun. Fun, for Gemma, is her nightly swim in the bay. It is just Gemma and the water and the stars. Oh, there is also the boy next door, Alex. He has always been just a friend and he plans to go to college in a couple of months, but this summer they are taking their relationship to the next level.

Then one night while swimming in the bay, Gemma is spotted by Penn, Lexi, and Thea. They have been trying to get Gemma to join their group, but something just seems off about them. This night Gemma is unable to say no or walk away. It is as if the three girls cast a spell on her. The next morning Gemma wakes up on the beach feeling groggy and sick, knowing that something is different.

Gemma is stronger, faster, heals crazy fast, and is more beautiful than ever. Penn, Lexi, and Thea have somehow altered Gemma - all the way down to her cellular level. Whatever they did cannot be reversed either. As Gemma finds out more about her new, unwanted powers, she learns that she has only two options. Gemma can stay with those she loves and die in the near future or she can accept what she has become, join the three girls, and enter their dark world.

**** FOUR STARS! This is the first in the four-book Watersong series. It's about a young girl who is transformed, against her will, into (what was thought to be) a mythical creature. Though major threads are left dangling, this first installment ends in a good spot. The backgrounds of the main and secondary characters are well developed. However, the backgrounds of Penn, Lexi, and Thea are not revealed and fully explained until about the middle of the story. It is obvious that the author adores mythology and has done considerable research on the material. Her writing style is appealing, easy to follow, and flows smoother than a calm sea. This series is destined to win awards. I foresee a bright future for Amanda Hocking and many new fans. ****

Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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on 28 December 2012
Gemma is a very beautiful girl & loves the sea. It gives her freedom, and she feels safe there. Gemma then starts falling in love with the boy next door, Alex, who was always the best friend, but this summer, they have decided to take their relationship to the next level. Harper, her sister, has a caring bone inside her, and has looked after Gemma ever since their Mum had a terrible accident. Three strange girls have arrived in town. They are fearless, gorgeous and enticing, and although they have captured everyone's attention, it's Gemma they are interested in, and they want her to be part of their group. One night, Gemma decides to take a swim, when she finds the three girls having a party on the cove. They invite her, and draw her in into drinking a mysterious concoction. The next morning, Gemma wakes up feeling different, and immediately knows something is wrong. Gemma is faster, stronger and beautiful than before. As she tries to uncover the truth, she ends up being torn between leaving her family, or going off with the strange girls, and entering a world with so many different possibilities.

This is the first book I have ever read from the author Amanda Hocking. It is the first book in the 'Watersong' series. I have heard a load of good things about this new series from her, and I decided to take the plunge, and I'm glad I did.
All the characters are like-able in this. The story mainly revolves around the two sisters Gemma and Harper, and the things that their life encounters. I feel sorry for both of them because their Mum had a terrible accident, and is now in a home where they occasionally visit her, normally on a Saturday. The Mum has to be constantly reminded who they are and why they're there upon every visit. You then have the three mysterious girls: Penn, Lexi and Thea. They seem to have a certain danger about them, and when they enter a room all eyes are on them. The Dad only plays a minor part in this story, as he is normally working a lot, and he tends to be very forgetful with his lunch for work, which Harper normally makes for him and brings to him. Finally, you have the two guy interests of the sisters. Alex is the typical friend who suddenly becomes hot, and he begins his relationship with Gemma. Daniel lives on a boat by the dock, which was left to him. There are definite romantic sparks between Harper and Daniel, but because Harper is going to study in a couple of months, she is holding back.
There is a nice size to this book. The chapters aren't too short, nor too long. Not a lot happens in this novel, and it probably seems that way as it is being spread across a series.
I wouldn't say there was anything I disliked about the story, as I do enjoy books about mermaids and sirens, etc. I can't wait to read the next book from this series.
I really like the cover design to this. Not only is it blue, which is my favourite colour, but it holds a certain mystery behind it.
Overall, I give this book five stars because I liked the storyline, would recommend, and would most definitely read again, if given the time.
Add this book to your "to read" list, because I give it two thumbs up.

Happy reading =)
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on 13 December 2012
My daughter and I received this paperback copy of Wake by Amanda Hocking from St Martins Press in exchange for our honest reviews. This is Bk#1 in The Watersong Trilogy. The cover would definitely have drawn me to this book, if it were on a shelf in a book store. As the cover suggests the book has a water theme. The main characters in the book are sisters, Harper and Gemma. They live with their father, Brian. Their mother Nathalie is in a special home as her and eldest daughter Harper were in a car accident. The accident left Nathalie in a coma, which when she finally came around from the coma she was left with the drastic consequences. Nathalie is unable to cope with life any more, both emotionally and with some physical tasks too. So, since the accident it has just been the two girls and their father living at home. The girls visit their mother every weekend, even though at times she may act as if she doesn't totally know what is happening. Harper, the eldest of the two girls has taken the role of "mother" on to Gemma, the youngest. The fact that Harper tries to tell Gemma what to do causes friction between the girls, especially when Gemma insists on going down to the bay to swim at night. Gemma is an excellent swimmer and is in training with the hopes of one day competing in the Olympics.....
Everything is going along routinely when three girls come to town. The three girls are beautiful, yet mysterious, with a dark dangerous air around them. Who are they? Where are they staying? And why does everyone seem transfixed on just them when they are around?
The three girls begin to take an interest in Gemma, remarking on her swimming prowess.
One night Gemma ends up on the beach with the three girls, who offer her a drink, a drink that tastes weird, a drink that changes everything...
This book is so well written, it flows beautifully and hooks you and literally reels you into it right up until the very end of the book. It is the first book I have read by Amanda Hocking, though I have more books by her on my kindle to read. I also admit that as soon as I finished this book I immediately picked up the next book, Lullaby and began reading it!
So did I enjoy the book?Yes. Would I recommend the book? Yes. Would you read more in this series? Er...already started Bk#2! Will I read more books by Amanda Hocking? Yes!
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on 4 January 2013
Having read and enjoyed the Trylle Trilogy I was looking forward to this new series from Amanda Hocking and as with the previous books that I've read by Amanda, I found myself absolutely racing through Wake, intrigued and gripped by the world Amanda creates and the mysteries of the story.

I'm a bit of a water-baby at heart so was drawn to the premise of Wake and lead character Gemma right from the start. Hocking sets up the story and characters very well and I felt like I knew Gemma and her sister Harper and what made them tick almost immediately. Gemma is a dedicated swimmer, hoping to be an Olympian one day and only truly at home when she is in the water. She came across as sweet and dedicated at the start of the story and quite a contrast to bossy older sister Harper who has assumed a motherly role in the family due to the absence of their own mother. I also liked Harper and as the novel progressed I found that her character really grew on me, particularly as she tries to figure out what is going on with her little sister and why she's acting so out of character.

The mystery element of the novel is set up from the start with a chilling prologue involving the enigmatic Penn and Thea. Hocking maintains the intrigue surrounding the girls for a large part of the novel as they register increasingly on Gemma and Harper's radar building to the fateful night that Gemma joins the girls for one of their beach parties. From this point the plot accelerates fast and I don't want to give away any spoilers but I will say that I loved the mythology surrounding the story and I think Hocking has framed it well into a contemporary fantasy novel.

The romance element to the story is also well done. I liked that both sisters have potential romantic interests and I particularly enjoyed Harper's relationship with loner Daniel. I'm sure there's much more to come from him as a character and hopefully from their relationship. Gemma's budding romance with boy next door Alex is also sweet and I liked the twist that the story put on their relationship.

With a dramatic ending that left me wanting more I enjoyed the new world that Hocking has created and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.
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on 1 May 2015
The story is about a sixteen year old girl named Gemma Fisher, whose name I somehow always mistakenly read as “Emma”. Gemma likes swimming. Gemma also likes Alex. This sums up Gemma. She’s on the swim team and she always swims for what seems like 24/7. I guess her love for the water is what brought this all upon her..

Gemma’s family consists of her mother, Nathalie, who’s ill and we don’t really see much of her in the book. There was a car accident nine years before which resulted in her mother being put in a home since she never truly recovered from it. Brian, her father, works at the dock and he seems like a generally cool dad. He seemed to be downright hardworking and caring of his two daughters.

Gemma’s sister, Harper, is about two years older than her and is preparing to go to university in a few months. After their mother got ill, she sort of fell into the role of taking care of the household. Although she seemed to be quite bossy and mad at Gemma, it was very clear that she only wanted to protect and take care of her sister.

There’s also this guy who lives next door, Alex, who’s Harper’s childhood friend. He eventually becomes Gemma’s boyfriend, but that’s neither a secret nor a spoiler. He used to be a video game geek growing up, and he also has a thing for stars. How romantic.

There were several sweet, romantic moments in this book. For instance, there was this part where Alex and Gemma were looking at the stars at he tells her she’s pretty gasp.

What happens in the book is that there’s three girls, Penn, Lexi and Thea, who arrive to the city. No one know’s who they are or what they’re doing there, although it’s been specified SEVERAL times that it’s summer and there are tourists there. What made these three “tourists” different from the rest, is that they looked like movie stars. Not only that, but there was also a fourth girl, whose name I believe was Arista, but she disappeared. Gemma’s sister, Harper, has a friend who believes she was killed. But who knows, right? raises hand

There’s a reason why people think that these three girls look like movie stars. As it turns out, they’re actually sirens. There was a huge explanation about what sirens were, something about Zeus and what not. The issue with this, is that it was Penn (if I’m not mistaken) who explained it to Gemma. It was explained through a conversation. I wouldn’t normally have an issue with this, but I have troubles remembering what exactly she said. There was so much information and I feel like Hocking could have done it slightly better. I sort of don’t even care to be honest, they have fins! :)

You know what bugs me about these so-called mermaids sirens? They act like they’re superior. They went ahead and gave Gemma “alcohol”, which in reality was a poison potion that made her in to a siren. Just who are you to decide who becomes a mermaid siren without their consent? How rude and inconsiderate. And then, Penn goes are tells Gemma that she’s ungrateful. WOW. Hocking really did do a great job at creating unlikable characters.

To sum things up, Gemma becomes a siren as well and now she has to decide whether or not she wants to stay on land or join the other three on their watery adventures. Gemma ends up choosing the latter (she didn’t really have much of a choice though). I could tell from the ending that book two is where the fun’s at. It seems like in book two of the series, her sister and co are going to try to figure out how to bring Gemma back.

The story not only progressed slowly, but there were several parts of it that had no meaning to the main plot whatsoever. The writing itself wasn’t half bad. But I think that in the end, I just felt like things could have been explained better sometimes. Hocking could also possibly have described the scenery and people ever so slightly more.. I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but there was just something that made reading Wake so difficult for me. Maybe it was for the fact that the mermaids weren’t nice. By nice I don’t mean their looks, because we get told over and over how attractive they are (sigh), but personality wise. They’re cruel. Vicious even. I guess I don’t have a thing for human eating mermaids..

I don’t own book two, so I don’t know when I’ll continue on reading this series. The book was actually alright, although my “review” seems like it’s slightly on the negative side. :)
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