My Thoughts On: Wake by Amanda Hocking

Posted August 11, 2012 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 10 Comments

Wake by Amanda Hocking
Series: Watersong #1
Published by St. Martin’s Press
Publish Date: August 7, 2012
309 Pages
Source:  Publisher for Review

Gorgeous. Fearless. Dangerous. They’re the kind of girls you envy; the kind of girls you want to hate. Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Lexi and Thea have caught everyone’s attention—but it’s Gemma who’s attracted theirs. She’s the one they’ve chosen to be part of their group.

Gemma seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door. He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now there’s no going back. Then one night, Gemma’s ordinary life changes forever. She’s taking a late night swim under the stars when she finds Penn, Lexi and Thea partying on the cove. They invite her to join them, and the next morning she wakes up on the beach feeling groggy and sick, knowing something is different.

Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price. And as she uncovers the truth, she’s is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets. –(summary excerpt from Goodreads)

Wake by Amanda Hocking

My Thoughts:  I feel like I can call myself a pretty solid fan of Amanda Hocking after reading The Trylle Trilogy and loving each of those books to pieces. I was thrilled to pieces to read Wake and I have no doubt that this is going to be another series that I’ll fall for. Just as I suspected, I’m already pining away for the next book to be released. 

1. The Characters

  • Gemma. Star swimmer and super pretty. Gemma loves swimming and has a tendency to go down to the ocean and swim late at night alone – she feels most at ease there when there are no crowds and she can be under the stars. Gemma becomes increasingly annoyed when a trio of ridiculously beautiful girls show up in her area of the water and start partying nightly while she’s swimming. ~ Gemma has fallen for Alex, the literal boy-next-door and her sister’s best friend. 
  • Harper. Gemma’s older sister. More responsible, slightly less beautiful, and nearly unable to let loose and have fun, Harper worries almost constantly about Gemma and her reckless decisions (like swimming alone at night). Harper doesn’t really date since she spends so much time helping her father raise Gemma but she kinda-sorta develops a crush on a guy that lives down by the docks. (I loved this.) 
  • Alex. Gemma’s boyfriend who actually lives next door. Alex has always been a little bit on the nerdy side, but lately he’s gradually starting to be quite handsome. Gemma finds herself thinking about him more and more – his personality, his handsome face, and his body, which is starting to fill out. Alex sweetly admits to Gemma that he thinks of her too, and the sparks fly – but the two react slowly. What a great guy, this Alex! He is respectful and respectable, and basically a breath of fresh air. I like him! 
  • Secondary Characters. Just as I suspected, the secondary cast in Wake is fun and I found myself falling for them. In particular, I loved Gemma’s father, Brian – he worked hard as a single parent since his wife lives in a group home after a car accident. He may be a little bit scatterbrained and lax in his parenting (in some ways), but he has a good heart and his intentions are always well-placed. I also loved Daniel, the guy that lives on the boat down at the docks. He turned up at some of the most unexpected times (to Harper) and by the end of the book it looks as though there may be a crush brewing. Daniel was by far one of my favorite characters in the book and I look forward to more of him in this series. 

2. The Sirens. There are some new girls in town and they aren’t your ordinary mermaids, folks! Penn, Thea, and Lexi have shown up in town and nobody knows where they came from. These girls have beautiful singing voices and they love to dance. They’re absolutely gorgeous and people can’t help but be almost entranced by these girls when they’re around. Is it their looks? the way they talk? No one knows! They have an odd interest in Gemma and she just wants them to leave her alone. 

The author uses classic mythology as the background for these sirens, of course, which I loved – but she puts her own spin on it, which is always fun. (Oh yeah, they have super-sharp teeth and like to feed on flesh. There’s that too. Mmmhmm.)

3. The Story. Gemma loves the water and is a great swimmer. She’s also very beautiful. The sirens convince her to party with them while she’s alone for a night swim, where they make a decision for her that has some pretty huge consequences and changes Gemma’s life forever. 

The first half of the book is pretty much a build-up of characterization, setting, and mythology – one might say the story is very character-driven up until a certain point. I didn’t actually find out the sirens’ story until nearly halfway through the book – by that time I was pretty solidly invested in all of the characters. From there, though, there was a lot going on while Gemma struggled to deal with some stuff and the rest of the cast tried to figure out what in the world was up with her. The pages turned much faster and the plot moved much quicker in the second half of the book. Amanda Hocking has such an easy and elegant way with her language – her story just seems to flow well and her words dance. Even though these girls were vicious creatures, I loved reading about them because the story-telling was just so doggone lovely.

4. The Romance. While I was reading Wake, I was thinking that this was like a romance-lite because there is no love triangle. Gemma and Alex are friends that turn into a crush that turn into a slow relationship with solid feelings by the end of the book. I loved it. 

5. The Cover. So pretty. So, so shiny. And when you flip it over, there’s a surprise. I love all the things about the cover! 

Look how shiny the cover is
under the light!


Wake by Amanda Hocking is a lovely start to what I’m expecting to be a great new series. When I started reading, I thought this was going to be another mermaid series (I was okay with that!) but when it turned out to be a book about sirens, I got really excited. Of course the author that brought us the series about those awesome trolls would go straight for sirens! I absolutely cannot wait to see where she takes us with the next book. I have no idea where she’s going to go with this story!

While I did think the book moved slower in the first half than in the second half, I was not bothered by this at all. I trust this author to tell great stories and by the end of Wake I felt satisfied that she has started us on a fun journey with Gemma, Alex, Harper, and these pesky sirens. The ending was very high-energy and there is a slight cliffhanger but I’m not worried! Why? Because I JUST LOVE THE WAY ST. MARTIN’S AND AMANDA HOCKING WORK TOGETHER. Of course, just as before, these books are set to be released every six months instead of every year. I wish this happened more often!

I recommend Wake to fans of Amanda Hocking’s previous books. I also think fans of mermaid books in general will like this series because while it is completely different mythology with sirens, it still pertains to the ocean. Fans of YA romance will enjoy what looks to be the beginning of a very powerful romance in Gemma and Alex and (hopefully) in Harper and Daniel. Also there is a draw, I think, with people that are hesitant to start new series right now because these books are being released in quick succession. 

Wake will appeal to fans of:

YA Paranormal/Fantasy
Romance: no triangle, nice & slow
Sirens! (not mermaids.)
Short wait between each book in this series! YAY! 

Wake by Amanda Hocking
is currently available for purchase.

**I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest opinion and review. I received no compensation for my thoughts. Thank you St. Martin’s!


MacMillan Audio has provided a sample of the book in audio format. 
Click HERE to sample
Wake by Amanda Hocking
in audio format!

I like the way it sounds! I would absolutely consider this for a re-read! 
Thank you so much, MacMillan Audio! 


Look at the surprise under the cover! 


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


10 responses to “My Thoughts On: Wake by Amanda Hocking

  1. Ems

    Okay, I'm convinced. 🙂 I was ready to give up on Amanda Hocking, because I couldn't get into the first Trylle book (which I'm going to try again, because I had the self-pubbed edition & it wasn't very well edited, which turns me off super fast. I've heard that the St. Martin's edition is WAY better, so I'm working on getting a copy of that one). I WANT to like her books and this sounds like just the thing. I'll put it on hold!

    • I loved the Trylle Trilogy, but I read the newer edited versions. Plus they're super pretty! I just love how her writing is so light and pretty, like dancing on clouds or something. I know it sounds cheesy, but I can really pick up on her style because it is so uniquely hers.

      The siren aspect of this book was so unexpected because I assumed it was mermaids! I was shocked! Can't wait for the next book to come out.

  2. 1. Totally thought this was a mermaid book, and I have yet to read ANY mermaid books because it makes me think of The Little Mermaid (weird, I know). 2. I'm intrigued by the sirens aspect. 3. As usual, reading your review made me pine for yet another book! 😉 Great review, Asheley!

    • 1. ME TOO. I assumed it, but when they had pointy teeth and started eating flesh I was like HOLD UP.

      2. I LOVE the sirens. They're nasty and mean and just, wow. Pointy teeth! Flesh-eating! Still, Hocking has a way of writing about them this is so great. I love her style.

      3. Thank you! I hope you like this one. I love the way these books come out with such rapid succession rather than having to wait at least one year. She leaves us hanging, but not brutally, and soon I know I'll be able to see OH MY GOODNESS WHAT HAPPENS NOW!!!???

  3. This sounds great! I'm with Randi – every time I read one of your reviews I add another book to my TBR. It really is frightening at this point.

    • TBR's are such awful and wonderful things! I'm *almost* embarrassed by my *real* TBR, but not really. Also, remember it isn't really the one on Goodreads. It's actually much longer, like it wraps around the Earth several times or something.

      This book is easy and fun. Quick read. I love Hocking's style. Plus it is beautiful to look at. I'm always eager for her new books since she came to St. Martin's but I need to find time to read some of her backlist, moving backward from The Trylle Trilogy. That dang TBR, though. 🙂

  4. I am LOVING the fact that this book is about sirens, and not mermaids. Sirens are very fascinating mythological creatures, and this certainly sounds like a great spin on them!

    • Yes, Alexa! It's a little different than the other stuff that is out there right now but very classic Amanda Hocking and I love that. I love mythology and sirens anyway, so it was such a nice surprise! I can't wait for the next book to come out in six-ish months.

  5. Oh I LOVE when books have fun little extra things like that cover! I have a copy of this, but honestly wasn't that excited until I started seeing positive reviews from all of these people (like you) who I totally trust! Seems like a perfect summer/beach read. I'm so happy about the relationship development between Alex and Gemma, though I'll admit Harper sounds like the character I'd more personally be interested in. Also yay for no absent parent syndrome!

    • I have Amanda Hocking on my instant-read list. I love her stuff. It's so fun and easy and her language is light, airy, and beautiful. You're right, it would be a fun summer read.

      I love that she and St. Martin's have the rapid-release thing going on (I don't know what it is really called, but I call it that – when the books come out every six-ish months instead of every year). I can't wait to read the next book, Lullaby.

      Also, I want to read her backlist titles from before she was picked up by traditional publishing. I just admire her story – how she worked hard on her own and her success blew up and she was picked up by a great publisher like St. Martin's, which is one of my favorites. That isn't the route for every author, but I love reading Amanda's story.

      And I recommend you check this out! I loved it. I read it quickly. (I loved the Trylle Trilogy too.) Her books are just so FUN.

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