Waiting On Wednesday: Wake by Amanda Hocking

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a feature hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine to feature yet-to-be-released books.

(Just realized that I posted this yesterday. Which was Tuesday. Grad school makes time wonky.) 

Amanda Hocking 
Coming August 7th, 2012

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.  

This is a bit of a weird WOW (look above, all you geeks who just read “Warcraft”) in that I don’t particularly like Amanda Hocking’s books. Back when her stardom first spiked, I was curious. I read Trylle. I read a good number of My Blood Approves. I couldn’t really fathom why she was being hailed as the second coming of YA fantasy.

Before you all chuck copies of Switched at my head, this isn’t a crack at her. She’s a hard worker who has a good grasp of characterization and a lot of potential. Yet I say “potential” because for me, she wasn’t quite there yet. The first page of Switched contained the word “th0ink.” The plots were quite slow in places and a bit deus ex machina in others. Don’t get me started on the speech where Finn tells Wendy she must be a troll because she doesn’t like shoes and has wild hair.

I digress. For me, Hocking’s early work had a lot of potential that just wasn’t polished enough. I worry a bit with Wake having a main character who screams too-perfect, but I’ve seen Hocking’s other main characters. I have faith that she’ll steer Gemma out of Mary Sue territory. What I’m very interested to see is whether, with a professional editing team, Hocking will surpass her earlier self-published efforts with a more polished, professional-looking book. I wish her the best. And I’m sure, regardless of what I think, it’ll make bank anyway.

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