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Dreaming Awake Paperback – Jan 3 2012
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About the Author
Gwen Hayes lives in the Pacific Northwest with her real life hero and a pack of wild beasts (two of whom she gave birth to). She is a reader, writer, and lover of pop culture (which, other than yogurt, is the only culture she gets).
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
What seemed like an understandably tempestuous and confused relationship before, now seems over the top in its back-and-forth nature. Theia should have grown at least a bit from the events of the last book, but instead she seems whiny and wishy-washy. Sure, folks do stupid things, especially in the chaos of growing up, but Dreaming Awake takes this too far. She keeps ignoring the obvious, and thus comes across as deliberately obtuse and unobservant. She went from being understandably conflicted to being the sort of heroine one wants to give a good shake to in the hopes of jarring some common sense into her brain. It didn't help that Hayden, who made a fascinating impression last time, is fairly bland through most of this book. In fact, most of the characters seemed to have lost some of their luster.
It seems to me as though Hayes sacrificed the aspects of Falling Under that made it so beautifully unique in order to create a more mainstream, ordinary paranormal YA book in Dreaming Awake. And that's a shame, because we already have plenty of those.
YA Paranormal Romance -Jan. 3rd, 2012
3 ½ stars
Theia Alderson sacrificed everything to save Haden Black from his evil mother, Mara, the Queen of Nightmares. Giving up everything to stay in the realm of Under and controlled by Mara, Theia was summoned back to the real world. However, Mara vows to bring her back and destroy all that Theia loves. Mara blames Theia for turning Haden into a weak, emotional human. Not only that, Theia now has an uncontrollable hunger to feed on human souls. Can Haden and Theia friends save her from Mara? Or for that matter, can they save Serendipity Falls from Mara's wrath?
The second book in the series, Dreaming Awake is as gothic as the first book even though it takes place mainly in the real-world. I like the atmosphere and vibe of the book especially when Theia visits Under in her sleep. Unfortunately, I still cannot warm up to Theia's character. She's still quite needy with Haden, but in an interesting twist, she's the one running hot and cold this time. She's afraid of harming Haden with her new-found powers and tries to break up with him at one point of the book. Haden, on the other hand, doesn't seem to play such a big role in this installment. I felt that the book was mostly about Theia and how she copes with the new situation.
Overall, this is a good read for those who love angsty teenage romance with a dash of the supernatural and goth. I highly recommend this book for Twilight lovers looking for stories of the same vein.
Reviewed by Pauline from the Bookaholics Romance Club
The three words that kept coming to mind while reading this book are what I like to refer to as my holy trinity of bad read qualities: boring, cliché, and predictable. Nothing happened for the first two hundred pages. Theia worried about everything it was possible to fret about. Her sassy friends quipped and offered platitudes to her at every opportunity. Haden smoldered and leered on every page, attempting to wield his supposedly lethal sexuality until all the characters (and the reader) were choking on it. He was a far cry from the dark and dangerous character in the previous book. He was possessive and jealous and if Theia had been a more interesting character, I might have said he didn't deserve her.
Even beyond Theia and Haden's flat romance, the actual plot involving Haden's demon queen mother Mara showing up and slinking around town wreaking havoc doesn't start until the last third of the book. The two interesting chapters I mentioned occur even later. Theia's BFFs Donny and Amelia each have to face the dangers of their own hearts and their chapters are both well written and moving (especially Amelia's), but the same can't be said for the rest of the book. As much as I loved FALLING UNDER, since I liked only two chapters out of the couple dozen in DREAMING AWAKE, I can't recommend this.
Kissing. References to sex.
When DREAMING AWAKE, like FALLING UNDER, showed up randomly on my porch one day, I was surprised. I didn't think FALLING UNDER needed a sequel. Theia and Haden had saved each other. End of story. But as I read, DREAMING AWAKE convinced me that it did deserve to exist.
Yes, Theia and Haden saved each other. But at what cost? Mara, Queen of Nightmares, is pissed. She was thwarted, yes, but not forever. And she wants revenge. Even without an evil, powerful queen to worry about, Theia has problems. She's no longer completely human. She has new powers and hungers she must learn to control. In addition, Theia and Haden have proved that they will go to great lengths for each other. But they're still young and newly in love. They've got a lot to learn about communication and compromise.
Donny and Amelia, Theia's best friends, continue to be integral to the story. Parts of DREAMING AWAKE are even in their points-of-view. Donny and Amelia are part of what make Gwen Hayes's world so absorbing. The heroine doesn't exist in a vacuum of new boy and new powers. She had a life before Haden that continues on. It raises the stakes, as well. Theia has people to fight for outside of the world of Under.
I don't recommend reading DREAMING AWAKE if you haven't read FALLING UNDER. Too much of the story focuses on the consequences of the previous book. I do recommend reading both, however. This is young adult paranormal romance at its best. (And with the ending of DREAMING AWAKE, I am now hoping for a third book.)