Review: As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott

 
Publication Date:  September 15, 2011
Dutton Juvenile
Format:  Hardback, 224 pages
 
 
Ava is welcomed home from the hospital by a doting mother, lively friends, and a crush finally beginning to show interest. There’s only one problem: Ava can’t remember any of them – and can’t shake the eerie feeling that she’s not who they say she is.

Ava struggles to break through her amnesiac haze as she goes through the motions of high-school life, but the memories that surface take place in a very different world, where Ava and familiar-faced friends are under constant scrutiny and no one can be trusted. Ava doesn’t know what to make of these visions, or of the boy who is at the center of them all, until he reappears in her life and offers answers . . . but only in exchange for her trust.

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MY TAKE 2/5 STARS
 
Let me see if I can give you a breakdown of what this book is about.

…hold on…

…still thinking…

…Nope. Sorry. I got nothing.

Even if I try to put into words how I perceived this book, I think I’ll just confuse you even more.
I’d like to give this book five stars for originality; because no one, I MEAN no one, can probably duplicate the story line that Elizabeth Scott created. We’re talking alternate universe where one or more of the same person can exist but not in the same space. Where the government was free to vanish criminals – innocent or guilty – into a dystopian world where food was scarce that you would need stamps or tickets to avail of your basic needs; where no one is trusted and you are being watched, listened, and stalked, day in and day out. But there was also a parallel universe where life was normal, where kids go to school and they worry about cliques or if their crushes will finally talk to them.

I think the premise is simple enough to follow. But when the characters’ worlds collide, that’s when I ran into a mountain of problems.

The story focuses on Ava, a girl who woke up not knowing who she was. Little by little, tidbits of her memory unearth a million of questions that I still felt were unanswered. I’d like to give props to Ms. Scott for successfully inciting this reader’s empathy with Ava’s character. I was as confused as Ava was…and I don’t know if that’s a good thing.

For a book of 224 pages, I thought that there were too many things going on that it could’ve probably used a hundred more. Everything was vague and muddled. I’d like to have a one-on-one talk with Ms. Scott just so she could explain this book to me.

I have so many questions.

What happened to the world that the government suspected everyone?

How did Ava know what the chemical composition is of an explosive?

How did those kids end up in a dark place where they are trained to be some sort of government spies?

Plot-wise, I felt like Elizabeth Scott threw me in a vast ocean without a life jacket; not necessarily to drown but to find my way to the shore. You have to find your way to the end of the story – a story which I found difficult to follow. Some of the dialogues were stilted, which at some point annoyed me. Even so, I thought that the dark undertones made the writing strange and beautiful.

I have read reviews of this book, and I am probably missing the whole point. If you like solving puzzles or being thrown in a world full of mysteries, then this book is for you.

In the end, I was just happy to finish this book. Reading this was not a pleasant experience.

  • This was an extremely confusing book! Not at all what I was expecting. I was totally sucked in by cover love and the story was crazy town!

  • I have another one of her book, GRACE. I'm not sure if I should read it…the synopsis is political heavy – I think.

  • Really great review. Sorry it didn't work out for you. 🙁 The premise sounds really interesting (and I love the cover!). But it sounds very confusing… I'm going to pass on this one. I've read two other books by Scott, and they didn't do it for me either.