Wake (Watersong, #1)

Wake (Watersong, #1) - Amanda Hocking See this review and more on Whiley ReadsAh, what can you say about Wake? I’m not really sure. The best I can come up with is to damn it with faint praise. It was very…booky. It left little impression on me, although it was an easy enough, quick read. The whole thing was extremely straightforward and lacked any sort of plot or passion.The first half of the book was romance. Just straight-up romance. To be fair, it was pretty cute romance. But there was no drama to it. It was the sort of romance that gets set up quickly, so that more interesting stuff can happen later, except then we were stuck with it for hundreds of pages. I really had no objections to the romances here other than their overwrought presence.Well, that’s not accurate: I take issue with Alex being muscular and ripped despite that fact that he does no physical work. The book itself even pointed out that this is impossible, but always treated it as a “oh, goody, that weird occurrence worked in our favor, didn’t it?” It didn’t feel like a mysterious thing, just an awkward thing.The second half of the book had potential, but then botched it. What could have been a genuinely interesting story about Gemma learning about her new state was hobbled by the fact that there was so very little mysterious about it. It took only a few chapters before she had most of the answers, and the final “twist” was bleedingly obvious. She spent more page time waffling about what to do than she did coming to terms with what had happened, and that made the pacing drag terribly. Everything about this book was laid out in a very clear, straight line which made it almost impossible to get invested in the story. There was no tension, no curiosity, no…nothing. The only point at which I felt anything was when Gemma’s TBI-suffering mother was brought in. Natalie was treated…very poorly. She has a traumatic brain injury, but she was displayed as a misbehaving tween. Near the end, Gemma decides to share the truth with her mother, because if Natalie tells people about mermaids, who would see that as odd?How about EVERY MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL THAT SHE WORKS WITH? Natalie does not have a mental illness and even if she did delusions are not part of every mental illness out there. She has a defined set of symptoms, and if a new one crops up, that’s going to cause concern. Since she lives in a group home that specializes in TBI, the people taking care of her would know that.This book has no fucks to give on the matter and instead treats it as a joke when it says “Natalie told everyone her daughter was running away to be a mermaid.” That’s not funny. That’s the precursor to a whole bunch of doctors and nurses trying to figure out what’s wrong with her, when nothing is wrong, her daughter is just a selfish jerk who didn’t think this through. Really think about that: this woman already has trouble interacting with the world, and now a bunch of authority figures are going to come by and tell her that something she knows is true is in fact a fantasy. That’s terrifying.On the same note, we were never given an explanation for why Gemma didn’t tell someone else in her family. Just straight-up, never. There’s a throwaway line about them not believing her if she tried, but it’s not like it’d be impossible to prove. In fact, her sister didn’t take much convincing at the end there.I will say, as a positive, I did really enjoy the relationship between Gemma and Harper. It’s always nice to see those kind of strong family bonds. Overall, the book was just a nonentity. It was mostly unobjectionable, but at the same time, a lack of badness doesn’t actually make it good. There was very little here that would lend itself to actual recommendation.