Jamie (Books and Ladders)'s Reviews > We Awaken

We Awaken by Calista Lynne
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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

There were some things that I didn't like at all and some characterizations that didn't really make sense unless you look at this book as a way to showcase Asexuality and the prejudices that surround it. I was hoping for a Fantasy book with Asexual characters rather than a novel about why people hate Asexuality and how everyone is a Richard about it. I felt like the idea of learning about Asexuality was thrown in my face so much that the rest of the story didn't even matter in context -- this could have been any other novel with any other characters and the Asexuality aspect could have still worked. And instead of feeling like I learned something real about Asexuality and what it means to be someone who is Asexual, I just got the basics that you can learn from any web search.

I also thought that this one was really short. It was 180 pages, which is more like novella length than a full novel. And this was both good and bad: good because IDK if I could take anymore of the flip-flopping characters who were super eager to shoulder any cause EXCEPT Asexuality (*cough*Ellie*cough*) and bad because it meant we got ... bare minimum of the fantasy in this one. I don't even have anything to say about the fantasy part because it was non-existent tbh. It only really mattered in context of allowing these two girls to be together, but only if (view spoiler). I was really not impressed with the ending. I thought it was a bit of an easy cop-out to ensure a HEA and I am not okay with it.

A lot of the conversations felt unnatural. I tried saying them aloud to see if maybe it just was me that wouldn't talk like that, but the word choices and the phrasing was really awkward to me. Especially with the conversations specifically surrounding Asexuality. While they were informative for the reader, they seemed like they were straight out of a pamphlet about Asexuality, which made them awkward to read as conversations between friends.

I feel like Ellie got the worst treatment out of all the characters ((view spoiler)) because she was being used JUST to show how people are prejudiced against Asexuality. And while I KNOW that there are some open minded people who also are very rude and mean-spirited and down right aggressively hateful to Asexuals, I felt like we didn't really get the full picture as to why Ellie would be like this UNTIL the conversation at the end where she becomes more enlightened because Victoria says things like "How did you know you were straight?" and "You don't ask gay boys about their sex life."

I think there could have been more use of Semira for this purpose tbh. She was very hateful (the one time we met her) and it could have led to more pushback in the realm of dreams and nightmares (and thus more fantasy aspects). I also would have liked to learn more about how she creates nightmares and if this is why she became so hateful? I feel like there was a lot more that could have been expanded on and explained in this one than there was.

Overall, if you want to learn about Asexuality, this is a great novel, but if you are looking for a great plot, look elsewhere.

Read this as part of the #ReadProud Challenge.

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Reading Progress

June 20, 2016 – Started Reading
June 20, 2016 – Shelved
June 20, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
June 20, 2016 – Shelved as: lgbtq
June 20, 2016 – Shelved as: young-adult
June 20, 2016 – Shelved as: fantasy
June 20, 2016 – Shelved as: requested-review
June 20, 2016 – Shelved as: harmony-ink-press
June 20, 2016 – Shelved as: 2016-release
June 20, 2016 – Shelved as: july-2016
June 20, 2016 –
18.0% "this is moving super quickly. I realize it's only 180 pages but whoa."
June 20, 2016 –
24.0% "well some of that conversation seemed a little harsh."
June 20, 2016 –
33.0% "I feel like this scene is overly dramatic just to be dramatic."
June 20, 2016 –
50.0% "I just. I feel like a lot of this is written as a way to explain asexuality rather than having it be part of the natural progression of the plot. Ellie -- who we are told is SUPER open-minded and very cause driven -- is EXCEPTIONALLY rude to Ashlinn and Victoria when she finds out they are both asexual. It just felt really awkward & like there HAD to be backlash so Ellie was given that role."
June 20, 2016 –
72.0% "*sighs*"
June 20, 2016 –
82.0% "This is the start of Chapter 16. I have to pause so I can leave work but I may finish it when I get home."
June 21, 2016 –
83.0% "wow why even get the tattoo if you know now that you will regret it in 20 years."
June 21, 2016 –
84.0% ""No one thinks to miss a friend’s parents." Actually sometimes I like my friend's parents better than my friends. They feed me. Food > Everything Else."
June 21, 2016 –
87.0% "So was Ellie just against it so that they could have that conversation? Because it literally makes zero sense to me that she wouldn't have been more accepting from the beginning. Except that THAT conversation needed to happen so I guess she had to "sneer" and make jokes at Victoria's expense."
June 21, 2016 – Finished Reading

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