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The narrator did a nice job for the most part. The swearing was disconcerting in a fairy tale and detracted from the story
I wasn't sure about this YA Contemporary Fantasy, but in the end it stuck with me.
Awake by Jessica Grey, read by Kate Metroka, published 2013 / Length:11 hrs 10 min
This is #1 of 2 (so far in the Fairytale Trilogy). Book #3, Aspire, has been delayed for a very long time.
This was right on the borderline between 3.5 & 4 stars. I'm not a real fan of the narration on this one but, because there are parts that I do like to go back and reread (relisten to), I went ahead and gave it 4 stars. It probably also got a mental bump up from the fact that I really like the sequel.
Cover comments: For whatever reason, I don't like the skyline on her face. Otherwise I think it is quite nice.
Note: Audible has this categorized in the 11-13 age range, which is incorrect. The main characters are recent high school graduates.
Alex: Although I didn't dislike her, I had some issues with her that probably all relate to her insecurities. I'm not a big fan of characters who are hugely ignorant about their own looks and abilities. A thumbs up for her being into STEM though.
Luke: One of the things I like about him is, baseball god aside, he seemed like a real teenager just fumbling his way through as he tries to repair his relationship with Alex and kept screwing it up.
Alex & Luke: I am not sure I can get behind the idea that 2 people who have barely spoken since they were in 7th grade can be said to have "true love," even if they've know each other since they were very little. And I question how close they were if Alex has so little knowledge of and faith in Luke.
Becca - I really like Becca and can't wait to review her book for you, since I liked it much more / Lilia - she was very annoying until they started actively working to break the curse. Part of it may have been the voice that the narrator chose for her, and part may have been Alex perceptions
The book presents a world where Fae & nature magic used to be a common part of everyday life in certain parts of the world. Although the Fae haven't interacted much with humans for hundred of years, and we have paved over much of nature, they still exist and can be tapped into if you know how.
I felt like the beginning simultaneously dragged and yet didn't give us enough of a stake in Alex & Luke as a couple. It wasn't until they started actively working to break the curse that I really got pulled into it.
The story has a full ending, with just 1 subplot left open for the next book.
HIGHLIGHTS / CAUTIONS:
--Alex experiences one of Luke's dreams, which makes a few things clear (to us at least).
--The girls learning to really work together and be more than just casual friends. And the fact that it's the girls who save the day.
--The real reason the whole "true love's kiss" loophole was added.
I COULD HAVE DONE WITHOUT: moderate swearing
OTHER CAUTIONS(?): Apparently there were lots of half-fae in the past, but Lilia's parents were the only ones who actually got married.
Character voices differentiated = only sort of / Opposite sex voices acceptable = just barely / Accents good = not applicable, she doesn't even acknowledge that Lilia is said to have a faint french accent / Phrasing, Pacing & Pronunciation = She reads the whole thing in a sort of heightened "I'm reading to little children" type of style / Speed = listened on 1.25, my usual