Early Review: Dreaming Awake by Gwen Hayes

December 26, 2011 Review 0

Early Review: Dreaming Awake by Gwen HayesDreaming Awake by Gwen Hayes
Series: Falling Under #2
Published by NAL Trade on January 3, 2012
Genres: Romantic, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Pages: 336
Source: Publisher
Sexual Content: Kissing. References to sex.
Reviewed by: Julia
2 Stars

She fell for him in a nighttime world. But the time for dreaming is past—and the here-and-now can be just as fragile their love…

When Theia Alderson first encountered a mysterious, handsome boy in her dreams, she never imagined how finding Haden Black—and falling in love—could change her life. To save Haden, Theia sacrificed everything. And the dangerous bargain she made could have lasting repercussions.

Now Theia has returned to Serendipity Falls, and she finds herself struggling with the same deadly hungers that have tortured Haden. When students at their high school fall prey to a mysterious illness, Theia can’t help but wonder if Haden’s control is slipping—and how much longer she’ll have a grip on her own.

And still the nightmare realm of Under won’t let them go. Someone from Haden’s past is determined to destroy Theia from the inside out, starting with those closest to her, forcing Theia to choose between family and friends and a love that may have been doomed from the start…

This has not been a good year for sequels.  Some of my least favorite reads this year were follow ups to books I loved.  For various reasons, the magic had been snuffed out, and I unfortunately have to add DREAMING AWAKE to that list.  DREAMING AWAKE is all the more disappointing when compared to the dark and delightful FALLING UNDER.  There were only two chapters in this entire book that I liked, two of the three chapters not written from the protagonist’s POV.  Not a good sign.

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.

Series Titles:
  1. Falling Under – 4/5
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