Monday, February 6, 2012

Awake: A Fairytale

Publishing a book is a little like falling in love. It’s so amazing that once you’ve done it, you want all your friends to experience it too. Yesterday, my friend and Indie Jane co-owner Jessica Melendez (AKA Jessica Grey) published her YA fantasy novel, Awake, and I am almost as excited as she is.

It’s the last summer before college, and Alex Martin is looking forward to spending it… in a museum. No, she’s not a normal 18 year old, but she and her best friend Becca Ward have interned at LA’s Gem and Mineral Museum every summer. This year however provides one crucial difference—her childhood friend, Luke Reed, has joined the geeky rock squad.

Alex and Luke haven’t really talked since their freshman year of high school, when Luke’s status as a baseball star put him on a different social level than Alex. She is none too pleased by the thought of sharing her favorite place with him, especially since she was kind of hoping to catch the eye of their advisor, the dreamy Nicholas Hunt.

But when Alex finds Luke lying on an enchanted bed, trapped in a magical slumber, suddenly all her summer plans are out the window. She and Becca are joined by Lilia, a 12th century princess who’s been asleep for 850 years. Yes, Luke tried to wake up Sleeping Beauty with a kiss, but instead, he simply took her place.

Now the three girls have to figure out exactly what the spell is, who cast it, and how they can save Luke from the evil fairy behind it all. To do that, Alex and Becca will have to come to terms with the fact that magic actually exists, and accept their own ability to use it.

Awake is a phenomenal story. It takes all the familiar elements of Sleeping Beauty and twists them into something that is both recognizable and new at the same time. The dialogue between the three girls sparkled, and the relationship between Alex and Luke was romantic and real.

The magic scenes were my favorite parts of the story. Jessica Grey invented an entire system of magic for her book, and it is brilliant and consistent. Even though I know diamonds and precious metal have no magical qualities, I could easily believe Alex and Becca were able to work spells with them. 

I read Awake in one day, which is not something I often do anymore. My brain usually starts to wander after about five chapters, and I’ll switch to another book or a movie. This time though I was too eager to find out how it all turned out in the end to put it down.

Grey’s style is smooth and easy to follow. Her characters are real, and her story is delightful. I can’t wait to read the next book in this trilogy. 

Awake is currently available from Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon. A paperback is coming soon.

Jessica is also giving away two copies over at Indie Jane