As I Wake - Elizabeth Scott image

I don't think this book quite deserves the low average rating it currently has (3.07 the last time I checked) but I can sort of see why it got it. To fully appreciate this novel you would have to be a very specific type of reader, one that it's going to be difficult to find. You would have to be a fan of dystopia that is more about the characters than the world building, you would also have to like a bit of starcrossed romancing but minus the happy endings, and you'd have to be okay with not knowing what the hell is going on for about 80% of the book.

That last thing I mentioned didn't bother me too much, in fact it was the 20% where I did understand what was happening where the story became tedious and highly repetitive. Whilst the mystery of Ava's sudden amnesia and the mysterious memories that don't quite fit with the life she's been introduced to is ongoing, I was glued to the pages in wonder. People repeatedly call the book confusing, well, I get where they're coming from but - trust me - if I can wrap my head around it then anyone can. I don't think the accurate term is "confusing", it's weird, unexpected and mysterious but there's nothing particularly difficult to understand. What people mean when they say "confusing" is that they didn't know why certain things were happening - but that's all part of the story's mystery!

The book's writing style didn't do it any favours, though. It was odd and disjointed, perhaps this is Elizabeth Scott's preferred style as she also uses it in the only other book I've read by her: Living Dead Girl. The difference was that the narrator in Living Dead Girl was very young when she was kidnapped which would allow for her short, simplistic sentences, whereas Ava should sound like someone in their late teens (but doesn't).

I also didn't care for the way Scott kept repeating the same things over and over, it was like an endless circle and it happened with different matters throughout the novel. How many times were we told that Jane was her mother, and yet not her mother, that she recognised her but at the same time not her, a different her, in a different time? Perhaps this sounds weirdly interesting to you, but after reading it for the twentieth time it's nothing but an annoyance. Also Morgan, she loves him but they could never be together, but she can't live without him, but if she really loves him then she'll have to let him go... and on... and on.

It feels somewhat like a waste of an idea that was very original. The story is a whole new take on dystopia, told from a new and interesting angle, but there were just too many things that kept me from loving it. Still, I did like it.