Title: As I Wake
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Release Date: September 15, 2011
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 3 out of 5
When teenager Ava wakes up in the hospital, she can’t remember anything about where she came from. She doesn’t even remember her own name. As she struggles to rebuild her life with her mom and her friends at school, she begins to have visions, dreams that speak to a very different life than the one she’s living now. Ava must decide what is real and what is not, as she begins to suspect that those around her are lying to her.
When I first heard the plot for As I Wake, it reminded me of the trend that is going through women’s fiction right now – the amnesia, become a better-version-of-yourself plotline. However, after the first few pages of this book, it became clear very quickly that As I Wake was something completely different. Ava’s visions aren’t of having a different boyfriend or living in a different house. Instead, they’re of an entirely different world, a sort of dystopian society, which makes things incredibly confusing for Ava.
Unfortunately, that also makes the situation incredibly complex for readers of As I Wake. This is a book I muddled through, unsure of what was happening or where the novel was going. While I appreciated the originality, every page generated more questions, with virtually no answers. It’s unclear what the alternate reality (for lack of a better term) is, and Scott provides few answers as the novel progresses. The vagueness that surrounds the plot and backstory really detracted from the experience.
Ava also wasn’t the most sympathetic character. It’s not that she wasn’t likeable, but more that she really didn’t have a personality. She spends the novel trying to figure things out her history, rather than who she was as a person. That means that, while her story is interesting, readers won’t feel much connection to her as she navigates through what her life appears to be.
Overall, As I Wake just didn’t work for me. I understood what Scott was trying to do, and loved the fact that she used the amnesia storyline in a very original and creative way, but the book was a difficult read. The real disappointment for me was that the storyline never comes together in a way that makes sense, and thus I was left wanting. While I am a big fan of Elizabeth Scott, this was by no means my favorite work of hers, though I do look forward to her next book.
Other books by Elizabeth Scott: