Alexandra Martin didn't believe in fairytales.
Alex has always been more interested in rocks and science than stories about princesses and magic. Now she's far too busy with her summer internship at the Gem and Mineral Museum to think about children's stories. Between avoiding her former best friend and high school baseball star, Luke Reed, and trying to hide her unrequited crush on her mentor at the museum, the real world is occupying all of her time.
Until she walked into one.
It turns out fairytales aren't all fun and games. A curse has turned her neat and orderly world upside down, and to break it, she bands together with a fellow intern and a recently awakened princess who's been asleep for almost 900 years. Can this trio of unlikely heroines put an end to an ominous enchantment, discover true love, and keep an ancient and evil magic from being unleashed on modern-day Los Angeles?
©2012 Jessica Grey (P)2013 Jessica Grey
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"Gets Better as it Goes Along"
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
"Too Long, Story Not Great"
The book was about five hours too long. It was fine until the characters started running around "borrowing" priceless artifacts. I finally decided there were other things in my Audible Library that I would rather be listening to and turned on something else. I didn't finish the book.
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