October 10, 2011

As I Wake - Elizabeth Scott

Young Adult
Pages: 224
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Release Date: September 15, 2011

Ava is welcomed home from the hospital by a doting mother, lively friends, and a crush finally beginning to show interest. There's only one problem: Ava can't remember any of them - and can't shake the eerie feeling that she's not who they say she is.

Ava struggles to break through her amnesiac haze as she goes through the motions of high-school life, but the memories that surface take place in a very different world, where Ava and familiar-faced friends are under constant scrutiny and no one can be trusted. Ava doesn't know what to make of these visions, or of the boy who is at the center of them all, until he reappears in her life and offers answers . . . but only in exchange for her trust.

It was very unsettling for me to struggle with this book. I'm an Elizabeth Scott fan as a rule and I was shocked and awed by this cover since I first saw it. It was the first book I grabbed out of my ALA pile (even before Lola!!) so my expectations were as high as they go. And I'm sad to say, it was very weird. I never felt the characters or empathized with them in any level. I had trouble believing and picturing the alternate universe that builds the story. I was very confused throughout the whole book, and upon finishing it, I just had this puzzled fog in my mind as to what exactly I had just read.

I would categorize it as somewhat science fiction, since it has no supernatural elements, or at least I don't consider the alternate realities as such. You are pulled right in to the middle of the story and given bits and pieces taunting the reader to want to know more. And I normally love this technique! In realistic fiction this is generally done very well. (i.e. one of my favorite books that does this extremely well is Cracked Up To Be) But in this sci-fi reality and with so little character depth, I just didn't get it. I felt uninterested.

I never felt the need to put it down though, which was weird. I guess maybe in part because it was such a short book and in part because I was still hoping that I would reach a whoa moment when everything clicked together and made sense.

The writing of course was impeccable, and by no means will I ever stop reading Elizabeth Scott because she is a genius. I just think this story was not her strong point.


  1. I love this cover too and Scott's writing as well. Interesting that you continued reading even while your connection to characters and story were more of a disconnect. I guess that says a lot about just how strong a writer Scott really is. It is a shame this one let you down.

  2. I haven't seen any reviews for this one yet and I was looking forward to reading it because it was by Elizabeth Scott, but I may skip it. Thanks for the review.

  3. Aww pooey! I love Scott too, but the last couple books of hers just didn't give the nice punch her beginnings did. I'm bummed this one wasn't that great.


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