The Awakening (Emerge #1)

Melissa A.
Young Adult

Allie always felt distanced from the world around her, and also from anyone else. Moving from one town to another and always being the new kid hasn't helped with that. But then she moves to Kelly's Island, and runs into Aidan McBrien, who helps her make friends. On her sixteenth birthday, Allie wakes up in pain, though…and Aidan tells her they’ve all been through that. Despite finding out she’s different and her new friends are too, Aidan and Allie are even more extraordinary than the rest of them. 

"The Awakening" is a fresh and interesting new take on the paranormal trope! Allie’s personality is vibrant and refreshing and her struggles, while related to the paranormal,  are such that all young women can relate to.  While the book had romance, she doesn't fall head-over-heels instantly, which makes her stand out from heroines in other young adult books. The story starts off slowly, and takes a while to take off. There is also a huge info-dump about the history of the immortals that slows down the narrative. There are a huge amount of secondary characters - so many that it is hard to keep them all straight especially since the length of the book doesn't allow for their development. The reader only gets a feel for Allie and Aidan. Toward the middle, however, the pacing picks up and the story becomes hard to put down! Ultimately it proved an enjoyable reading experience, with a thrilling plot. 

Majanka Verstraete