Title: We Awaken
Author: Calista Lynne
Pub Date: September 29th, 2015
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Synopis from Goodreads:
Victoria Dinham doesn’t have much left to look forward to. Since her father died in a car accident, she lives only to fulfill her dream of being accepted into the Manhattan Dance Conservatory. But soon she finds another reason to look forward to dreams when she encounters an otherworldly girl named Ashlinn, who bears a message from Victoria’s comatose brother. Ashlinn is tasked with conjuring pleasant dreams for humans, and through the course of their nightly meetings in Victoria’s mind, the two become close. Ashlinn also helps Victoria understand asexuality and realize that she, too, is asexual.
But then Victoria needs Ashlinn’s aid outside the realm of dreams, and Ashlinn assumes human form to help Victoria make it to her dance audition. They take the opportunity to explore New York City, their feelings for each other, and the nature of their shared asexuality. But like any dream, it’s too good to last. Ashlinn must shrug off her human guise and resume her duties creating pleasant nighttime visions—or all of humanity will pay the price.
Eye roll. This book is so ridiculous, I was rolling my eyes so much, more and more as the story progressed.
This is one of the most ridiculous fantasy stories I read this year. When I started this book, I wasn’t expecting fantasy story. I just knew that this book features interracial f/f romance and that there is an asexual character. I’ve never read a book with an asexual character so I was curious about the book and eager to learn more about asexuality. And because I learned a bit about asexuality, I’m giving this book this extra star. Extra star for the educational benefits.
The romance itself and how the educational part was delivered is just painful to read. The whole story was absolutely unbelievable, I know that I’m talking about a fantasy, but still, fantasy novels still should convince us that this world could happen, that is some detention it’s all real, we should be able to understand and believe in the world we read about. I could not understand and believe in the world Victoria lives in. Well, she lives in a contemporary New Jersey, I can understand that. But then there is a world of dreams introduced. And in a dream, she meets Ashlinn – creator of good dreams. She comes to her to give her a message from her brother who is in a coma. I don’t remember what this message even was because it wasn’t really important. What’s was important is that Ashlinn is super beautiful and Victoria is instantly drowned to her and she wants to get to know her. And this dream creator also is interested in her! Just because! A creature living in dreams forever and ever and creating happy dreams for the whole world population just befriended Victoria’s brother in this dream world and decided to get to know Victoria. And she just instantly loved her and cared about her. Cared about her so much that when Victoria took pills to get back to sleep and meet beautiful Ashlinn, she got so angry that she jumped out from the dream world to the real world! WTF?! I don’t get it! Oh! And, on the second night that Ashlinn personally visited Victoria’s dream (when Victoria already was thinking there Ashlinn probably has crush on her, but definitely not because how she could have crush on her, but maybe she’s flirting with her, blah blah), Ashlinn comes out to Victoria that she’s asexual. Victoria’s first response was – what? Like plants?! – WTF? How could that be anyone’s first response? Also, I didn’t see any reasoning behind introducing Ashlinn sexual orientation at this point.
Victoria was bothering me so much. I couldn’t understand most of her reasoning. She was understanding the world in a way that I could follow, I didn’t get how she got to some conclusions. I won’t be getting into the part about her dance auditions because I think it was just in the story to annoy us. Seriously you just give up on an audition to a ballet school you dream of because your mother cannot drive you there? And you act all surprised and outraged that someone wants to help you get there?! Throughout the book, there are pieces of evidence that there is no logic, that I could understand, to Victoria’s reasoning whatsoever. It was really annoying to read about.
Throughout the story, Victoria explores her sexuality – in a very painful to read way. She gets in my opinion unreasonably overly angry with her friend for her comments when she blurts out that she’s asexual not lesbian like this friend made her think of herself before (seriously – there was a line that Ellie just forced homosexuality on Victoria, which is beyond me). Putting aside the whole ridiculous story of how Ashlinn becomes reality, the whole romance is so so strange, and I cannot imagine it happening anything like that in a real world. It seemed like a bunch of examples of what asexual people do in relationship instead of having sex. It was presented to us, without any prior build up and showing us how those two characters fall so hard for each other. Really, the first think you would suggest to a person from your dreams (literally!) That you know for 3 nights is – can I bathe you tomorrow morning? The relationship was presented as highly unusual as if it was impossible that two teens (one of them definitely virgin) who met 3 nights ago are not having sex and yet have feelings for each other. As if any other romantic relationship was based solely on sex. Victoria’s ex-BFF was the embodiment of this opinion, constantly challenging legitimacy of Victoria and Ashlinn’s relationship because they don’t have sex. Which wasn’t really going with how Ellie was introduced -as a social justice warrior.
Anyone has a recommendations of a good book with asexual character?