Sixteen-year-old Gemma can’t really say she “has it all” — her mother is basically out of the picture, and her family doesn’t have much money — but she has a pretty good life. She’s pretty, she is a talented swimmer (maybe even Olympics-bound someday), and she’s just starting to fall for the guy next door, Alex, her older sister’s best friend. But when three mysterious teen girls arrive in her coastal town and odd things start happening, she feels it’s best to steer clear of the perfectly beautiful strangers.
Unfortunately, she kind of gets caught in their “net” nonetheless, and one night they change her life completely. She still feels like the same girl, but her body has definitely been altered: she is even more of a natural in the water, she’s even prettier, and she’s stronger. But when the three girls tell her what they’ve done to her, Gemma is right to be nervous. She just wants to be herself and enjoy her new love, but she may be forced to leave her good life behind.
Amanda Hocking has become a best-selling author through self-publishing e-books, most famously her Trylle Trilogy about trolls. Now she’s been picked up by a traditional publisher, and she is able to reach an even larger audience through print. I haven’t read her other books, but from glancing at one, it seems she is benefiting from having a good editor. I found this new book satisfying and definitely intriguing, and I’ll look forward to reading the sequels to see what happens to Gemma, whose situation seems rather dire at the end of Wake. Hocking has good story ideas and knows how to put together a book (though possibly a little bit formulaically) that will grab and keep attention.
Rated: Mild, mostly for some violence. There are a few occasions of mild and moderate language and a couple of kissing scenes, one that is slightly intense but still not very detailed or long. There are a few disturbing images involving the habits and needs of the strange girls who change Gemma involving a little blood and gore.