Well, Awake is completely different from The Cellar.
(Once upon a time, I was bored at Walmart and The Cellar seemed interesting compared to all the "millions" of Fifty Shades of Grey and Divergent and the like. Oh, and there has to be something about Natasha Preston if a publisher swooped up her book from Wattpad, right?)
It's no brainer that Natasha Preston writes about the dark parts of human nature that makes you shiver and shudder in fear – it's shown in the third I read in The Cellar (I did buy a copy on Amazon later) and the sick beliefs of Eternal Light in her newest novel. From reading Awake, there's obviously something in Preston's writing that I liked, but Awake seems to be a bit of a downfall compared to The Cellar.
In the process of trying to decide if Awake should get a good rating or not, I literally had to check my notes multiple times, reread a few passages to make sure I'm not making a whopping mistake by letting Awake fall in this ever-growing land called "The Grey Area" that books fall into more often than not.
But in the long run, Awake unfortunately falls in that ever-growing land that will probably be forgotten within the next year. Let's get into whole detail shenanigans.
The romance. I have a few choice words about Scarlett's relationship with Noah.
- Noah makes his entrance in the book by staring unnervingly at Scarlett. How in the world is Scarlett not disturbed? She MAY be a little uncomfortable, but cheeks turning pinky pink is NOT exactly uncomfortable.
- Noah's first day with Scarlett: yip, yip, yip – all about learning Scarlett. I'm a little perplexed as to how she's not a little creeped out by the whole interrogation-like questions that I imagine Noah to be asking. Doesn't it raise a red flag?
- How long were they together? I mean, it may seem a little longer than actuality, but in rereading some parts.... they've probably been together for probably a month or two before they got close together. And I mean really, really close together. I won't be surprised if it's just a few weeks.
- Scarlett's kind of obsessed with Noah from the get-go. Over a hundred texts exchanged in the week they met, nonstop thinking about Noah, yada yada.
I slapped it, earning a glare from the guy I couldn't seem to get out of my head.The romance doesn't overshadow the plot – I probably wouldn't have noticed how fast their relationship was going if I didn't make a really random note at a really random place that later raised a flag.
Awake is a little slow – definitely slower than The Cellar – in the whole development. Preston takes time to build up and uses Scarlett's and Noah's relationship as a filler, among Scarlett questioning a four-year gap of memories missing and Noah beginning to question Eternal Light's values. It's not a book that'll make me rage, but it's not a book I'll praise either.
Hence, Gray Area Book.