Thursday, September 22, 2011

As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott

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.

As I Wake is rather unlike any book I have ever read. The cover matches the contents brilliantly, it’s smokey and mysterious, gorgeous and a little bit eerie and, like the girl on the front, I felt head-achey trying to get my mind around it. 

I really do love Elizabeth Scott. Every book she writes, she surprises me: she does have a signature writing style but sometimes it is funny, cute or quirky, other times heartfelt and other times barren yet full of depth. As I Wake is written in a sparse style of prose, so the reader is instantly dropped into the plot with no preamble or reasoning. 

It opens with a girl in a world she does not remember, having headaches and memories of another world, another life. Nothing makes sense to Ava, and Scott puts her readers firmly in Ava’s shoes: I felt like the plot was swirling around me and it was hard to grasp all the pieces ~ just like Ava was struggling to make sense of it. Plot-wise, you have to discover for yourself, but it is a little bit The Adoration of Jenna Fox, parallel universe-y, dystopia, soft sci-fi elements, a dash of contemporary high school and there’s a love story in there too :) 

The whole thing has an incredibly eerie undertone. At times I felt uneasy, hopeless. Yet there were brief moments of beauty and compassion among the sadness and confusion. 

Like the writing, the world building is sparse. It is very much about one girl in this one crossroads moment of her life. The world(s) are not explained, details are sketchy ~ what it strong is the mystery, the emotions, the sensations of it all. It was hard for me to picture everything, but I still felt pulled into the story. 

This book may frustrate many readers. But I am firmly an Elizabeth Scott fangirl. I just love her stuff. Anyone else may not have been able to pull this off in so few words, with only splashes of detail and barely-there explanations for plot twists and turns. I thought it was gorgeous and compelling and I honestly felt swirly while reading it, and it has a strange lingering effect now. It is odd, that’s for sure, but it worked for me :) 

Conclusion: this is rather like a book you read while having a dream, all swirly and out of reach. It was a dream-like reading experience. Regarding the love story, it is more surreal and fairytale-vibe than true, but I easily slipped into it, I think it matched the whole thing superbly (and I always fall for Scott's boys. She has a swoony gift).

I don’t know if this is the book for you ~ hard to know if you will admire it or if it will drive you crazy? *shrugs* but maybe my review has evoked a little of how this book felt for me. I am defintely a fan because it's Elizabeth Scott (and I can be biased like that ;))

As I Wake @ goodreads
Me fan-girling over Elizabeth Scott (and talking about my fave Elizabeth Scott books)


  1. I love your reviews Nomes, they're quite beautiful in themselves, especially when you describe your reading experience, and always evoke my interest in the book. I absolutely adored Jenna Fox, and I've been dying to read Elizabeth Scott, so I think I'll pick this one up! Thanks for the review Nomes!

  2. I've only read Living Dead Girl by Scott but I loved it and want to give this one a try. It sounds like a really interesting read. Thanks for the honest review!

  3. Great review Nomes. I love your writing style, it always makes me want to read the book, even if it's not my thing haha.

    I haven't read any Elizabeth Scott books before so maybe this isn't the one to start with, but I'll have to check out some of the others and add them to my TBR. xxx

  4. Great review. Especially your conclusion. Sounds like something I would dig. I like swirls.

  5. I've only liked one Elizabeth Scott novel that I've read, Living Dead Girl. So, I don't know if this would be up my alley based on the whole sparse thing. Methinks I'll read through the rest of her contemps before attempting this one.

  6. I love how you described your reading experience with this book lilke a dream. I think it sums up the book beautifully, even though I don't know if this book is really my thing.

    I've read only one book by Elizabeth Scott, and that's Perfect You, so I do want to read her other contemporaries, though :)

  7. I just read this yesterday. It was definitely a very interesting reading experience! I didn't write up a formal blog review for it, but you can read my thoughts on Goodreads.

  8. Iv'e read some reviews on this and from the sounds of it, sounds like I would be pretty frustrated by the book. Good to know that you enjoyed it. Love how you just flat out say that you're biased.

  9. Wow, Nomes. YOUR REVIEW is dream-like, just like you say the book is.
    The cover art is oh-so-fantastic.

    I'm still an Elizabeth Scott virgin, though :(

    Need to work on that.

  10. I'm an Elizabeth Scott fan so this one is totally on my radar. Your review gave me a great feel for the book, thanks Nomes!

  11. I couldn't stop smiling while reading your review because you are so addicted to memory loss books. I loved that we just talked about this last week or two weeks ago and here you are again...

  12. I am mystified by this cover, it seems to unfinished for an author as popular as Elizabeth Scott yet I'm still keen to pick up this book :)

  13. I am mystified by this cover, it seems to unfinished for an author as popular as Elizabeth Scott yet I'm still keen to pick up this book :)

  14. I'm currently on a wait list for this at my e-library, and from the sound of your review, I think I'll probably fall in love. I also have 2-3 other ES books sitting on my bookshelf. I NEED to get to them. Love the cover of this too. :)

  15. I'm excited for this one. thanks for the review, brilliant as always. <3

    also, it's now a goal of my to use "swoony gift" in my daily life. :)

  16. My copy just arrived from the Book Depository! I can't wait to start. It sounds very intriguing, love your review and glad you liked it.

  17. Your review was really good. The dream world, swirly sensation intrigues me. I loved The Adoration of Jenna Fox (and the new cover!), So I'll have to pick this one up. Great review as always! :)

    ♥ Trish
    Just a YA Girl

  18. Okay, I think I'll pick this one up because i'm really interested in that kind of topic seeing as I want to write a book with that kind of topic in it.

    Great review also, your description was great.


Thanks for the commenty love :)