Publishing Info: November 12, 2013 by Random House Publishing Group
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Psych/Mental Health, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: November 20, 2013
There was an accident. Ember knows at least that much. She was driving. The car was totaled. Eight months later, Ember feels broken. She can’t even remember the six weeks of her life leading up to the accident. Where was she going? Who was she with? And what happened during those six weeks that her friends and family won’t talk about?
In the wake of her critically praised young adult psychological thrillers, Tighter and All You Never Wanted, National Book Award finalist Adele Griffin has created another triumph in this unflinching story of loss and recovery that Booklist called “exquisite” in a starred review.
There don’t seem to be a lot of mystery-type YA novels (or weren’t… I think they’re starting appear more often now! Or maybe I’m noticing them more…) so I was really hoping LOUD AWAKE AND LOST would be a really good mystery and, well. It just wasn’t as thrilling as I had hoped!
I actually have a lot of respect for the book, especially after finding out that Adele Griffin was inspired to write this book based on a situation that happened to her brother. (You can find out more info about that on the author profile over at Teen Lit Rocks!) I really enjoyed the psychological factor involved in LOUD AWAKE AND LOST. I really enjoy a good psychological twist and this book definitely had them! Ember wakes up after her accident and is missing a few very, very key details all from the last six weeks of her life before the accident. It was incredibly interesting to see how Ember had to figure out exactly what happened during those few weeks — especially involving a very important piece she can’t remember, a fight she barely believes happened, and memories of the accident that she really needs to recover before she can move on with her life.
I really enjoyed the concept and the process of the story and overall, it was exactly what I was looking for but somehow it just didn’t come together as the story was progressing. I felt like that was kind of weird for me, but the resolution of the story sort of confirmed suspicions for me and brought everything together. I feel like a lot of times if I’m struggling a bit during the story, the ending usually ends up disappointing me as well, but I was invested in what I was hoping the ending would be so really the big picture was a big deal! There were a couple interesting twists in the book but I do have to say that I kind of guessed the “big deal” in there. It actually made the book better for me that was able to suspect that because otherwise it would have been a bit too confusing for me along the way.
There were actually a few times that I felt like the mystery was dragging. I wanted a few more clues to push the plot forward and keep my interesting piqued but there were times it was just a bit too slow. I think the fact that I do love a good mystery actually took away from it for me because I love the build-up of suspense and it did build up but then there were points where it would build up and then not move forward. I needed a bit more of a reveal than I was given at times!
I also had a bit of trouble connecting with the characters. I liked Ember but I didn’t feel that emotional connection with her. I was also really confused with her relationship with Kai at first until things started to really unfold. Everything of course made sense towards the end, but it was another situation where it just didn’t quite all fit together for me.
So I guess the review really sounds like I didn’t enjoy the book but I did. Just really not as much as I had hoped. I think my big issue was that things really just didn’t mesh for me while I was reading it. I had suspicions about what Ember was missing and I used those suspicions as fact (which did end up being true) so things made sense for me. Without those, I would have been a little too confused and I didn’t like being so dependent on a hunch!
Ember // Character Obsessions: Recovering, making up with her friends, regaining memories, Kai.
I really wanted to connect with Ember but somehow I just didn’t have that emotional connection and I couldn’t quite comprehend all of her decisions. I think we were just different kinds of people and who knows — maybe that’s because of the place she was after the accident. I just really wanted to get to know her more and I just couldn’t get inside her head.
Rachel // Character Obsessions: Helping Ember recover, making up, getting E back together with her ex.
I actually really liked Rachel! She really was one of my favorite characters and I loved her spunk and true friendship with Ember. She really was pushing for Ember to get back together with her ex-boyfriend (which, by the way, is also is Rachel’s cousin — they had a really close friendship before Ember’s accident). I just really enjoyed her whole presence in the book and the friendship aspect that she provided.
Kept Me Hooked On: Psychological mystery/thrillers. I really loved the absence of memories and the importance that it played in this book. The lack of memory, the need to unearth them, and the psychological factors were just so interesting! I love those aspects and I love when books mess with my head!
Left Me Wanting More: Action or faster pacing. There were a lot of moments when the book just lulled. I didn’t need it to be a full-on action book but I need a bit more of a gradual reveal then giving me clues and not actually getting answers along the way.
I think this one could go either way. Some people have really liked how the book unfolded and others have felt like it was slow. It really will depend on the person!
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(Click the cover to see my review!)