Swimming Under the Stars: A Review of WAKE by Amanda Hocking

Wake (Watersong, #1)

Amanda Hocking
320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: August 7th, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher

Gemma seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door. He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now there’s no going back. Then one night, Gemma’s ordinary life changes forever. She’s taking a late night swim under the stars when she finds Penn, Lexi and Thea partying on the cove. They invite her to join them, and the next morning she wakes up on the beach feeling groggy and sick, knowing something is different.

Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price. And as she uncovers the truth, she’s is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets

  Sixteen-year-old Gemma is care-free, pretty, and loves late night swims at the bay. But lately she’s been having company. Strangers in town for the summer: Penn, Thea, and Lexi spend the nights singing and dancing on the cove. The three beautiful girls manage to persuade Gemma to join them one night, and when Gemma wakes up groggy the next morning she can tell something’s wrong. Now Gemma is faster, stronger and more beautiful than ever, and now the pull of the water has strengthened. Uncovering the truth about her new “powers” Gemma must choose between staying with those she love or joining Penn, Thea, and Lexi.

  Amanda Hocking has created a story filled with monsters, water, and long-ago, ancient curses. Her writing style isn’t as good as some of the books I’ve read from other authors, but the plot really swept me away – especially because I’ve never read any mermaid novels before. I really liked all of the characters but Daniel was my favorite, he was funny and helpful in some parts. Wake is told from third-person point of view, giving us a better detail of the world. In some parts I think that Gemma was super mean to Harper – her over-protective older sister, and that irked me as I have siblings of my own.

  I can’t wait for the sequel, Lullaby, in The Watersong series. The ending of Wake was a sort of cliffhanger that left a lot of lose threads and unveiled some new twists I never saw coming. The cover for Wake is really nice compared to Lullaby (there’s nothing wrong with Lullaby’s cover, I just think Wake is prettier).

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Asma is a cat-loving co-blogger at IceyBooks. She's a 15 year old homeschooler who spends her time blogging (obviously), reading, and whatever else strikes her fancy. She's also a part time pirate and assassin.



  1. Reply


    July 30, 2012

    Oh wonderful!!! I am truly excited for this series and I stilll have to read this one! And… I love mermaid tales :)

  2. Reply

    Kapri (Book Fanatics)

    July 30, 2012

    This book looks really interesting. I've heard mixed things about Amanda Hocking's books, but I may have to check this one out, seeing as I'm a fan of mermaids and like-creatures.

  3. Reply

    Keely Mahaffey

    July 30, 2012

    I love, love, love Amanda Hocking's books ~ her imagination never quits! Very excited she has a new book coming out :)

    Keely @ Realms of an Open Mind

  4. Reply

    Katie @ BlookGirl

    July 30, 2012

    I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed Wake overall. I should be reading this by the weekend and I'm looking forward to it :-) This will be my first foray into Amanda's work, and since it deals with mermaids, it should be interesting at the very least!

    Great review :-)

  5. Reply


    July 30, 2012

    This sounds like something I would read. It's going on my list!!

  6. Reply


    July 31, 2012

    I won this book. It's my next read.

  7. Reply


    July 31, 2012

    This sounds great! I really enjoyed her other series. (:
    New follower by the way, love your blog, it's great! <3

    Karen @ Cheerful Reviews

  8. Reply


    July 31, 2012

    I've been really curious about this. Not sure if mermaid books are my thing though. will probably give this a try! Thanks for the review!

  9. Reply

    beth dean

    August 1, 2012

    If you've developed a taste for mermaid books I'd suggest the Ingo series by Helen Dunmore, they're great! Ta for making me aware of this series, will keep an eye out for it now :)


  10. Reply

    Katrina W

    August 2, 2012

    Sounds like a unique story will be adding this to my tbr pile ;) great review !

  11. Reply

    Anne Calayag

    August 4, 2012

    Ooo! I really want to check this out now :)

  12. Reply

    Lisa Richards/alterlisa

    August 5, 2012

    Thanks for reminding me why I wanted to read this. Need to dig it out.

  13. Reply

    A Backwards Story

    August 5, 2012

    You've never read any mermaid books before? *heart dies* If you want more, my favorite is the LOST VOICES trilogy by Sarah Porter for something darker, and the FINS series by Tera Lynn Childs for something lighter. LULLABY is up on Edelweiss! I just snagged it :) WAKE is really fancy and shiny in person!!

  14. Reply

    Nanette Bradford

    August 31, 2012

    It seems great. Its already on my tbr list.

  15. Reply

    Denice Mae Cordero

    September 1, 2012

    I hope this series will be as good as My Blood Approves also by Amanda Hocking… It's my favorite series written by her… Thank you for this…

  16. Reply


    September 4, 2012

    I heard all of Amanda's books are really great. I can't wait to start one of them.

  17. Reply


    September 22, 2012

    Thanks for your review :)

    I, too, have never read a mermaid book before. But this one sounds really interesting and the cover is really pretty. I entered for this one many times in the Under the Sea hop. *fingers crossed*

    Series are a double-edged sword for me. If I like the book, I don't want it to end and look forward to the next in the series. But it's hard to wait for the next one especially if the preceding book has loose ends or a cliffhanger. Sometimes I think maybe I should wait until I have the complete series but that could take a while. And what if I don't like the 1st in the series? Then I waited and collected the books only to be disappointed.

    Ok — I'll stop rambling now :)

  18. Reply


    November 7, 2012

    I am torn. I enjoyed your review and it makes me want to read this. But I have read this author a few times before and was only so so on the books. I am not sure yet if I will give this a try.

  19. Reply


    November 28, 2012

    I haven't really enjoyed this authors writing style in the past. I MAY try this one, but I won't be rushing for it.