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Dreaming Awake by Gwen Hayes

Theia Alderson was never prepared for meeting Haden Black and especially not for falling in love with him. Because of Haden, Theia was willing to give up everything, and to save his life, she made a deadly choice. Now back in Serendipity Falls, Theia can’t help but feel out of place. Her time in Under and her sinister bargain with its evil queen have irrevocably changed her, and Theia’s afraid it’s for the worse. She is now plagued with the same demonic hungers that Haden must grapple with, and when students at their school start to suffer from a mysterious and draining illness, Theia suspects the worse. Someone—or something—is out to get Theia and Haden, to destroy what little happiness they could find, and won’t stop until all that Theia holds dear is destroyed.

Dreaming Awake is a quite satisfactory sequel that takes readers back to the interesting world of Falling Under. I’ll admit that the beginning of the book was a little slow for me at first, because it seemed the main focus of the plot was Theia’s relationship with Haden. I do find both characters intriguing, even more so when they are together, but I got tired of their emotional rollercoaster ups and downs in Falling Under, and frankly, a repeat of that drama would make for a boring book. However, Hayes quickly livens things up with some interesting twists and the promise of more sinister threats to come. In fact, Hayes seems to have a real talent for getting her characters into some very hopeless-looking situations where everything is up in the air and anything is possible, which makes for a rather unpredictable and always exciting plot, especially towards the end of the book. I can’t say that I was completely blown away by Hayes’s writing, but nonetheless, I still enjoyed the story and plot of Dreaming Awake.

Fans of Falling Under will not want to miss its sequel in Dreaming Awake, nor will readers who also enjoyed Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor and Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick.

Rating: 3.75

Review copy from publisher Penguin

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