Review: We Awaken by Calista Lynne

Victoria Dinham doesn’t have much left to look forward to. Since her father died in a car accident, she lives only to fulfill her dream of being accepted into the Manhattan Dance Conservatory. But soon she finds another reason to look forward to dreams when she encounters an otherworldly girl named Ashlinn, who bears a message from Victoria’s comatose brother. Ashlinn is tasked with conjuring pleasant dreams for humans, and through the course of their nightly meetings in Victoria’s mind, the two become close. Ashlinn also helps Victoria understand asexuality and realize that she, too, is asexual.

But then Victoria needs Ashlinn’s aid outside the realm of dreams, and Ashlinn assumes human form to help Victoria make it to her dance audition. They take the opportunity to explore New York City, their feelings for each other, and the nature of their shared asexuality. But like any dream, it’s too good to last. Ashlinn must shrug off her human guise and resume her duties creating pleasant nighttime visions—or all of humanity will pay the price.

Victoria's life took a turn for the worse when a car accident killed her father and put her brother in a coma.  She loved to dance and that's almost the only bright spot in her life. She has her mom, but her mom has so much grief from her son's state that she's kind of checked out. Victoria is just trying not to let her mom bring her down with her. 

Victoria has her friends, but they all seem to be going in a different direction than her. They're always trying to hook her up, and while Victoria knows she's a lesbian, she just doesn't feel that sexual urge all her friends seem to have. 

In her dreams she meets someone that she starts to call friend... Ashlinn. She appears in her dreams often and through Victoria's dreams they start to get closer. Ashlinn doesn't just appear in Victoria's dreams, she is a sandman. She takes care of people's good dreams. 

Through their relationship, Victoria starts to understand why she's different than her friends. Why she doesn't have the same sexual urges they do. She discovers she's asexual and is able to explore that part of herself with Ashlinn, who is also asexual. 

I don't think I've read a book with an asexual character before (and if I have, it didn't express what being asexual means as well as We Awaken did). I really loved how to author showed what asexuality means through Victoria and Ashlinn's relationship. I admit to not really knowing much before, but after reading their story I feel like I have a better understanding. 

The whole dreaming plot was a bit thin. I feel like there was some information missing. There was a character mentioned that I figured would play a big role and then... nothing. The dream sequences were boring to me. I found myself skimming a couple of them through the middle. 

I liked We Awaken. Nothing really "wowed" me, but it was worth the read. I especially enjoyed the way the author wrote Ashlinn and Victoria's relationship. I always enjoy reading about something new and I think the author did a great job portraying their asexual relationship. 

A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Find more info at Harmony Ink Press or Goodreads

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