Summary: 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.
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBTQIA+
My thoughts: We Awaken was the type of fantasy novel that I have been waiting to read for a while now. It was a quick, enjoyable read that caught my attention the moment I read the synopsis. It had unique dream elements intertwined into the real world, creating a magical story that I got sucked right into. Not only was this a fantasy novel, but it also taught readers about asexuality and the different perceptions people have on them. This book really opened my eyes to asexuality which was woven into the story seamlessly in Ashlinn and Victoria’s relationship. As Victoria learned more about asexuality from Ashlinn, I too was learning more about the sexuality which was written beautifully and openly.
Not only was this novel diverse with sexuality and ethnicity, but it also showed a lovely healthy relationship between Ashlinn and Victoria. Their dynamic was so sweet to read and the way they fell in love with each other as they discovered their shared asexuality. It warmed my heart to see them fall in love in Victoria’s dreams and in the real world. The only thing that I would have commented about their happy relationship was that at points it felt as if it were moving too fast for me to catch up. But other than that, I adored their relationship and rooted for a well deserved happy ending.
This story had such a fun fantastical element to it that gripped my attention and kept me interested in the story and characters that developed greatly as the book progressed. The dream world that Lynne created was written beautifully and vividly. along with every other part of this novel. I couldn’t get enough of the story and wished it were longer to really do the dream realm justice and to expand the world that Lynne created. This story has amazing potential and teaches readers about important topics while also transporting them into a wondrous world they won’t want to leave.
*I was given a digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*