I received and read this novel via NetGalley for review a few weeks ago, but seeing as the release date was yesterday (4th April 2017) I thought I would write the review today.
The Awakening is the first released novel in the 'Gods of Nature' series by D.J. Torres. The synopsis reads as 'When gods and goddesses abruptly overthrow Earth, humans are given two choices – worship or die. Desperate to survive, Olivia and her family devote their days to fulfilling the will of the gods. But the wrath of the gods is insatiable and unpredictable. But does she have enough courage or skill to battle brutal gods eager to rule the world and dole out punishment to anyone who defies them? Nature and the world depend on it' The premise of the novel is interesting as I haven't read a book with the same concepts as 'The Awakening'.
The opening of the novel, one phrase that stuck with me was 'five pounds of makeup meticulously'. I didn't like the fact that makeup was used for the 'popular girls' in the novel as a negative connotation, what has makeup got to do with whether or not these girls treated Olivia terribly? That was just something that baffled me, it might not teach younger readers valuable life lessons. However, on page 37 "Ah, well...tomorrow can only get better, right?" with the finishing of chapter one, I did enjoy chapter one as the opening of the story was interesting and did make you want to read on, it did leave me thinking why were the earthquake's happening? etc, thus leading me to read on.
Another thing I did really enjoy was the descriptive nature of D.J. Torres' writing style. There were some stunning passages within the novel. Such as 'tetherball with fiercely yellow eyes and rectangular barcode pupils' I found these imaginative and so descriptive. I did enjoy the novel for numerous things such as the writing style, the whole idea and concept, which was enjoyable as well as the idea that Nature and Olivia worked together, which created great dynamic.
One thing that I didn't enjoy was the love interest. I found Jace very patronising and shallow as he quickly fell in love with Olivia, I didn't like him one bit and found him very cheesy. I don't mind cheesy and I love a beautiful romance such as Pride and Prejudice as much as the next person, I just preferred Liv in this novel. I don't like the trope of falling in love so quickly.
Just another little thing that I picked up on which niggled me, the fact that Olivia in the beginning of the novel wears fake glasses to 'hide behind'. As a glasses/contact lenses wearer myself, I do personally find the concept of fake glasses slightly offensive, in the fact that I have to wear them, so I don't see why people feel the need to wear fake ones. As someone who can't see without mine, people that have perfect vision need to check themselves agains this and consider how it feels to not have a choice in the matter - just a slight thing, this didn't alter my opinion on the novel or the author or the main character Olivia.
Overall, I think had it been younger me reading this, I would have thought the concept was very interesting. I would say read it for the concept and the writing, as oppose reading it to fall in love with the characters. This novel was in by no means bad and I would recommend it for the good reasons I mentioned. I think possibly a much younger reader would have enjoyed it a lot more than I did, not to say it was bad at all and credit where credit is due it was wonderfully written and the pacing was steady which I enjoyed. Perhaps it is more junior level for someone around 14/15 y/0 rather than my being 18 y/o.