Mini Review: Dreaming Awake (Falling Under #2) by Gwen Hayes

10640020 (1)Title: Dreaming Awake
Author:
Gwen Hayes
Genre: YA Supernatural
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Rating: star_icon_stylized.svg_star_icon_stylized.svg_star_icon_stylized.svg_

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She fell for him in a nighttime world. But the time for dreaming is past—and the here-and-now can be just as fragile their love…

When Theia Alderson first encountered a mysterious, handsome boy in her dreams, she never imagined how finding Haden Black—and falling in love—could change her life. To save Haden, Theia sacrificed everything. And the dangerous bargain she made could have lasting repercussions.

Now Theia has returned to Serendipity Falls, and she finds herself struggling with the same deadly hungers that have tortured Haden. When students at their high school fall prey to a mysterious illness, Theia can’t help but wonder if Haden’s control is slipping—and how much longer she’ll have a grip on her own.

And still the nightmare realm of Under won’t let them go. Someone from Haden’s past is determined to destroy Theia from the inside out, starting with those closest to her, forcing Theia to choose between family and friends and a love that may have been doomed from the start…

11

Disclaimer: Minor spoilers for Falling Under. Check out my non-spoiler free review here!  

To my surprise, I enjoyed the sequel. I choose to read it because the premise was original enough that I thought it may be better than its predecessor. Thankfully, it was!

The events of Falling Under has reversed the roles for Theia and Haden. Theia is now a succubus; Haden is mortal; their love is still forbidden. 

Despite escaping from Under, Under continues to hold its grip on her. As Theia attempts to return to her life in the mortal realm, she struggles with a growing hunger (for human nightmares) and other lingering effects of her time in Under. Haden, on the other hand, is struggling as Theia pushes him aside and he did her at the beginning.

Theia’s internal battle is a fascinating. Hayes surprised me in how she stuck Theia between two hard options and forcing her to make it work. There was no real way to evade the consequences, and I appreciate how Hayes illustrated that. She simultaneously addressed and tied up loose ends well in an ending that felt at least half-satisfying. The ending for two particular characters felt unjust, and influenced my enjoyment of the story.

While it was a significantly better story than Falling Under, Theia and Haden’s relationship still felt too intense too soon for my taste. In all, a better sequel than the first book.

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