Saturday, July 16, 2011

Wake Unto Me by Lisa Cach

Release Date: March 31st, 2011
Publisher: Speak
Source: Author/publisher
A haunted castle, a handsome young man dead for four hundred years, one heck of a scary portrait of a witch, and a treasure hunt -- not to mention a princess for a roommate! -- all await 15 year old American girl Caitlyn Monahan when she earns a scholarship to a French boarding school.

There are secrets behind the stone walls of Chateau de la Fortune, buried for centuries along with the mystery of who killed Raphael, the charming ghost who visits Caitlyn at night. But as Caitlyn unearths the history of the castle, nothing scares her as badly as the secret she learns about herself, and the reason she was chosen to come to the Fortune School.

And nothing breaks her heart as badly as falling in love with a dead guy. [from goodreads]
Eerie, romantic, and full of twists, Wake Unto Me is a thrilling read that will have your heart racing with fear and delight.

Caitlyn was a relatable character--she's never quite fit in with everyone else and she yearns for something more, although she doesn't know what that something is. Preferring her sketchbook and solitude, she does take a while to come into her own but when she does, it's a proud moment for readers. The romance between Caitlyn and Raphael may seem a little rushed but under the circumstances (which Cach reveals later on in full detail), it makes sense as to why they fall for each other so quickly. Cach makes their romance believable and that's what matters most.

As for credibility, Cach's historical research for the novel certainly shines through: the detail used to describe Caitlyn's locations while she was in the past (and occasionally in the present) was stunning; it was easy to imagine the places that Caitlyn visited and the mystery surrounding her journey into the past was very alluring. Cach also wove a mystical element into the story by including tarot cards--that have always been highly symbolic in Caitlyn's life--and combining all of this with her elegant writing style, the novel was nicely crafted. I do have to mention the tone of the book--while I felt that Cach successfully managed to write a novel with a YA vibe, the writing itself still had a touch of an older style but considering the plot, it was fitting that it be told in the way it is.
Highly suspenseful and romantic, Wake Unto Me is a successful transition into the YA genre for seasoned author Lisa Cach. Its combined layers of paranormal, mystery, romance and self-discovery made the story an entirely satisfying read and I look forward to reading more of Cach's work.

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