Books for the tween set are all the rage right now. The Twilight books seem to appeal to teenagers and adults. I see grown women on TV with rooms dedicated to this stuff. I tried to get the appeal. I read a little bit of Twilight and watched five minutes of the first movie. I must say I don't get the appeal. I was a young adult the last time I read a young adult novel. I've had a brain lock on them for years, until now. In May, I met Wendy Raven McNair at BookExpo America. After a little talking for a bit, I said I would read her book Asleep and post a review.
The tween books I've seen in most years seem to appeal to a certain set. I don't see enough popular Young Adult books targeted towards African Americans. I'm sure they are out there, but don't get as much exposure as Twilight, Linger, Hush, Harry Potter, etc. Asleep is set in modern day Atlanta with a predominately African American cast of characters.
Fifteen-year-old Adisa Summers loves her family, loves food and also has a deep love for superheroes. Her twin sisters Kylie and Kelly are in their own world. Her mother wants to feed the world and her father wants to protect Adisa from all the boys in the world. But now Adisa has her eye on the new boy in town, Micah Alexander. But he's not like the other boys in town. One moment Micah is stoic and rigid, and emotional the next. Micah begins to haunt her dreams, after years of not dreaming. Awkward moments between the two become tender. Long talks over food cooked by Micah, seduce her senses, but Adisa can tell Micah is holding something back. Moments of danger for Adisa force Micah's secrets to the surface. During a storm Adisa wonders if her eyes are deceiving her as the image of a flying Micah comes toward her. He saves her from a falling tree.
I had to step back and absorb Adisa's reaction to her boyfriend flying. " 'Don't touch me,' I spat out and he immediately halted. I was livid. 'You knew I spent years immersed in superhero fantasy and suffered for it. How could you, of all people, question my commitment to safeguarding your true identity.' " I had to remember this is fantasy. Had this been me I would have run for the hills. But with Adisa's character it rings true. All of her life Adisa has always wanted to be a superhero, so naturally she's jealous of Micah. He couldn't always fly. Before Micah's powers came to fruition, he was 'Asleep.' Now he is awake, journeying back and forth to Africa learning how to harness his power with FLEET. Micah tries to maintain a relationship with his 'earthbound' family while learning how to be a superbeing with his white twin Victor. I couldn't tell if Victor was good or bad. He kidnaps Adisa in effort to save Micah's life, but Victor's motives don't always ring true to me.
While Micah begins revealing his secrets, Adisa starts to discover secrets within her own family. Long buried secrets that could effect her for life. Since this is the first book in a series of three, this is just the start for Adisa and Micah. I'm not sure how to describe this book. There's fantasy, romance and suspense. For my first foray into the world of Young Adult I did like it. Although, I wish the fantasy part of the novel had come quicker. I felt it was little bit too long. But since this is the first book in the series, I guess more time is needed to introduce the characters. I am curious what happens next!
Rating: Give it a try
Notes: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review. For more information to Wendy Raven McNair, go to http://www.wendyravenmcnair.com/