Local Girl Taken by Mermaids


Sacrifices and decisions must be made to protect the ones we love

In Wake, by Amanda Hocking, the true meaning of sacrifice is conveyed through the actions and decisions of Gemma, the protagonist, her family, and her friends. For example, after Gemma's mother is diagnosed with a severe brain disorder after a car accident forcing her mother to be incapable of preforming simple tasks, Harper, Gemma's sister, steps up and becomes the mother figure in their family. When Gemma is temporarily missing and is found, Harper thinks to herself, "Sometimes [she] got so wrapped up in taking care of everything, her father and the house and making sure that Gemma was in line and safe, she forgot that she actually loved her sister... [she] would be lost without her" (p.120). Harper's painstaking care for Gemma is represented by this quote. Given the fact Harper's love for Gemma slips her mind signifies that Harper's actions are based more on what she knows will benefit and nurture Gemma instead of her emotional response to certain situations. Harper's care and affection for Gemma is so deep that the Harper is oblivious to her feelings towards her sister in order to make sure she is always safe. Consequently, the theme of sacrifice is shown through Harper's constant mind set of protecting her family. She sacrifices her recreational time by acting as a mature mother, always guiding her family in the right direction. Not to mention, Harper is only 18; therefore she gives up the freedom of being young and wild. Secondly, when the three sirens, (mermaids) Penn, Thea, and Lexi, are about to hurt Gemma's boyfriend, Alex, Gemma shouts, "...if you lay one claw on his head, I will make it my life's mission to destory us all... but if you leave him alone... I will be your slave" (p.304). Gemma was willing to give up her freedom for the protection of her loved one. She gave Alex back his chance of life. Therefore, Gemma has made a paramount sacrifice that will change the way she lives forever. With this promise, any chance of Gemma breaking free from the evil sirens has gone out the window. Gemma gave away her happiness for the safety of Alex, sacrificing any chance of regaining her original, human life. She realizes, although her life is about to take a major downfall, her family and friends don't have to fall with her; she should not force misfortune upon them. Sacrifice is a theme that is supported in How to Say Goodbye in Robot, by Natalie Standiford. Beatrice, the protagonist, finds her best friend, Jonah has run away. After this event, she realizes that he had planned this all along, burning all recognizable pictures of himself prior to running away, so no one would be able to look for him. Jonah has left Beatrice, and only Beatrice, a picture of them recently together with a letter. Even though Beatrice's heart aches everyday with the absence of Jonah, she knows that if she gives this picture to the police and tries to find him, Jonah will suffer. Beatrice knows if Jonah is found he will be dragged back to his father where he is miserable. Thus, Beatrice sacrifices her urge to find Jonah and her longing to have her friend back, to give Jonah a chance at happiness. Ultimately, this is what one strives for when making sacrifices: a state of optimism and and satisfaction.

A girl must decide between an unfamiliar life of mermaids and legends or the appeasing life she's been living in order to salvage her life and protect her loved ones.

Summary of the Book

In Wake, by Amanda Hocking, the main character, Gemma, is seemingly perfect. She is beautiful and has an undeniable love for the water, particularly the ocean. However, one night, on her midnight swims at the bay, she is accompanied by her next door neighbor and her sister Harper's best friend, Alex. Throughout the story they develop a relationship. On this midnight swim, both Alex and Gemma are momentarily transfixed by 3 girls who are dancing and performing other strange antics in a cave: "Those girls," everyone in town calls them, whose names are Penn, Thea, and Lexi. All men gravitate towards them and all women fear them and showed evident jealously. However, Penn, Thea, and Lexi have chosen Gemma, for some reason, to be "one of them." On another one of Gemma's midnight swims, she is alone. Penn, Thea, and Lexi are in their cave once again and urge Gemma to come to them, singing a hypnotic song. Gemma is drawn to them by an undeniable force even though she knows that Penn, Thea, and Lexi are creepy, therefore, not to be trusted. The actions she performed were not hers. They force her to drink from a flask, ingesting mysterious, gag-inducing liquid. When Gemma sister, Harper, and Gemma's dad find that Gemma has not returned from her midnight swim, they panic. Harper begins furiously searching for her with the help of Daniel, a young man whom she develops a relationship with. They find Gemma astonishingly floating in the middle of the ocean tangled in a net. Gemma is scolded, interrogated, and of course, grounded, telling Harper that other than the fact she was with "those girls," she has no memory of last night or how she got her multiple scars, bruises, and injuries. These events have Harper extremely worried considering many people have been disappearing in town the past months. Strangely, after that night, Gemma finds herself feeling faster, stronger, and more radiant. Dismissing Harper's instructions, she goes with Penn, Thea, and Lexi who answer all her questions. They've turned Gemma into a mermaid called a siren. Their previous fourth member died, and they must find a replacement to have four sirens together or else all three of them will die as well. Gemma is astonished by her new powers, but is informed that she must go with them and leave her whole life behind or else she will die. Gemma is furious at the sirens for doing this to her and struggles to find a decision. All the while, the sirens are very inconsiderate calling Gemma rude and ungrateful for their "gift." Meanwhile, Alex and Harper find their friend, Luke, dead: his body horrifically ripped apart. Gemma realizes that it's the sirens who have been causing all the disappearances: they live off of human blood. Gemma goes to her mother, who has severe brain damage thus causing her to believe in mermaids and magic, and asks her what she should do. She tells Gemma either way, she will never get to see her loved ones again, so she must go in order to protect herself. Gemma runs off in the middle of the night, but is spotted by Alex. Alex informs Harper who enlists the help of Daniel, and they chase after Gemma. When Gemma meets the sirens, she is furious when she sees they have eaten Bernie, her good friend. This causes Penn to reveal another form of siren: a lizard-like winged creature. Alex, Harper, and Daniel find her and are horrified seeing these creatures for the first time. When the sirens are about to eat Alex, Gemma offers them a proposition: if she doesn't harm her loved ones, she will go with them willingly; otherwise, she will spend the rest of eternity plotting to kill them all. They agree, and together they swim off, leaving Alex, Harper, and Daniel heartbroken and determined to find her.

Amanda Hocking

Amanda Hocking refers to herself as an "obsessive tweeter." She lives with her dog, three cats, two fish, and her roommate, Dexter. Her greatest hero of all time is John Hughes, not to mention, she loves Muppets and Unicorns. She is currently a guitarist in a band called the Fragging Aardvarks; however, they hardly rehearse anymore. Amanda is 28 years old and already has 2 series in the New York Times Bestseller list and the USA Today Bestseller List: Wake, from The Watersong Series, is one of them. Currently, Wake is in production to be a movie under Media Rights Capital (MRC).