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Review: AWAKEN by Katie Kacvinsky

Posted by on May 17, 2011
Awaken (Awaken, #1) 
Katie Kacvinsky
309 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: May 23rd, 2011
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating:  LIKED

Maddie lives in a world where everything is done on the computer. Whether it’s to go to school or on a date, people don’t venture out of their home. There’s really no need. For the most part, Maddie’s okay with the solitary, digital life—until she meets Justin. Justin likes being with people. He enjoys the physical closeness of face-to-face interactions. People aren’t meant to be alone, he tells her.

Suddenly, Maddie feels something awakening inside her—a feeling that maybe there is a different, better way to live. But with society and her parents telling her otherwise, Maddie is going to have to learn to stand up for herself if she wants to change the path her life is taking.

In this not-so-brave new world, two young people struggle to carve out their own space..

   Katie Kacvinsky’s debut novel, Awaken, portrays a haunting vision of our future through the eyes of a seventeen year old girl. The people in the year 2040 have no need to leave their homes. Because everything – from school to going to the movies with friends – can be done from home.

   This new world has its perks – the nation’s safety has amplified more than ever before. Yet neighbors don’t even know how the person across the street from them looks like.

   So when Madeline, the daughter of the Digital School creator, gets a chance to lead the revolution against her own father, she’s torn between following her heart or staying loyal to her family. It should be this or that, but deciding is harder than she can ever imagine.

   I think my favorite concept of Awaken is Maddie’s voice. It’s so relatable and I found myself thinking to myself “Yup, that’s what I would do” countless times. But I like my books full of action and nail-biting suspense, and I felt Awaken lacked in that department quite a bit.

   That doesn’t mean you should pass on this unique debut. Though I wouldn’t call it my favorite, you should definitely add Awaken to your wishlist.

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