Review: AWAKEN by Katie Kacvinsky

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.

Add AWAKEN to Goodreads


Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.

May 15, 2011



  1. Reply

    Jen the bibliophile

    May 19, 2011

    I ended up liking this book, but it wasn't my favorite either. It was actually Maddie that drove me kind of nuts. I thought she was too trusting of Justin and he was really preachy. In the end the characters seemed more real and I liked them a lot more.

    In the Closet With a Bibliophile

  2. Reply


    February 27, 2012

    I have had this on my self for a while now but I never seem to have time to pick it up. I was hoping your review would sell me on picking it up sooner but I am still torn!

  3. Reply


    December 3, 2012

    I really liked this book. I am such a fan of this author. I can't wait to read Middle Ground!

  4. Reply

    Alyssa Susanna

    January 20, 2013

    I read this book and loved it! Lots of dystopias out there, but I really liked this one. I haven't managed to pick up Middle Ground yet. Great review! :)