Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky | Book Review #64

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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.

When I first heard of this book a I was so excited to read it. Now, few years later when I finally got this out from the library, I thought this book was alright. It didn’t really suit my fancy I suppose. — I just want to clarify that I wasn’t in a queue for that long!! I actually forgot a bout the book. There’s a 5 year gap between me discovering the book, and me reading it. Ha ha!

That said, I didn’t actually know that this book is part of a trilogy. The ending to this book is alright. And I like that Awaken ended in a very satisfying way; the ending is very mature (for a YA novel). I’m going to take and leave this book as a standalone. I thought that this book is very interesting; seeing as how this world that Kacvinsky created is very technology induced. People rely on electronics for everything, very much like ours our current world, but more so. Awaken actually takes place in a postmodern America in 2060. There are so many secrets that aren’t really talked about in this first book, which I see now as an incentive to read more of the books. I didn’t find this book interesting enough to go on to the second book.

There’s one point of view, which is nice. Multiple POV’s can confuse me sometimes! Madeline is the main character, and she’s the view that we see her world in. Madeline, or Maddie, is…I want to say mediocre. Maddie isn’t all that great of a main character in my opinion. She grows a bit in Awaken, but hopefully she grows to be more than she is in this first book.

Aside from that, Madeline is a stubborn and strong-willed character. Despite her living situation, and her distant father, Maddie is a super smart girl. And Maddie believes in herself and what she can do; Maddie also holds her values close to heart. There aren’t many characters that believe in themselves. That said though, Maddie does have a bit of a hero-complex to her.

Justin is an alright character. We don’t see much of him, which leaves Maddie pining after him. If you can get over that, then great! That still leaves Maddie pining after him when they’re in the same room. Justin is unreliable at best. I have to give his character props though. He’s really mature and the ending is why I’m writing this paragraph about him. Justin is very realistic about his view of life and the world that they live in.

Overall this was a great book to start the year (2016!!) with! There are really great descriptions and they were really interesting to read. While reading I just felt so immersed in the story, I’m pretty sure that this was a one-sitting read for me. I’m alright with not wanting to move onto the second book, which is actually calming me for some odd reason. It’s like I’ve made my peace with Awaken.

If you’re interested, you can check out Awaken by clicking the book cover at the top of this review. The link will take you to GoodReads.

Thank you for reading my review! I really appreciate it.

Until next time,
Adele

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