Wednesday, 28 August 2013

[Review] Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky

Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky Published May 23rd 2011 by HMH Books for Young Reader
Hardcover, 309 pages
Synopsis:

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.
My Thoughts: 
I'm going to be straight up honest with you guys; I picked this book up mostly because of the cover. I was intrigued to see if it matched the synopsis and to my surprise it actually did! This book is a majestic new take on the dystopian genre. I know the book has been out for two years now but it’s new to me and I haven’t seen many reviews for it either. 

The dystopian genre has become increasingly popular over the last few years and even more so with the release of The Hunger Games trilogy. It is one of my favourite genres but lately I have felt that some of the books have gone a bit too far in terms of being realistic. So it was refreshing to read a book that was so utterly unique and one that I could actually see happening. I felt drawn to the idea of living a “digital life” as its happening already in everyday life. We use computers for everything and people are becoming confined hermits! Anyway, back to the review before I start ranting. I found it so easy to sink right into this book, a lot of the time it takes me a while to get into a book but with this one I didn't have any trouble at all. Katie Kacvinskys writing is so easy to read and flows perfectly as the story progresses. It managed to keep my attention and had me itching with anticipation!

Alas, we’re introduced to a lot of characters in this book so there are quite a few names to remember. But don’t let this put you off as they all have an important role in the story. Kacvinsky has created a well-rounded bunch of characters that I was able to relate to and found myself empathising with. I ended up really caring for these characters and I wanted nothing more than for them to get what they wanted. Of course they will have to fight for what they believe in but I really do hope that they get what they want in the next few books. On a side note this is a series with two books that are already out and a third coming soon.

There is a cheeky little bit of romance in this book but I think that’s something you should expect when reading YA. However with this book it’s the frustrating kind of romance. The romance that makes you wants to scream at the characters. It’s the kind where they both like each other but are completely stubborn about it. I admit, I think it was a bit lame in the way that Maddie fell for Justin even though she didn't really know him and yet she was completely head over heels in love with him. But then there’s Justin who’s so dedicated to his work that he can’t let anyone depend on him or love him. Oh look, it happens anyway. Yeah I did like them as a couple or “superfriends” as they would say but I think the way the author went about it was a bit iffy.

Besides from the romance, Katie has created a wonderful dystopian world which kept me engrossed for hours. I'm excited to pick up the next instalment of this series to see how the author continues with the never-ending battle of humanity vs the digital world. I'm also quite interested in seeing how the characters develop and how they cope with the problems that they’ll  face. This book deserves all of the recognition that it gets and I can’t stress enough how much I enjoyed it. It's worth the read, so go on, get your copy now and devour it like I did!

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