Thursday, June 30, 2011

Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky

Like most people in the United States, Maddie lives a very ordered, organized life. She attends Digital School from the comfort and safety of her own home. She exercises on a running machine. When she needs to go out, she takes a ZipShuttle exactly where she needs to go. But her life might be a bit different than other peoples' lives, because her father is the creator of the Digital School. As Maddie struggles to make sense of her world and her father, she meets Justin, a mysterious young man who is determined to challenge the Digital School and all it stands for. Maddie's been awakened to a very different way of life...but what does it mean for her?

(Spoilers ahead).

I started reading this book on my Kobo eReader, but that was just too much for me (part of the set-up of Maddie's world is that all stories are on screens and paper books are incredibly rare). One thing that I really appreciated about this book was that Maddie was already rebellious before she met Justin. He helped her to understand some of what was going on, and he certainly, ahem, awakened things in her that she had tried to stamp out, but he wasn't responsible for 100% of Maddie's change. I also liked that in the end, Maddie had the chance to get back some of a regular life; she wasn't trading her father's world for Justin's world and she still had the chance to find herself while being in contact with her family. I didn't understand all of the technical details about how the 'new world' worked, but that was okay for me. I particularly enjoyed the details of what this life was like and how it played out when you started a new life: the slight panic and unease when someone comes to the door, Maddie's terror at seeing fire for the first time, wanting to mix peanut butter and mustard because they look pretty together. Katie Kacvinsky is an extremely talented writer, and I can't wait to read more from her.

I received a copy through NetGalley but Awaken is now out in stores.

Check out Katie Kacvinsky's website.

See more at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
Matched by Ally Condie
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
Memento Nora by Angie Smibert
Divergent by Veronica Roth

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