Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky
Reading Level: Young Adult
Release Date: Available Now
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Source: Received from Amazon Vine for honest review
Summary: 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 Review: Now a days, most of us can't live without technology. Just thinking about not having the internet makes me feel sick. I depend on it for my everyday information around the world. Plus, all our bookish needs are just a click away. But, imagine if the internet didn't exist, what type of people would we be? In Katie's debut, Awaken, she presents a digitally crutched society whose lives are passing before their eyes without them realizing it. All there interactions, activities and educational goals lie within the digital world that Maddie's father has created. In the beginning, Maddie held a secret from the reader, the mystery and anticipation behind her unanswered actions was down right intriguing. The moment where she meets Justin off an internet based study chat -- her life starts to take a different path. Justin, an anti-supporter of the digital world was an intellectual breath of fresh air. I loved his approach of wanting to help and save others from succumbing to this non-healthy way of living.
Now, Maddie is part of his plan of rebelling against her father, however the bond that starts to ignite between the two was pleasantly surprising. There were moments where I thought she was being used, however once the story starts to explain the reasoning behind Justin's actions, I understood the situation better. Maddie's transformation from listening to her father to escaping the technological prison was very courageous. It takes a strong protagonist to rebel against the people you love for a positive cause. All in all, I enjoyed Katie's realistic and challenged plot. It brought to light that sometimes we are addicted to our digital items. Look at me for example, I'd rather text someone than pick up the phone to chat. That right there, is what Awaken is all about. I am curious to know what happens to Maddie and Justin, so I will hopefully be expecting a sequel since it was left open ended.
Katie Kacvinsky worked in the entertainment industry and as a high school English teacher before deciding to write full time. She currently lives in Corvallis, Oregon.
For more info on Katie, visit her sites: