Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Book Review: Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky

Title:  Awaken
Author:  Katie Kacvinsky
Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin
Publish Date:  May 23, 2011

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  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:  Wow!  This book was so good that if it were mine, I would turn around and start reading it all over again!  Seriously, it was THAT good! 

Maddie spends her life inside on computers.  She goes to school via computer, shops via computer, goes to movies via computer.  In fact, there is really no need to leave your house. 

Two years ago, Maddie rebelled and now is on probation. Maddie's father is the creator of DS or Digital Schooling.  Two years ago, Maddie went against DS and now has had her chat groups blocked...for the most part.  Maddie meets Justin online on an online study group.  Justin finally talks Maddie into meeting him in person.  From that moment on, Justin changes Maddie's life and her way of thinking.

I found this book to be a bit scary.  Why?  Because I can see this happening for real.  Can you think of a day where you have been "unplugged" recently?  I am always on my laptop or iPhone.  My kids are always on their DS systems, my phone, etc.  It's crazy to think that you could literally do everything online these days! 

Not only does Maddie do everything online but there are no longer things like trees, leaves, grass, etc.  Everything is plastic.  Convenient?  Yes but really not cool!  I would love to always have perfectly green grass that I don't have to cut but honestly, I won't give up my real grass for that! 

I loved Maddie!  She was rebellious, strong but real.  She had real fears and insecurities without being too weak.  Justin was just hot!  He was strong, brave and stubborn.  I wanted them to get together SO bad!  I was totally on the edge of my seat when it came to their romance!

I enjoyed reading this book because of where it took place as well.  I live an hour from Portland, OR so I could relate to everything the author wrote at the end during Maddie's father's speech.  I know where the Waterfront is and the Freemont Bridge so that was cool for me. 

I am hoping there will be another book after Awaken because I didn't care for the way it ended.  This is my only complaint on the book.  I want the happy ending and there are so many unanswered questions!  If there is another book, you can be sure that I will be first in line to read it!

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