Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
AWAKEN was a great dystopian novel. Kacvinsky really built Madeline's world up to creepy, digital awesomeness. And then she throws in a hot guy named Justin to start all sorts of rebellions. Against DS, against Madeline's father, against everything that Maddie's ever known, even against Maddie's own personal walls.
"Life's too short to say maybe." He says.
What I thought Kacvinsky did really well was send her message through. Because honestly, with the way this world's going our future might not be that far off from what Maddie's world has become. Digital school... Digital friends... We're already headed in that direction. And it's scary to think how much our computers seem to rule our lives. So props to Kacvinsky because I definitely agree with her. And I appreciate the fact that she didn't make Justin a radical that wanted to obliterate technology. He simply didn't want technology to rule our lives.
The love story between Maddie and Justin was good. I enjoyed watching their feelings grow and develop towards one another. I thought it was original in it's own right, but at the same time I was hoping for something a little different. Every girl wants a protector, and Justin is a great one. But at times I felt he was a little too protective and a little too guarded. It was kind of the whole "I like you too, but I can't be with you because you'll get hurt!" Which is fine. I just think that if you're going to do that, you need to make sure you trail those bread crumbs from the very beginning. And those bread crumbs ought to be very original. I guess more than Justin's over protectiveness going on, I was just a little annoyed that their whole relationship seemed kind of... predictable. But nonetheless enjoyable. I wanted them to work out just as much as the next reader. I'm a sap that way.
I really liked the story, but I felt the action should have been more involved. Once you get into the love story, the action sequences suffer. Perhaps because it's in Maddie's point of view, rather than Justin who leads interceptions and such, but it still would've been nice to witness a huge event. Or find out what exactly the freedom fighters do when they're not intercepting cops and such. Perhaps that's for book two?
I really liked AWAKEN though. It was different. And I felt like her message came through strong and clear. My suggestion for book two (since it left off on an obvious cliff hanger, I mean... you can't leave it as a stand alone with such a high drop), would be to add in lots of action and more world-building. You can't go wrong with world-building. Or at least, until you start describing every leaf on a tree. Don't do that... 4 stars out of 5 for AWAKEN! Pick it up when it comes out!
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