July 11, 2013

Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky

Awaken (Awaken, #1)
Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky
Series: Awaken, #1
Source: Traded for
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Publication Date: May 23, 2011
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 mom gave me an old leather-bound journal for my seventeenth birthday. At first the blank pages surprised me, as if the story inside was lost or had slipped out.

It's getting harder and harder to rate books-- although I liked this one, I can't say that I'm loving it. It had a very interesting premise, but it didn't exactly deliver for me. The idea of a digital school is mostly believable, but I find it hard to believe that no one interacts face to face anymore. So sometimes the idea was a little over the top. Other times, though, I could see how it would happen.

My biggest issue with Awaken was that I couldn't relate to Madeline, our main character. We just didn't mesh. She was so willing to fight DS, but I find it ridiculous that she rebelled when she was fifteen, but then didn't do anything else for years.

But then she starts talking to this guy and she's suddenly all rebellious again. I understand that punishment was huge, but I wish she'd been silently fighting or something. Anything to make it more believable, you know?

Speaking of the guy, I didn't find their romance to be very good. They're "in love" without very much interaction, in my opinion. But not the way you think-- there was no insta-love, but more a slow-building thing in which they really know anything about each other and Justin basically leads her on by being swoony one minute, then the next being away from her for "her own good".

I'm not a fan of that kind of romance. They have chemistry, I'll give them that, but I don't think it's love.

All in all, Awaken was just a normal dystopian for me-- rebellion, controlling government, and no freedom. All with a dash of romance that wasn't exactly anything new.

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