Thursday, May 26, 2011

Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky

Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky.
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children.
Pages: 352.
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.
I feel like this is a book that everyone needs to read, because I feel like the concept of this book will probably turn non-fiction in the coming years. Awaken is an eye-opening story of how digitalized a society has become, but instead of being spotlighted as innovative and smart, it’s actually pretty scary.

Maddie is basically a plugged-in recluse in the beginning, only she doesn’t think she’s a recluse because she does have a social life. She spends times with friends online. She does activities online. She goes to school online. She believes she has a perfectly normal life through the internet, because that’s what “normal” is in this novel. But take away that computer and she’s lost. I feel like this can apply to a lot of people nowadays; some can’t function without their laptops, cell phones, e-readers, etc. That’s why this story is so intense and terrifying without there being an villains or monsters or creatures of the night, because it’s possibly our future.

But reading Maddie wake up (Awaken is the perfect name for this novel. I didn’t really understand it at first but it fits) from the digital life was sort of an experience that I think the author did an amazing job writing.

I thought the romance was perfect. It wasn’t overbearing. It didn’t ever replace the main focus of the story and it wasn’t rushed. Justin was a really likable character despite his mysterious side. And the scenes where he’s teaching Maddie about real life are both inspiring and amusing.

Overall, I really enjoyed Awaken. Immediately after reading the e-galley on my laptop, I shut it off and walked my dog to the park because, like Maddie, it sort of woke me up. Intense, action-packed, thrilling, romantic and completely relevant - this is a book that I definitely recommend that you check out because it’ll open your eyes and entertain you at the same time.

Other reviews for Awaken:
365 Days Of Reading.
Good Choice Reading.
Diary Of a Book Addict.
Early Nerd Special.


  1. This book sounds awesome. I tried to get it while it was on NetGalley, but apparently didn't get it in time. I'll definitely be picking it up on release day, though. Loved this review and YAY for non-overbearing romances <3

  2. Hmmm...that's a really fascinating premise for a novel. I'll definitely have to check it out! I have to admit that, after reading the synopsis, I was worried the book would come off as preachy, but it sounds wonderful. Thanks for the great review. :)

  3. my dystopian reads are piling up! i think I'm beginning to like it more than paranormal lol
    the plot sounds so intense this whole virtual world/life.I like characters who have such a strong pull on you, Maddie sounds like a good heroine. We need more of her.

  4. I agree, this fiction book is non-fiction for a lot of people. And may become a universal non-fiction one day. This book sounds really intriguing. Thanks for the review!!!

  5. This sounds really good, I'll definitely be adding it to my wish list. I must admit I was a bit turned off my the cover, but it sounds too interesting to pass up. Great review! ^_^

  6. This is one I'll be trying to get my hands on!!
    I love when a book really opens your eyes if I stay did that for me it made me appreciate my family so much more!!

    YA Book Haven!