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Awaken

Awaken

Book rating: 04 Hardback

By (author) Katie Kacvinsky

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Hardback $16.34
  • Publisher: HOUGHTON MIFFLIN
  • Format: Hardback | 309 pages
  • Dimensions: 135mm x 211mm x 30mm | 431g
  • Publication date: 1 November 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Boston, MA
  • ISBN 10: 0547371489
  • ISBN 13: 9780547371481
  • Sales rank: 170,525

Product description

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.

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Author information

Katie Kacvinsky worked as a model and as a high school English teacher before deciding to write full time. She currently lives in Corvallis, Oregon. The trees in Oregon were the inspiration for her story. "Awaken" is her debut novel.

Customer reviews

By MissPageTurner 07 Mar 2012 4

Kacvinsky drew a future world construct in which humans mostly exist through their technologies, personal and real life contact is scarce. It's a world that fascinates and scares me at the same time, because it isn't that absurd. She invented technical devices like mind readers or drawing canvases on the ceiling, developed an infrastructural and a whole new cultural and social system.

AWAKEN can be divided in two halves. The first part of the novel felt too slow-paced and dragging. Maddie is our heroine and 1st person narrator, I really liked her character. She is an intelligent and very brave girl. She always thought she knew the digital and structured world she's living in, until she meets Justin.

And that's when action and love come into play. The second half of AWAKEN was great. The relationship between Maddie and Justin simply captivated me, their love story is cute.
Both Justin and Maddie need to find their places in life and finally get the chance to open up. With the help of each other, they can find their true selves and finally become the persons they always deserved to be. Both are so stubborn and I loved to see them just open up a bit.

Maddie starts writing diary entries which give further insight into her thoughts and feelings. What irritated me is that at some point she just doesn't continue the writing, so it wouldn't be necessary in the first place to offer the option to understand her emotional development throughout the novel.

Of course there's also an antagonist which is the government her father belongs to. So not only the external conflict between rebels and government is stressed, but the internal familiar conflict as well. I can't wait to see which way the story will take in the sequel.

THE VERDICT

I give it 3,5/5 stars.

Katie is a debut author 2011 with a creative mind. I'm definitely waiting for the sequel to AWAKEN!

By Maria Guajardo (GABY) 02 Jun 2011 3

I was really interested in Awaken since the moment I discovered. I like to read dystopia so I thought I was probably going to like this one.

Maddie is the typical teenager. She goes to school, have friends, goes to the movies, etc...but always behind the protection of her computer's screen. At this time, people doesn't really come out of their houses. Why would they? It's dangerous! Besides, they can do whatever they want at their computers.

But not everyone is happy with this kind of life. There are people who still want to talk face to face, touch each other. People who wants to meet the real person, not the one you say you are at your profile.

I was really interested in the plot and in Maddie (and her secret), but still it was extremely difficult for me to read this book. Why? Because I didn't like Maddie's love for Justin. Love at first sight. It was more like an obsession. I know this is typical in YA books, but still I don't like it. I didn't like that the only thing Maddie could think about was him. I understand what it is to be in love (because I'm in love), and specially at that age (because I was at that age), but I don't think it's right to be that obsessed.

Anyway, Awaken is the kind of book that makes you think about the life we are living. It's at the future (2060, I think), but I think it's happening now. People are always playing / talking / etc. with their iPads, Blackberry or whatever device they have, instead of talking to the person who is beside them. I think it's sad, really.

Overall, Awaken is a great book for those who likes to read dystopia. It has an original plot, and even when I wasn't happy with Maddie's love for Justin, I'm still interested to see what's going to happen in the sequel.

By TeensReadToo 11 Apr 2011 5

AMAZING! That's what went through my mind as I turned the final page of AWAKEN. AWAKEN is one of a slew of dystopian novels that are flooding the market, but this one definitely stands out in front of the pack.

Maddie has grown up in a society where there is little need to leave the house. Shopping can be done online and delivered. School is done from the computer, as well. Maddie has many friends, but they are all on line. So she's hesitant when one of her online friends invites her to a study group one night. Not only is she not used to being around people, she has to ask permission to leave the house.

Maddie meets Justin at the group. Justin has done his research and knows Maddie's father is behind the founding of Digitial School. And he has learned that someone had previously hacked into the system in an attempt to sabotage it. Justin is actually surprised to find out that Maddie is a girl.

Justin introduces Maddie to a world that involves actual face-to-face social interaction. It's a world Maddie is unfamiliar with, but now that she's had a taste of it, she wants more. But her father doesn't want her to see Justin again.

As the story unfolds, Maddie's history comes out, and the reader learns about her being on house arrest for her computer hacking attempt. It's just that ability and her close connection to her father that Justin and his group of rebels want access to.

All of the characters in AWAKEN were wonderful and easy to relate to. Even Maddie's father, though the villain in the story (or so you are led to believe), has his reasons and beliefs for what he does. Outside of Maddie and Justin, I have to say that my favorite character was Maddie's mom. Though she is a quiet person and supportive of her husband, she does little rebellious things all the way through that make you want to go, "Yeah, mom!" It culminates when she hands Maddie her sneakers. (Read the story, you'll know what I'm talking about!)

There is so much action in AWAKEN that I found my heart racing at different points in the story. The tension between Maddie and Justin is palpable, but just enough out of reach to keep the reader hungering for more. I don't know that a sequel is planned, but the story ends leaving you wanting that continuation.

*Gold Star Award Winner!

Review quote

"Fans of Oliver's Delirium will appreciate this story of a girl subverting social strictures through forbidden relationships, but the wild chase scenes and richly developed characters make it a sure sell across the board."--BCCB "This book could not have been more perfect."--Kaci Carpenter, teen YALSA reviewer