REVIEW: Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky

Awaken

The Blurb: 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.

The Goods: Justin. He’s a hottie and a bad boy and you can’t deny that part of this story. He’s also kind of a bruised hero which makes him more heroic if you can believe it. The selflessness is also not an act, though it does come off cocky at first and then later you start to understand. I was also impressed with where the world has gone. It’s not like Katie took us out of the world we live in and plopped us into Panem, she took a world we already have, with flaws that could get more out of control and expanded on them. I can totally see society becoming this way in a few years. In fact we’re already becoming like it. That was the main reason I picked up the book, the premise is very believable. It’s very 1960’s meets 2060’s actually. The people that Maddie meets are people we know already, you know them as vegans, vegetarians, or “green” people. Think of the book as “green” people against “technology” people. I agreed with a lot of the points this book had to make about our society and life and so this is why it’s a great book for teenagers out there. This is stuff they NEED to know about.

The Not So Goods: The writing wasn’t spectacular. Some authors make you hold your breath when you read. This actually made my head hurt. I almost stopped reading altogether because I was pissed off at the boxy feeling of the beginning of the book. I was also pissed off at Maddie’s choices. I found it rather obvious what Justin was there for and it made my skin crawl. I still don’t believe that some of the things that happened in the book benefited the book at all. Certain escape scenes and a certain gash on a leg was completely unnecessary. In addition to this, there were plenty of moments at the beginning of the book where if I were Maddie, I would have punched Justin and refused to see him again. That and I would have felt a whole lot more betrayed, and set up, and ultimately forced down this path Maddie took. She feels so manipulated and I don’t give a damn which way a person is being manipulated, manipulation is manipulation.

Rating: 3/5

Other Stuff:
Pinnochio Factor: Pass, they’re real like the reality she carved them out of.
Bella Swan Factor: Pass, although you might not find Maddie a very strong character.
Jace Factor: Pass, there’s a hot complicated boy in attendance.
Primrose Factor: Pass, nobody we loved died.
Potter Factor: Fail, she basically took real life and turned it into fiction. I can totally respect that but reality isn’t original, it’s just the way it is.
Cheese Factor: Pass, definitely no cheesy moments.
Bible Factor: Pass, there’s none of it in this book.
Temperature: 110 degrees, some very hot make out scenes and flirting scenes that definitely allude to other things happening. These guys give new meaning to the term “get a room” They certainly had a few of them . . .

Recommendations: Read it if you’re ready to unplug from the computer, and please for the love of god buy it in paper version. Don’t get the kindle or kobo version because then you’re just as bad as the people they’re rebelling against, clinging to technology. Also, there are spelling errors in the kobo version, just FYI, someone needs to comb over it again. Don’t read it if you’re a techno junkie and you drink your coffee while reading your tweets. It’ll probably make you want to kick something if you avoid outside just as much as your neighbor does. FOR BEST RESULTS READ OUTSIDE.

Namaste,
Rhi

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