Mari's Reviews > Awaken

Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky
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Nov 11, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: netgalley
Read in November, 2010

The year is 2060 and everything is digital. People do everything - hang out with friends, study, work, shop, even go on dates - on the computer. Online, everything is safe, easy and controllable. Seventeen year old Maddie has grown used to this life but she often feels something is missing. Then she meets Justin who prefers face-to-face interaction and she starts to question if this "digital" life is as perfect as some people make it to be.

I liked the premise of this novel. In these modern times, it's not too hard to imagine a scenario where everything is done over the computer. I for one, spend a huge chunk of my day in front of a computer. It was very disconcerting reading awaken because it hit too close to home. It makes you realize that this could probably well be what would happen in the not-so-distant future.

The protag, Maddie, was clearly torn between two worlds. I liked that she was brave and open to discovering new things. Justin, on the other hand, I couldn't quite relate to at first. I felt he was too stiff and self-righteous but I understood his outlook as the story progressed. I thought their love-tug-o'-war was interesting although it got repetitive at times.

One thing I didn't like about this book is that there were parts that are too preachy. For example, the whole "digital" vs. "unplugged" dilemma is already a huge issue and when you add environmental propaganda on top, it starts to feel like one big sermon. It's not that I don't appreciate the message, it's just that in the story's context, it feels like overkill.

That being said, what I loved most is that the characters are not one-sided - those supporting the digital life and those against it. It's not all black and white, good vs. evil. You are given the history of why everything went "digitalized", you understand why it was a necessity given the circumstances and yet you also know that those opposing it have a very strong point of contention. Emphasis was made on balance and I'm dying to know how everything will play out.

Very thought-provoking!

3.5 stars
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Heather Anastasiu I agree totally with your review--it was a great premise, and Maddie was a very real feeling character, but yeah, I agree about the preachy feeling at certain parts of the book.


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