Monday, May 30, 2011

Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky Review

By Katie Kacvinsky
May 23, 2011
Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 320 pages

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.

— description

The book follows a young girl caught in a future reality in which almost all human interaction is digitized. School, relationships, even going on walks or out to the movies, all happen from the comfort of your home computer. Even when people are together, they rarely look up from their smartphones to have a serious conversation.

So, warning: Do not read this book on your Kindle, Nook or other e-reader. It will make you feel very, very uncomfortable. I even feel weird talking about it online. I need to go door-to-door, singing its praises or something.

And oh, how I want to sing them!

It’s a frighteningly realistic future, and there’s definitely a moral here. But the book is never preachy.

Instead, it’s wild and exciting and romantic. I don’t even want to say more. I want you to go order this stunning debut so I have people to talk to about it. Even if it is online.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for my review copy of this book.

You might also like: Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Anna Reads young adult book blog


  1. I feel that a lot of futuristic/dystopian that I've read has been a bit hit and miss. But I think I'm willing to read Awaken! The cover is lovely too :)

  2. Putting this on my to-read list right now.

  3. Sounds good. I like when dystopian futures are conceivable and "rarely look up from their smartphones" got me thinking this might be one I can believe in.

  4. I just read about this within the last week and I've been wanting to get it. Glad to be hearing such good praise for it. I like that it makes you think, I look forward to that. ^_^

  5. You want uncomfertable, deal with the irony of reading the Iron King, Iron Daughter and Iron Queen on a kindle!

  6. SO love the premise of this!! Definitely checking it out!

  7. I've wanted to read this book forever. This desire has not yet changed and your review doesn't actually help that.

  8. Too late! I'm reading this book on my Kindle. :-D

  9. This one is definitely making my list of favorites for the year. It's extremely thought provoking and one of those dystopians that you can see actually coming to fruition in real life (sooner than later honestly). I also enjoyed that there was a bit of a romance there but it didn't take over the story. Really great book.


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