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'm not even sure of where to start in describing Katie Kacvinsky's Awaken. It's haunting, romantic, and hopeful! It will make nearly any reader breathless and eager to find out what will occur next. It's without a doubt one of the best books I've ever read...a book I'll definitely be a huge advocate for once it's released.
Awaken tells the story of Maddie, a teen girl living in a disturbing and haunting future. You see, in Maddie's world there is no need to leave your house ever because everything can now be done by the click of a button. School? There's an Internet one every one uses. Going to the movies with friends? Once again at the touch of a button. Maddie's been raised on this idea of seclusion, and while she does think there is something wrong with it, she can't go against it. She has already tried once and failed miserably at it. Plus, her father's one of the big shots leading this revolution. Soon enough everything changes in Maddie's world. She meets Justin, a boy who believes that people should leave their houses more and have face-to-face interactions every day, not just once in a while. Maddie's starting to agree with everything he's saying. But is she ready to go against her parents? To stand on her own and make her own choices? Better yet is Justin hiding important information from her? And talking about him, does he like her as much as she likes him? Only time will tell in this unique and fantastic dystopian tale.
One of my favorite things about this book was the world Maddie and Justin lived in. It was disturbing and frightening. A world that I feel will someday become the one we have today, and that, everyone, scares me. But I digress. And while I found Maddie and Justin's world to be alarming that never once stopped me from being completely enamored in it. Throughout Awaken I was constantly eager to find out more about this new world: how it came to be, why it did, and what its existence meant for the characters I liked so much.
Another part of this book I enjoyed were the characters, Maddie and Justin in particular. Maddie is character who is fearless but cautious at the same time, a girl who wears her heart on her sleeve but takes a while to warm up to people, and most importantly she's a girl who knows when it's time to risk everything and take a stand for herself and her fellow peers. That trait was one of my favorite parts about her. I also loved that Maddie constantly saw the good and bad sides to the world she lived in instead of just having one particular view of it, because it allowed for the reader to also make their own decisions about it as well. Justin was another person I enjoyed reading about. I liked what he stood for and how he would risk his own life just so the people who came after him could have the chance of a world with constant face-to-face interactions. Furthermore, I loved Justin and Maddie's relationship. I found it to be realistic and romantic. And I adored seeing how both of them played off one another to have many touching, funny, and awe-worthy moments in the story.
The plot in Awaken was also a high-point. I don't want to give too much of it away, so I'll only say it's definitely very intriguing and unpredictable, and when tied together with Katie Kacvinsky's writing and world-building it's flawless!!
In all, Awaken is lot of things- fantastic, enjoyable, unique, etc. It also serves an important message to its readers. So mark Awaken's release date (May 23rd) on your calender because this is one book you do not want to miss!
Awaken is now out!
Source: HMH via Netgalley- thanks!