Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Book Review: Awaken (Awaken, #1) by Katie Kacvinsky
Young adult, futuristic, dystopian romance
Awaken (Awaken, #1) by Katie Kacvinsky
Reading Level: Young Adult
Release Date: May 23, 2011
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Source: Amazon Vine
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry
Maddie lives in a dystopian future world of an imagined 2060 in which people don't relate to each other in person. Everything is done via computer. Maddie has never known anything other than this until she meets Justin, a rebellious young man who tells her people are meant to interact face-to-face.
The world-building in this book is very believable. I can easily imagine technology in our world moving toward holograms substituting for actual physical experience. I can also envision the possibility of all children being educated from home. It saves the government a huge amount of money for school buildings and teachers, money our society seems less and less willing to invest as time goes by.
Maddie's thoughts and impressions made sense to me as she reacts to her society. The part that made somewhat less sense to me is the claim that everyone in this society has never had any face-to-face contact. Any child living with parents has never been completely without human in-person contact. Likewise for anyone living in any family situation, which still seems to exist in this society. Also, the fact that her mother and father have opposite perspectives on society doesn't seem to point to the approach of other dystopian romances I've read of arranged marriages and routine political brainwashing. That would indicate that her parents were free to connect in a courtship, after which they got married and lived together, most if not all of that done face-to-face.
This is the first of a series, so this book is not neatly tied up, which is very common with YA series these days.
This book would probably be more enjoyable for older teens and adults. The content is somewhat mature for younger teens.
Fantasy World-Building: 3
Dystopian Plot: 4
Romance Plot: 4