Sunday 8 December 2013

Review: Awaken (Awaken #1) by Katie Kacvinsky

8665876Title: Awaken
Author: Katie Kacvinsky
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Pages: 309
Release Date: May 23rd 2011
Series: Awaken #1
Where I Got It: Library

Synopsis: 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.

Katie Kacvinsky
Katie KacvinskyKacvinsky is pronounced: Kaz-vin-ski
Hometown: Wausau, WI
Current Dwelling Place: Corvallis, OR
Other Places I’ve Lived: Madison, WI; Los Angeles, CA; Milwaukee, WI; Phoenix, AZ; Redding, CA
5 Favorite MOVIES: Swingers, Terminator, The Matrix, Airplane, The Jerk
5 Favorite BOOKS: The World According to Garp, Fahrenheit 451, Slaughterhouse Five, The Alchemist, Cannery Row
5 Favorite MUSICIANS: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Counting Crows, U2, Bob Dylan, The Killers
Best Concert I’ve Ever Seen: U2. I saw them front row at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. Bono and Edge performed, “In a Little While,” inches from my hands. I could touch their voices. Life doesn’t get much better than that.
Favorite Place to Write: In a sitting position, preferably
Favorite Sports: Basketball, volleyball, softball, hiking, soccer, running, jumping (Is jumping a sport? It should be.)
Favorite Addiction: Traveling
Favorite Pastimes: Reading, walking my dog, drinking coffee/wine with friends, people watching and of course, everyday, WRITING
Favorite Kinds of People: Funny, eccentric, odd, smart, opinionated, empathetic, soul searching, wandering, highly spirited, extremely imperfect
Least favorite Kinds of People: The ones that never imagine, that never take risks, never mess up, or that take themselves too seriously. Also, people who are impeccably clean make me very uncomfortable. I’m a chronic slob.
What I Lack: Logic
What I Excel At: Being overly emotional
Most Often Consumed Food: Things topped with cheese, containing cheese, or things dipped in melted cheese
My Greatest Fear: I might one day grow up and act my age
My Greatest Failure: Dropped out of college when I was 19 to enroll in the night life of Los Angeles
Most Random Job: Feeding baby calves on a dairy farm in Wisconsin
Best Job: Other than writing, working at The Comedy Store (a stand-up comedy club on Sunset Boulevard where I was paid to laugh)
College Degree: Science Journalism with a minor in Business from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I also received my teaching certificate and taught high school English.
My Utopia: Bayfield, WI
My Dystopia: Huge department stores—I’m easily over stimulated
My Greatest Dream: Realized!! Writing for an audience.
The First Book I Ever Wrote: Was in third grade. It was titled: “The Book of Swear Words,” where I wrote down every curse word I could think of, along with a carefully crafted definition. I showed it to my teacher, beaming with pride. He sent me to the principal’s office and called my parents into school. I was banned from the playground for two weeks and my book was destroyed. It obviously didn’t kill my writing ambitions.


I read this book on December 8th 2013.

Katie Kacvinsky delivers everything one looks for in a book - great writing, great storyline, and, overall, great book.Be prepared to be shocked. After reading this book, I've noticed that our society is becoming exactly what Justin is trying to change. We are becoming so dependant on technology that phones are a need. I don't have a phone and don't want a phone because it is a disadvantage. Everyone thinks about all the "great" stuff you can do with phones, like talk to someone on the other side of the world. Here is something else you can do with someone on the other side of the world: write a letter. Once you have a phone, you never talk to anyone face-to-face, or as often as you used to. In this book, we see this happen on more than one occasion. At one point Madeline gets on a plane and talks to her friend, but her friend won't advert her eyes from her phone for three seconds to listen to Maddie.

Kacvinsky nailed this story. Gripping and addictive, you won't be able to put the book down for a washroom break.

I think this book should be mandatory for schools to read because it helps put things in perspective. Anyone who reads dystopian will fall for Kacvinsky's addictive series.
I recommend this book to dystopian fans.

Ages: 14 and up
Grades: 9 and up

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