May 17, 2011

Review: Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky

Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: May 23rd 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Books

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.

Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky is one heck of a rollercoaster ride. The story was thought out so well and put down on paper perfectly. Everything matched together brilliantly. 

Madeline lives in a world where everything is done by computers. Pretty much from school, grocery shopping, study groups, to walks on the beach. Yes, walks on the beach. Don’t know exactly how it works, but it is done.  Her father is pretty much the creator of this all and she is the heiress. Madeline’s father is loved and hated by many. You have the crowd who agrees with her father and think digital schooling is the greatest thing in the world. Then you have those who are trying to fight it all and show the world that living that way is destroying the meaning of life. 

Madeline tries to be the person her parents want her to be. She gets good grades, and does everything her parents ask of her. But there is still something missing in her life and she does begin to question it all. Especially, after she meets Justin. Their relationship started in an online chat and led to a meeting at an outside study group. Madeline knows she has the option to do things outside of computers, but chooses to do it her parent’s way because she knows her life would be a lot easier this way. When she begins to spend more time with Justin, she starts to see things differently. Justin shows her things she never in a million years thought she would ever experience.

I really liked Justin. He was the bad boy we would all fall for in high school. The one your parents warned you about and told you to stay away from. Who if you told to do one thing, he did the opposite. He was the leader of a group who their mission was to destroy DS (Digital Schooling) and show others that there is more to life than sitting at home typing away. What was really scary to me was that I could easily see this world Kacvinsky created. We do pretty much everything today through technology. All the things Kacvinsky described in her book can easily come true. That was a little extreme for me because I am always having this conversation with someone. What if everything becomes one big computer? And that’s exactly what Justin and his friends are trying to stop. I, honestly, would be on Justin’s team. 

Now, the relationship between Justin and Madeline gave me butterflies. The way Madeline describes her feelings for him really made me awe. Justin is so used to keeping to himself and not letting anyone break his walls down. He has a mission and if he got too close to anyone, they would only be a distraction. As much as he tries to fight his emotions, in the end he caves and Madeline is all he can think of. Their little make out sessions were hot and steamy. Clean, but hot! 

I really, really liked Awaken, but the only reason I did not give it five stars was because of the ending. I felt it was just too easy and simple. After everything that happens to Madeline and all she experiences, the ending was just an easy way out. If and When you read Awaken, you will understand what I mean. Other than that, I could not put this book down. I was watching a movie with my husband and reading at the same time. Awaken is a definite page-turner. I cannot wait to see what happens in the sequel and find out what becomes of Madeline and her friends.

4 out of 5 Stars!


  1. This one is so on my 'to get and read immediately' list! I've read a few reviews that like you enjoyed the romance aspect of this one - especially the kissing! I look forward to reading it! Great review, thanks!

  2. Ugghh I've been dying to read this. It's got that new age feel like M.T. Anderson's Feed. Thanks for the review!

  3. I have been wanting to read this one! I have heard a lot of mixed reviews so I am glad to read a really positive one like this one!


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