Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Awaken by Katie Kacvinksy

Genre: futuristic, social issues
Series and Book #: none
Pages: 309

“Don’t be short term to me.” I stared at the words and my mind traveled to Justin and I wondered where he was, what he was doing.

Maddie lives in a world where everything is done on the computer. Whether going to school or on a date, no one ever leaves home. There’s really no need. And for the most part, Maddie’s okay with the solitary, digital life—until she meets Justin.

Justin likes being with people. He likes physical closeness and face-to-face conversations. People aren’t meant to be alone, he tells her.

Maddie is beginning to believe him. Maybe there is a different, better way to live, and perhaps Justin will be the one to help her start living it.

"People, solid and living and breathing together in the same world, are not meant to be surrounded by that much darkness."
-Awaken by Katie Kacvinksy, pg 60

Maddie was a very strong teenage character. She was rebellious, had fights with her father, and didn't try to get close to anyone. I loved how she knew exactly what she wanted and knew exactly who she was. She didn't try to really fit into any mold that her father wanted her to be.

There was more interaction than I thought there would be. I figured that most everybody didn't leave their homes; therefore, I assumed there would be no sports, or shops, or clubs, or banquets. I was somewhat shocked when Justin took Maddie to the coffee place and when Maddie went to soccer. I think it took away from the original concept of there being so much technology that society was utterly consumed in it.

Overall, the message this novel tells is scary at how accurate it is to most of what people do today. Facebook, Tumblr, blogging...the Internet has taken over society and occupies most people's time. Kacvinsky's book predicts where we're headed in the near future, even if it is forty-eight years away.  All of the relationships Kacvinsky wrote were excellent. When Maddie spoke with her friends and her parents, there was a slight feeling that she was disconnected from them. But when she was with Justin and his friends, there was warmth and friendliness. The distinction between those who were on the computer and those who weren't (not just between Justin and Maddie's friends, but throughout the novel) was very clear. They give a good look at how different life is when you're away from others and when you're not.

The Cover: I like how it's slightly pixilated and the flowers are behind the glass jar. Nothing is clear, just like a computer screen.

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