Saturday, December 4, 2010
Review of Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky
Maddie's another victim to the digital age, where everything's done by computer - schooling, socialising, dating. Her father's the man who fronted the initial idea, and her mother's one of the few people wistful for the days of paper books and non-plastic trees.
She's content with digital life. But then she meets Justin, who tries to teach her how people are supposed to live - together, face-to-face, and without a computer screen as a buffer between themselves and the real world.
The premise of Awaken, I thought, was good. It's realistic, and quite possibly where we're heading. To an extent, we're already there, I realised after it occurred to me that my reading Awaken on an eReader was ironic.
I also liked the writing style. The interludes featuring pages from Maddie's journal, where she wrote as if having a conversation with the reader, made the book feel more personal. I felt like I could connect with her, as she struggled to decide between the life she's always known and the one Justin was showing her.
The romance between Justin and Maddie was believable. It was built up gradually and was at first one-sided, realistic. The characters also had a lot of chemistry, which I don't find often in books that I read.
My sole problem with Awaken was the ending. It came together too easily and without too much effort from the main characters. I like protagonists who have to work for their happy ending.
Overall, I found Awaken to be a commendable debut. I look forward to Katie Kacvinsky's future novels, and rate Awaken 3 out of 5.