Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky, ARC review

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Název: Awaken
Autorka: Katie Kacvinsky
Rozsah: 352 stran
Datum vydání: 23. května 2011
Průměrné goodreads hodnocení: 3.91 / 5

Tak tahle knížka mě dostala. Nejdřív jsem ze samého nadšení chtěla hodnotit 5/5, pak jsem to v zájmu objektivnosti snížila na 4/5, po dopsání recenze, která je snad nejdelší a nejvyčerpávavější, jakou jsem kdy spáchala, jsem si uvědomila jak moc se mi to doopravdy líbilo a řekla jsem si čert to vem (a objektivitu vezmi s sebou) a vrátila jsem to na 5/5. Nakonec mi došlo, že na blogu přece můžu dávat půlhvězdičky. A taky že budu! Konečný verdikt tedy zní 4,5/5 a spolu s tímto hodnocením zaznívá moje nejsrdečnější doporučení. :)

Anglicky mluvící (čtoucí), které neodradí délka se můžou pustit do review dole.

 
~Quote:
“Why should I take time to write down my thoughts when no one can even read them? I´m used to millions of people having access to everything about me. I´m used to a fountain of feedback and comments trailing every entry I type, every thought I expose. That makes me feel justified. Is shows that people genuinely care about me that I´m real and I exist. Why try to hide it all in a book? Besides, there are no secrets. Sooner or later, the truth always leaks out. That´s one thing I´ve learned in life.”

-Madeline (prologue)

~Premise
17 year old Madeline lives in a world run by computers. Face-to-face interaction with people is almost extinct- people prefer to stay at home and hide behind theirs computers´ screens. All the kids attend the Digital School (DS) because it´s convenient, accessible and safe.

~Society and style of living
The world portrayed in this book – the world in 2060 – is definitely futuristic, but I have to say I had no problem accepting this “universe”, it all seemed very natural and it wasn´t forced at all. (This is kind of scary, if you think about it, but more on that later.) The thing is – the most noticeable changes and developments which occurred during these 50 years altered the society and peoples´ personal values. Sure, there were some (actually many) hi-tech gadgets and new weapons, but the biggest difference was the new style of living.

~Brief history of...Madeline
Madeline used to rebel against the system and against her parents and she used to be involved with some anti-DS groups. She used to – because one day she went too far. She compromised her family and most importantly her father – the director and inventor of the DS. In order to make things right and save her family, she´s on a good behaviour from then on. She´s quite comfortable living just like everybody else, she doesn´t question it and she´s trying to regain her father´s trust, which seems impossible.

~It all starts with... a guy
Until she starts online chatting with Justin. A guy who convinces her to meet with him in person one day. Madeline has never met anyone like him – not only that this twenty year old guy is drop dead gorgeous, but he´s sworn objector of the whole digital school business. With him she feels alive. He shows her how miserable is the online “life” full of digital friends and virtual walks. How a keyboard and a webcam can´t compensate for a real face to face meeting. When she´s with him, it feels like sensory overload to her and she´s slowly falling for him. Though Justin´s always busy with his work and he has very little time for his friends, he´s spending most of it with Maddie. But he doesn´t show any signs of being attracted to her, which confuses her and makes her heart ache. Is Justin just so good at hiding his feelings, or has he singled her out for an entirely different reason? Will Maddie be able to awake Justin´s feelings just like he´s awaken her to the real life?

~First overall impression
I absolutely loved this book from the very beginning. The first half was pretty much amazing and I just couldn´t stop reading. There was action, uncertainty, suspense and such a romantic quality to it that my heart did flip-flops in sync with Maddie´s. Contrary to my description of Maddie earlier she wasn´t one of those digital freaks addicted to being “plugged in”. She just had no choice and she came to terms with it. She´s lived like that all her life and though she didn´t love it, she didn´t hate it either. She was a strong, clever heroine, sensible but headstrong. She wasn´t used to opening to other people, but when she did, her honesty startled everyone.

~Irresistible any mysterious
Justin on the other hand is the embodiment of mysteriousness and hotness. He´s very responsible and devoted to his mission. Sometimes he speaks like someone with a degree in psychology, but he has the age and experience to justify it. He´s also very capable of keeping his emotions at bay and keeping a distance.

~Slowing down
I have to admit that last 100 pages of the book were a little slow because the action was pushed aside to make room for feelings and emotional growth of the characters. The primary plot was abandoned... And that´s a pity since the action was just as enjoyable – because of that the rest of the book kind of lost one dimension. I can´t really understand the ending – it must have been some kind of transit passage to the sequel (?) because on its own it would be a little unsatisfactory and kind of a letdown for otherwise such a brilliant book.

~Impact
Awaken was actually the first book that has ever made me feel guilty about reading itself – about being at home, looking at the screen of my computer. It made me want to go outside for a walk, for a fresh air (even though it was freezing outside). I´ve mentioned earlier that it was kind of scary - it all felt so real. It was taking place in the future and still it felt so incredibly contemporary, so true, so accurate. So inevitable.I am torn between rating 4 or 5. Exactly halfway. So I´m going to round it up to 5 because it´s a debut novel. And because I can´t wait for some other book by Katie Kacvinsky. Hopefully an Awaken sequel? *subtle hint*

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 (This is a review of an advance reading copy provided to me by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Netgalley. Thank you for the opportunity to read and review this book, I really appreciate it.)

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