Normally, when I finish a book I immediately write a review, with so many projects going at once, it’s the easiest way for me to keep things straight in my own head, but with “Awaken” by Katie Kacvinvsky I couldn’t do that. I’m not sure if it was my conscience that was screaming at me, or the moral of the story, but something had my brain shifted slightly to the left. See, “Awaken” is considered to be a dystopian novel, but when I took a moment to pause and reflect this weekend I realized it’s not dystopian at all, it’s reality.
Everyday I surround myself with electronic; my phone, my kindle, laptops, desktops, TV’s… you name it, I have it, and more frighteningly, I consider them an integral part of my life. I don’t go more than 30 minutes without checking my Twitter account for updates, and I rationalize this behavior with phrases like “well, these are my friends” when the truth of the matter is, I don’t know these people at all. I have 4 people on my Twitter account I can claim to actually have met. Someone I have seen in person, that I have shaken hands with, had coffee with, experience the sound of their laughter. The other 1100 are just profiles of people that hold the same interests as me. We as a society have become so dependant on our status updates and virtual meetings, that we are slowly phasing ourselves out of what is truly beautiful about ourselves. The fact that we have a life to live.
“Awaken” (to me) read as a beautifully plotted prologue to what our lives are becoming.
Maddie is the definition of “plugged in.” Growing up in a world where everything from school to walks on the beach are done via computer she lacks the necessary skills to function outside of her home, but that’s ok… there is no need to (as far as she is concerned;) but all of that changes the second she meets Justin in an online tutoring chat room. Justin, despite his previous whereabouts, is actually anti computer, and prefers face to face interaction to the pixilated screens Maddie is comfortable with. However, after some coaxing, (and a moment of shocking impulse) Maddie finally agrees to the unimaginable, to meet Justin in person, but what Maddie doesn’t know, is that there’s more to Justin than meets the eye. Will Maddie’s wonder with the real world stunt her ability to see what’s happening right in front of her. Will Justin ever give into his impulses, and will Maddie’s dad destroy the only thing that keeps her together, or let it perish to save face.
I know it’s only April and this is a hefty statement to throw out, but I can almost guarantee that this will be one of the BEST books I read this year. Thrown amongst the trails and tribulations of an awe-inspiring love story, there was a bigger lesson: Live your life, don’t watch it. Kacvinsky does a truly beautiful job of not only introducing her readers to a new culture of people, but a new brand of life, one that revolves around plastic trees and a government that strongly disagrees with physical contact, and she does it a way that enraptures every part of you, from complex plot point that stimulate your brain; to heart wrenching moments of self discovery that penetrate the soul. This is, in no uncertain terms, a book that will wake you up.
This one is a winner. Spend the cash, you won’t regret it.
Happy Reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: You’re life will not end if you don’t take your phone to lunch.
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Note: This book is slated to be released in May, but can be pre-ordered if you decide you want to read it.