Awaken is the story of a future world where people live their lives online for the most part. All their social interactions are online, all school is online (DS – Called “Digital School”). People rarely leave their homes, and when they do they find themselves tracked by their fingerprints whenever they use public transportation (which is what most people use) and in a world of fake trees, grass, even food.
Maddie is the daughter of the founder of DS. She has a rebellious streak in her and is contacted by Justin, who leads a group trying to give people a choice between DS and face-to-face school. Justin introduces her to a world where people get together to socialize, food is made from scratch, and DS is optional. And Maddie introduces love to Justin.
What I love about this book: ACTION! There are actual chase scenes in the book. I also love that Kacvinsky has created characters that question the status quo and attempt to shake things up and create a revolution (much in the same way that Katniss and Peeta changed things in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games series). And I love that Kacvinsky has created a world where online social interaction has become the main means of socializing. Why? Because this book takes what I see in my library every day (chatting online, Facebooking, texting) and makes you question the hold these online interactions have on us and how out-of-touch we can become by living our social lives online.
Part of me wishes that the romance played a lesser part in the book because with less of a romantic focus it could be a great YA book club book to discuss the affect of technology on our lives. I can see this book appealing to teen girls but not so much to boys.