Saturday, March 30, 2013

When We Wake

When We Wake
by: Karen Healey
When We Wake (When We Wake, #1)

Sixteen-year-old Tegan is just like every other girl living in 2027--she's happiest when playing the guitar, she's falling in love for the first time, and she's joining her friends to protest the wrongs of the world: environmental collapse, social discrimination, and political injustice. But on what should have been the best day of Tegan's life, she dies--and wakes up a hundred years in the future, locked in a government facility with no idea what happened.

This was a pretty good book. I wasn't expecting it to be as focused on religion and politics as it was, but I ended up really liking those aspects of it. I think a lot of the things were well done, if only a little forced. This was a nice, quick read that had some really good aspects to it. Nothing overwhelmingly great but nothing underwhelming either and it kept you interested and reading.
1. Smart and Brave Heroine: CHECK
I liked Tegan, she seemed pretty cool and stuff. She wasn't the most revolutionary female protagonist I've ever encountered and she wasn't anything particularly spectacular. She was well-written and decently developed as a character. However, I didn't feel a particular connection to her as I have to other main characters.
2. Intelligent and Brave Hero: CHECK
Abdi was pretty awesome too. Again, he wasn't anything new or particularly interesting, but he was a good character and a genuinely good guy. The romance aspect in this book was pretty great. I like that it didn't happen at once (as in, it wasn't even addressed until nearly the end) and it felt natural when it was discussed. You were rooting for them because the were good for each other which was nice.
3. Extraordinary Side Character: CHECK
And once again, the side characters were pretty good. I liked them or I disliked them as I was supposed to and they all served their purpose in the story. But just like with Tegan and Abdi, they weren't necessarily anything new or different. In fact, occasionally certain aspects about them felt forced and inauthentic. But other than that they were decently well-written and certainly interesting.
4. Original Setting and Unique Plot: CHECK
I loved the concept of a book about a girl from our future pushed into the even more distant future. I thought the details about 2128 were incredible! Karen Healey did a great job explaining that distant future and building up that future world. One small problem I had was with the details about 2027 because it seemed like our technology hadn't progressed any in those 15 years, which, based on how much technological progress we've made in the last 15 years (cell phones, expanding the internet, tablets, etc.) doesn't seem realistic. But I was able to overlook that by being completely sold on the year of 2128 she described. (Although a lot of the environmental problems felt sort of forced...)
5. Plot Twists and Page Turners: NOPE
This book kept me reading, but there was not a bit of surprise or anything. Nothing completely shocked me. A pleasant surprise was when we realized half-way through that she wasn't writing her story in a diary, but instead was broadcasting it in a 'cast. And I loved seeing how the two timelines slowly worked their way toward each other and eventually met up.
"It's easier if you treat the past like another country. You can tell yourself you've moved, and it's just been a while since anyone got in touch."
"Music is risk."

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