Book Review: Awaken (Awaken #1) by Katie Kacvinsky

“Don't worry about hurting me, if that's what you're afraid of. I want to get hurt. At least I´ll feel something for a change.”

― Katie Kacvinsky, Awaken 

Two young individuals try to find their own place in this not-so-fun new world. True to its name, its debut is about romantic awakening. Before readers may start to lose their ability to believe, the story switches to Maddie's growing connection to Justin and the nature of reality he stands for, after her sensuous exploration of first love's pains and thrills. The initiative, bravery, and adventurous streak of Maddie, who bravely risks disapproval in pursuit of her deepest desires, are among the joys of this high-tech fairy tale.

Synopsis from Goodreads...

Maddie lives in a world where everything is done on the computer. Whether it’s to go to school or on a date, people don’t venture out of their home. There’s really no need. For the most part, Maddie’s okay with the solitary, digital life—until she meets Justin. Justin likes being with people. He enjoys the physical closeness of face-to-face interactions. People aren’t meant to be alone, he tells her.

Suddenly, Maddie feels something awakening inside her—a feeling that maybe there is a different, better way to live. But with society and her parents telling her otherwise, Maddie is going to have to learn to stand up for herself if she wants to change the path her life is taking.

My reaction to this novel...

I hadn't read the synopsis before starting this book, so I wasn't sure what to anticipate. At first, I just read the opening chapter, failing to realize that I had already finished the book. Given that we are embracing cutting-edge technologies and other things, I firmly believe that this book might serve as a warning to us. Despite the fact that many teenagers will be able to connect to or love this book and this sort of life if it actually occurs, I find this one to be quite scary. It's difficult to read because it seems like mankind has been completely wiped out. The realism of this novel and how it also represented our present and future made me feel really sad.

While reading this might occasionally be tedious for some people, for me it was a privilege since it allowed me to see myself in the year 2060. Kacvinsky provides examples of how people now and in the year 2060 decide to spend practically all of their time online. People are plugged in everywhere. There is hardly any interaction in person. In actuality, the pandemic is what caused it to occur this past few years. Although some of us might find it handy, we might be able to observe how it affects the way we communicate, particularly with younger people. I find that to be really unfortunate and worrying.

This author's writing style was really appealing to me. She even managed to surprise me a few times throughout the book, which I also found to be a really appealing overarching motif. This would make a good movie, too. It forces you to consider how dependent the world is on technology for so many things and how wired in we have all become. 

I also believed that social media has already eroded people's sense of reality and their capacity to identify their true emotions. It's so effortless today to appear to be a person we're not when we're lurking behind a device. Already, many people in our society use the internet extensively for TV viewing, messaging, and web browsing. We give up our real lives and spend our entire lives on computers and mobile phones. Don't get me wrong; I'm also guilty of spending the majority of my time on social media, but I believe this book will prompt us to consider what is truly important and what can happen if we continue to live in this way.

I simply love this book, though. It's true that there are a lot more dystopians these days. But this one's idea is distinct, and the narrative itself is engaging and engrossing. I heartily urge everyone to read it, especially teenagers who are presently totally absorbed with social media like there's no tomorrow.

My Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐(4/5)

“You need to be content with small steps. That's all life is. Small steps that you take every day so when you look back down the road it all adds up and you know you covered some distance. It took me a long time to accept that, but it's true. You need to have patience."

I really think that there are no real quick cuts in life. We must be patient while we learn how to manage our lives. Not everything we desire will be granted to us instantly. Not every goal we have will be instantly accomplished. Most of the time, taking baby steps helps us to enjoy life and the journey to our accomplishments. These little efforts will enable us to recognize and continue to treasure our success. 

“Life should be a risk. It's more than a straight line that you can see clearly from one point to the other. It dips and curves and you never know what's around the bend sometimes until you get there. That scares a lot of people. But that's the beauty of it.”

Every day brings a new surprise. We cannot foretell what will happen to our life in the future as humans, it is true. All that is required of us is faith and confidence in our destined course. All we have to do is have faith in God. Predictions are only educated guesses that cannot provide us security or satisfaction. Even if it's frightening, we simply need to live our lives. We simply need to trust God's will and enjoy each day to the utmost.


Disclaimer: Booksreadbyhannel is not a business website. The opinions expressed here are unbiased and based only on my own feelings and reactions while reading the books I featured here in my blog. My reviews reflect my utmost sincerity. I paid for the books I review here out of my own pocket. Books provided by authors and publishers are otherwise specified.