Tuesday, 12 March 2013

REVIEW: When We Wake by Karen Healey

Pub. Date: March 5th 2013
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 304
Readership: Young adult
Genres: sci-fi

My name is Tegan Oglietti, and on the last day of my first lifetime, I was so, so happy.  
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.  
Tegan is the first government guinea pig to be cryonically frozen and successfully revived, which makes her an instant celebrity--even though all she wants to do is try to rebuild some semblance of a normal life. But the future isn't all she hoped it would be, and when appalling secrets come to light, Tegan must make a choice: Does she keep her head down and survive, or fight for a better future?

I think I first fell in love with the cover of this book. Then, I read the synopsis and was very intrigued. I don't read much science fiction set in the future, at least not future earth, that isn't dystopian so that was what really drew me into being so excited to read the book.

We start off by meeting Tegan in her time - in 2027. She's happy and loved with a full life ahead of her.  We meet her mother, her best friend and her boyfriend. Even though we only saw them for a short time, I really liked them. And then poor Tegan had her world ripped from her. She woke up a century later in a strange new world. I thought she accepted everything - the strange world she woke up in, the fact that she died, the fact that everyone she ever loved was dead - pretty well. I know if it had happened to me, I would be losing it. That said, I still liked the feistiness she had to her; the need to get her way and the triumph when she did.

She's bombarded with questions, with new faces and new information on this new world all at once. At first she thinks it's for the better but she soon begins to question things. That said, I found it hard to connect with Tegan. I didn't hate her. I quite liked her but I seemed to like the minor characters more, the people she met and became friends with in the future.

I think the book focused a little too much on Tegan, though understandably so, I still expected more from the world itself. We only got very little about how people 100 years in the future lived. They have weird slang which is to be expected, and the internet and television were combined to become 'the tubes' but other than that, there really wasn't too much detail on how vastly different things were. I expected them to be far more different than they appeared but it still seemed like the 21st century with a little changes here and there. There wasn't much on people's everyday lives. It was just mostly about Tegan and her little area and friends. I wished there was more of an overview of how different the future is. Maybe in book two we'll see more. But I really liked that it was set in Australia! It was a good change from the YAs that are always set in North America.

While I had a few small problems with it, When We Wake was a still a good read. I liked that there was gender equality, sexuality equality, race equality as well as a few other things that were a good change from what our world today is. I liked the characters and I really enjoyed the writing. I will even definitely read the sequel, it was just a novel that won't remain with me. And that isn't a bad thing, not all novels will.



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