Review: ‘Awaken’ by Katie Kacvinsky

Review: ‘Awaken’ by Katie KacvinskyAwaken by Katie Kacvinsky
Series: Awaken #1
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on May 23rd, 2011
Genres: Dystopian, Love & Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 309
Format: Hardcover
Source: bought online
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.

In this not-so-brave new world, two young people struggle to carve out their own space.

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It’s the year 2060, and everything is done on the computer. Digital School is the new norm. People don’t interact face-to-face anymore. Maddie is a teenager who starts to question why the world has turned out the way it is. And when her new friend Justin wants to meet her in person, her life starts to change as he teaches her new ways to live.

The way they talk about each other and how they feel is so sweet and romantic. Their relationship grows and not because they’re physically attracted to each other (though that helps) but because Maddie and Justin challenge each other. There’s a push and pull between the two which I find is in most YA books but this one was different. Just because Justin is so determined to change the course of society and Maddie is too scared to change it even though she has the power to do so. I also found Maddie’s relationship with her parents and comparing it with Justin and his parents. Both are so different.

Wow. This book has incredible themes and thoughts that I couldn’t help but want to quote all the good dialogues in my review. There’s this realism that I couldn’t help but compare to our society now. It’s fact that we interact through screens whether it be our phones, tablets or computers.

Good characters with a good supporting cast as well.

Length was a bit too long, but the pacing was fine.

Definitely fits with the theme of the novel, but a little bland.

Great world building plot!

Overall, story is a must-read for any dystopian favourites!


Online we were equal. Social status wasn’t important. Money and looks and jobs and clothes almost become obsolete. (12)
You can’t save lives when no one’s really living anymore. (29)
You can make a lot more of a difference when you focus you energy on other people instead of yourself. (93)
Trust comes by earning it, not expecting it. (124)
I was starting to think, maybe you need to feel your way more through life—just turn off the lights and follow your senses, even if you stumble once in a while. (239)
When you get too excited about the possibilities, you don’t stop to consider the consequences. (254)
Experience it for yourself before you judge it. (262)
Why is it easier to sit around feeling sorry for yourself than it is to drag yourself out of bed and appreciate what you have? Why is it so much easier to dwell on what you lack? (270)
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. (272)
Everything I do directly affects another person, all the way down the chain. Every person I help can help another; we’re all connected. Change happens one person at a time. (305)

reading progress






  1. Say

    January 31, 2014 at 12:51 AM

    I loved this book!And I also love your quotes 😉

  2. Diana Grace

    August 14, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    I’ve read mix reviews of the book. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

  3. Erika

    July 18, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    Thanks for the review! I have been meaning to add this to my list. I love these futuristic books!

  4. Maida @ Literary Love Affair

    July 17, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    This sounds really intriguing. I haven’t heard of it before today, but I will definitely be checking it out. I really like the “new-era” concept and the sound of Maddie and Justin’s relationship! Glad you enjoyed this!

    Great review! 😀

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 

  5. Karen H

    July 14, 2013 at 9:16 PM

    I really enjoyed this book and I’ve been meaning to read Middle Ground. Must get around to it soon.

  6. Krystianna

    June 29, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    I actually recently reread this book because it’s one of my favorites. The quotes were absolutely amazing, I felt like I just wanted to quote everything! I’m glad that you enjoyed this one. I can’t wait to read Middle Ground!

  7. Ariel

    June 29, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Nice review! I really liked this book!

  8. Cali W.

    June 28, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    Great review! This book sounds really good and I like the futuristic story line. <3

  9. Jaime Lester

    June 27, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    I have seen this one at the library several times, but I have never brought it home. Now when I am in the mood for a romance I will head back and bring this one home with me!

  10. bn100

    June 27, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    The characters sound different

  11. Lisa @ Lost in Literature

    June 27, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    I’ve actually never heard of this one before. Crazy, huh? It does sound really good though. And I like the quotes you chose. 🙂

  12. Alyssa Susanna

    June 27, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    I really liked this book! I read it a few years ago, so I don’t remember it as well as I thought I did, but I enjoyed it! Still have to read Middle Ground though. And book three is coming out sometime soon! YAY! 🙂

    Great review!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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