Author: Katie Kacvinsky
Info: Website | Twitter
Release Date: May 23rd, 2011
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Age Group: Young Adult
Challenge: 2011 Debut Author
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.
I'm a technology junkie so when this caught my eye I knew I had to read it. Not only was it dystopia, but it was also dealing with a world of technology. So why not?
I noticed right away that it wasn't like most dystopia novels that I've read because most of those novels usually the main character deals directly with the government, in this one Maddie does deal with the government, but in the form of her father, a CEO. I found that difference a little bit of an awakening (no pun intended).
Maddie was very believable and there were moments where I just laughed at this poor girl as she tries to function outside of her normal life. I also felt empathy for her because of her home situation but I liked the speed that Katie took this. It didn't take terrible long for the plot to get going but it wasn't terribly quick either. Katie had a nice, steady flow that any reader who picked this up would be able to read this and understand everything that was going on.
Justin, well, he was a pain. Katie said that there was a sequel coming out and I really hope we get into Justin a little more. Though the book talks about his past his mind is just a wall and I just wanted to step in and knock and down. You get little tidbits in his mind but you never understand what he's thinking. You will always know what his intentions are but what he feels inside is just left a mystery.
I loved Clara. She was so much fun and I'm sure the kind of friend everyone would love to have! And she was honest and another tool that Katie used to get into Justin's head a little more as well as a good friend to Maddie.
Their relationship was so sweet and I just wanted it to continue. The romance geek in me!
I shivered a little when Maddie mentioned the past before digital school started up and the past of both the character and the United States was brought up. You can almost believe that something like what was described is possible, especially with the current way our world is working.
The ending was a little bit of a shocker to me, but it does set it up very well for the sequel. You know that there's more that needs to be done and a lot of character story-lines that were left unfinished.
It took a four mainly because I wish there was a little more history, but I'm sure the second book will make up for it and it also took a four because it was written in Maddie's point of view, and while she had a wonderful way of describing things and making the story flow so smooth and silk like there is limited perspective. You only know what Maddie knows and it can be frustrating, which can work to the advantage of feeling for Maddie, but it also makes you wonder what everyone else is thinking.
Funny, realistic, and fresh I enjoyed this novel a lot. I love Katie's inventions, they were so creative and fun. This gave it high points for me. It was a fantastic read.