The covers link to The Tattered Cover's (our local indie) pages.
If you'd like to see all my year-to-date four-plus- and five-star recommendations, visit Robin ReadsnWrites.
These are all five-star reads:
***** I read every word, and I loved it! A favorite and definite reread.
Awaken, by Katie Kacvinsky - Here's what I said right after reading it:
Well, after all my ranting about not finding a book which could really suck me in, this one did! First off, I really like Madeliene, the MC. She's spunky and stubborn and fiercely loyal (even to those who don't quite deserve it). Second, I thought the premise was unique enough (in a world filled with dystopic books) to stick with throughout the book. In fact, it got more interesting to me as it went on (I sometimes find that dystopics have a great hook but it's built on a shaky foundation). Third, Justin (the rebel leader) was portrayed through Madeliene's eyes so well -- he was confident and passionate and vulnerable and dedicated...their experiences together were intense and lovely and pretty realistic (imo). I loved that Madeliene was challenged in her ways of thinking and that she grew and matured -- but she also remained true to intrinsic ideas she held dear. And I especially loved how she challenged Justin in his ways of thinking. I think it's neat that I could see the truth in both their eyes, even though it seems contradictory some of the time. I'm hoping there will be a sequel, even though (for me), I could see this ending right where it did...I'm a sap for a happy ending, and I think the two of them finding a way through the muddle in their world and through their own opposing ideals for individual humans would be fantastic! The story: Madeliene is trapped in her father's world of digital control. After rebelling a few years earlier, she's now on 'probation' until she turns 18. But now, with less than a year left, she's growing impatient with his leash -- and when an online acquaintance asks her to meet him in a face-to-face study group (unheard-of these days), Madeliene agrees to go...and everything changes. She quickly learns to crave experiencing things in person, rather than online. And the rebellion she once knew makes its way to the surface again...though everything is complicated by her growing feelings for Justin, his insistence that he needs to go along his path alone, and her father's growing power in the digital world. (YA Science Fiction, released 5/11, publisher: Houghton Mifflin)
What stayed with me? Mostly the ending (though I loved the romance too). There was a surreal mood about the place where Madeliene ended up -- like one of those movies where the sun always shone golden, the lawns were green, and children ran around laughing and carefree. The funny thing is, the book doesn't actually end right there -- it ends after that, but those scenes are what stayed with me. I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys dystopic or adventure stories, especially those who like the idea of subtle rebellion.