Friday, December 14, 2012

Review: When We Wake by Karen Healey

When We Wake
When We Wake by Karen Healey

Release Date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 304
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Source: ARC
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
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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? Award-winning author Karen Healey has created a haunting, cautionary tale of an inspiring protagonist living in a not-so-distant future that could easily be our own.

Tegan Oglietti's life in 2027 was great before she died. It was her first official date with her long time friend Dalmar when she was shot and killed. Then she woke up in 2128 and couldn't believe she had been frozen. She had checked the box on her driver's license to donate her body to science but she had meant donate organs to help people, not be frozen! After a bit of a freak out she decides it is better to be alive than dead so she will try to make the most of it.

At first the future looks great. Technology has improved and new environmental protections have been added. Then she realizes that all this had been done because the earth is in major trouble and global warming. Oceans are rising, land is disappearing, and they are not letting any immigrants into Australia. Tegan has to re-adjust to culture and it is a bit of a shock. There are some humorous scenes of the doctor who took her in trying to teach her slang which isn't even hip anymore in 2128. Tegan is seen by some as a miracle and by religious fanatics as something evil. One group of religious fanatics even tell her that she should kill herself and go back to god. This was one scary and sad group. It did feel realistic though. I could definitely see some people not agreeing with a procedure to freeze and bring people back to life.

Tegan meets Abdi by mistaking him for Dalmar. It is hard for her to get over Dalmar even though he died 46 years ago. To her it feels like she was just in love. It was sad because he seemed like a great guy we barely got to know. She finds some friendship with Abdi even though he is an immigrant and trying to stay out of the spotlight. There is a small romance but not till the end. I liked this because there was so much going on and she was still mourning her old life.

There is a mystery surrounding the freezing experiment. The government claims it is a way to bring back soldiers but it seems suspicious why they want to study Tegan so bad? She is the only one that has been brought back but why? Tegan and her new friends decide to hunt down the truth and I had a good idea to what it was from the beginning, based on the name of the project that Tegan overheard. The journey was still exciting and a few twists and turns along the way. Loved the details of the future and the science fiction elements.

The writing style was a bit different and interesting. Tegan was a huge Beattles fan so each chapter is titled after one of their songs and she often mentions them as she is a music major. This is Tegan's story broadcast on a You Tube like channel. There are breaks in her story where she talks about the present while she is telling her story that give us peaks into where she ends up. I would have liked a epilogue or something extra at the end. It was a bit of an up to your imagination ending. But other than that I really enjoyed this book. I love looking into what the future could someday be like.

"Of course I didn't believe her. Would you? Think about waking up to a complete stranger saying,
Hey, surprise! It's the future!"

"There were people judging my fashion sense, rating my hotness level, and wondering if dating me would be necrophilia."

"Bethari's computer was asking permission to break into government archives.
What kind of apps did she have on there?"

"No mater how much money he'd been offered or how many glittering stars had requested duets, he hadn't sung for them.
But he'd sung for me."

Rating: 5/5


  1. The necrophilia quote xD! lol, sound like a pretty interesting book, I haven't read a plot similar to it.

    I personally don't think I'd like to be frozen o.o it would give me the creeps, and if my family wasn't frozen as well then I think I would be really miserable. It's also already hard to try and fit it in our culture, it must be much worse in the future.

    Great review! Will add this to my tbr :)

  2. I've seen this cover around but never stopped to read what it was actually about.I assumed it was a memory loss book for some reason, but this actually sounds really interesting! Especially knowing you gave it 5 stars. Gonna have to add it on Goodreads :)

  3. This is an interesting topic for sure. To be frozen and then wake up a hundred years later. It would be so sad to know everyone you loved is gone but interesting to see the future. I am sure there was plenty to ponder with this one!

  4. This sounds really good! Very different and totally twisty! I hadn't even read the description but now I know to watch for it once its released.

  5. This is the first review I've read for this book and you definitely have me convinced! It sounds pretty original, and I'm curious to see how it is executed. Brilliant review!

  6. At first glance it sounded more like Across the Universe, but I can see the difference. I really like the whole freezing concept. She must be so lonely. I'm definitely going ti check this one out. Great review =)

  7. Yay 5 stars! I love this whole premise of being frozen and waking up in the future. So cool. I can only imagine what the slang would be like. Hard to imagine how silly things said nowadays will seem someday. Great review! :)

  8. I really like the sound of this book. I can only imagine what it would be like to wake up in a century where so much had changed. Really nice review. :)

  9. This sounds awesome, somehow this one has skipped my radar so I am so glad you posted about it. I will definitely be looking into it more!

  10. Oh this sounds different! Imagine waking up 100 years in the future! Great review, I'm definitely adding this to my wishlist!

  11. Thanks for sharing this review! A lot of YA sci-fi hasn't worked for me, but this one sounds promising.

  12. wow great review! I have an ARC for this one, so I cant wait to read it!! Its interesting to find out how the "future" is, and im sure im gonna love it as well! Great review!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

  13. I just added this book to my "2013 Anticipated Books" list based on the summary alone, so I'm so happy that your review validates a little bit my gut feeling that this should be an awesome book! I'm actually surprised there aren't more books that take this premise and run with it; seems like so much you can do. I'm really excited for this one(I have to admit the cover is very eye-catching as well).


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