Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What we're reading: Dystopia and Cryogenics

When We Wake
by Karen Healey
304 pages (projected)
Dystopia / science fiction
For 9th-12th grades
Reviewed by: Melissa

Tegan Oglietti is 16 years old in the year 2027. She plays the guitar, she likes the Beatles, and she has a new boyfriend (they have known each other forever but made the transition from friends to a couple just one day ago). She and her friends are into demonstrating for environmental causes, and on this particular day...she dies, hit by a sniper who was aiming for someone else. She wakes up 100 years later to discover that she is a government guinea pig, cryogenically frozen and successfully revived, and therefore something of a celebrity.

I liked the premise, I liked the set-up, I liked the character...and then, for me, it went downhill. It wasn't a bad book by any means, and I liked the Beatles references and her new love interest...but both the science and the motives of the government were just too murky, and inexplicably changeable, not to mention fairly implausible. In the end, I felt like it just didn't hang together very well.

I read this book as an ARC (advanced reader copy)--it will be published next month, and the library will be receiving one copy, so if my tepid review hasn't discouraged you, you can check it out later in March. I would rate this book a 2.75 out of 5. Okay, maybe a 3. Not bad...but not the greatest.

If you want to read books about people who were cryogenically frozen and awakened far in the future, you could try A Long, Long Sleep, by Anna Sheehan, or Across the Universe, by Beth Revis, instead. If you really want to read a classic, though, try The Door Into Summer, by sci fi master Robert Heinlein. It was published in 1957, and there are some anachronistic elements (like everybody should have their own personal flying car by now, right?!), but it holds up and is a great story. There's a cat, there are robots, there are dastardly villains, there's a romance...check it out!

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