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!
High School reading level Reviewed by Clare Ruiz, 11th grade
The Fault in Our Stars is about three teenagers who have all had cancer at some point in their relatively young lives. However, the book makes a point not to be a "typical sappy cancer story." Hazel Grace has cancer in her lungs, but she currently has it at a manageable level. Isaac has a cancer that is not life-threatening, but it is contained in his eyes, severely affecting his vision. Through Isaac, Hazel Grace meets his friend Augustus, who is a cancer survivor.She falls in love with Augustus's endless metaphors and grandiose, philosophical thoughts, and he falls in love with her little quirks and droll sense of humor. The ever-looming threat of her sickness drives her to push him away at first, though, so he won't get hurt. Through many twists of fate, the two end up on the trip of a lifetime, where nothing goes as planned.
This is the only book that has ever made me cry and genuinely laugh as well. I give it a 5 out of 5. The writing is emotional on a personal level. It touches upon fears and hopes that everyone has. Anyone who reads this book will be affected by it.
Be sure to read the rules carefully and stick with the guidelines. (You can download them from our website, or you can pick up the rules at any Reference Desk.) You wouldn't want to take a great photo only to be disqualified because it was the wrong size, or wasn't matted or something like that, right?
All photos accepted will be on display at the Central Library from March 1 to April 16. There is a Photo Reception first, at the Buena Vista Branch Library, on February 28.