When We Wake by Karen Healey Book Review!

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Title: When We Wake (When We Wake #1)
Author: Karen Healey
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★★

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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 later, locked in a government facility with no idea what happened.

The future isn't all she had 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 world?

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.
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My Review:


When We Wake by Karen Healey deals with one person and one person only. Tegan Oglietti. She is telling you her life story. The story of her first life, of her starting to fall in love and going to a protest rally with her friends and the story of her second life, how she was shot on the steps of Parliament during the rally and wakes up a hundred years later as a government experiment.
I won't post any spoilers for this book because it is truly wonderful and you really have to experience this for yourself. It is a dystopia set in Australia in the late 2020s (2027 to be exact) and then a hundred years later in 2128.

This was a dystopia that for once, wasn't set in America (though as an American, I had a 'nooooo' moment to a throwaway mention that the United States had destroyed itself in a series of fundamental wars and were no longer relevant, basically.) Tegan herself and the other characters were fully fleshed out and developed and it was so great to see diversity not only in race but also in sexual orientation and gender identities. It's truly refreshing and seeing character diversity should be the standard not the exception. I especially loved the author's comments on growing environmental problems within our planet and the slow dwindling of our resources and ESPECIALLY the commentary of xenophobia.

I disagree with some saying that they are disappointed that this is continuing as a series and it would have been better suited as a stand alone. While the ending is fantastic and ends with enough closure to not be a TOTAL cliffhanger, Healey builds a fascinating, complex world that I can't wait to keep reading about.

My only quip is that I didn't really like The Beatles chapter titles. While I understood Tegan's love and connection for them, it seemed corny and out of place but I got used to it after a while, although not fully.

I give When We Wake by Karen Healey five stars out of five! It's action packed, romantic, political and smart. Very fast paced read at under 300 pages.

Thoughts?


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