Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Published January 27, 2013 by Allen & Unwin
Source:  the publisher
Rating: 4 paws

From the blurb: Sixteen-year-old Tegan was loving life: she was joining her friends to protest the wrongs of the world, she was playing the guitar, and she thought she might be falling in love for the first time. She didn’t plan on the best day of her life being her last.When Tegan wakes, a hundred years in the future, locked in a government facility, she has no idea what happened. The first person to be cryogenically frozen and successfully revived, she is an instant celebrity – but all she wants is to rebuild some semblance of a normal life in this strange new future.When appalling secrets come to light, Tegan must make a choice: should she keep her head down and survive, or fight for a better future?

When We Wake by Karen Healey is set in Melbourne, firstly in the year 2027 and later in the year 2127. In the beginning Tegan Oglietti is sixteen and on her way to a climate change protest, along with her best friend, Alex, and her new boyfriend, Dalmar. But her day doesn't go to plan and she wakes up 100 years later to find out she is the first person to successfully be awakened from a cryogenic state. She’s told she’s part of a special project to bring soldiers back to life, but she soon finds out that’s not the truth.

When We Wake was such a thought-provoking book. In Tegan’s original life, the world is already suffering from extreme weather conditions. It’s only spring in Melbourne yet most people avoid going outdoors during the middle of the day because it’s just too hot. When she wakes up in 2127, the world is even worse; houses are now built with a level sunken into the ground, to try and keep them cooler. There are no more flushing toilets, almost everyone is vegetarian because it’s impossible to raise, feed, and water livestock and it’s extremely hot all the time. There are wars between countries who were formally allies, Australia has a no-migrant policy, and people from third-world countries are looked down on and referred to as thirdies. Basically, it sounds awful but completely believable. Although, there were some good aspects; for one, everyone being vego (it’s not surprising I think that, right?), and that in mainstream society peoples’ sexuality is more accepted than it is now. Also, most people have small, pliable, portable computers that can do almost anything and everything for you.

I liked Tegan from the beginning, she’s smart, energetic (she enjoys free-running), and is a big fan of The Beatles – particularly Ringo. She also handles the news really well, I think most people would have flipped out or become depressed, but Tegan makes a good go of her second chance at life, despite having to mourn the loss of her mother, brother, Alex and Dalmar who all went on to live their lives and pass away years before she was awakened. I really liked Dr Marie, the women in charge of the project, and her new friends Bethari, Joph and Abdi. I appreciated that the slow romantic build up was not the focus of Tegan’s story, she had bigger issues to deal with.

The story had me hooked from the beginning as it starts with Tegan explaining a little about her family and letting the reader know she will be telling us her story. It’s clear that things in her new life have gotten messy and I was keen to know what had happened and what the secret behind the cryo-project was.

I also have to mention all the Beatles references and lyrics scattered throughout the book as well as the fact that each chapter starts with the title of a Beatles song – I loved this addition to the book.

When We Wake is a unique look at a futuristic world, featuring a solid cast of characters, and an intriguing and action-packed plot. It’s ahead of the pack when it comes to dystopian YA novels.

And here's a Beatles song to brighten your day :)


Thank you to the fantastic people at Allen & Unwin for my review copy. And even bigger thanks to them because they've offered up THREE copies of When We Wake for giveaway! 2 copies will go to Aussies and 1 is available for international entrants – there are separate giveaways below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway


26 comments:

Katie @ BlookGirl said...

Wow, what a great review! You really described the book in a way that makes me very curious to read it for myself. The world-building sounds amazing and I am intrigued by the believable world changes.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for giving your readers a chance to win! :-)

Brandi Kosiner said...

I like it when a character is smart so Tegan sounds great.
Happy reading,
Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

Anna Scott said...

Mandee, I don't think you could have picked a more topical book to review, given the current climate in Aus, and this vision of the future in entirely believable! I'm not normally drawn to this type of book, but I have to admit this sounds fascinating.

Jen (A Reading Daydreamer) said...

This book sounds fantastic! Upon reading the synopsis, it kind of reminded me of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, with the whole being-frozen thing. But the world definitely sounds fabulous, and Tegan sounds like a really strong character. I'm glad you liked her! Brilliant review, Mandee!

Mel@Thedailyprophecy said...

Oh wow. I did like the sound from this book, but your review only made it sound better. I can't wait to try this one out! The world in 2127 sounds horrible.. I'm happy to hear that Tegan can deal with the situation. If there is one thing I can't stand, it's a whiny MC. Awesome review :D *fingers crossed that I win a copy*

Mel@thedailyprophecy.

Alexa Y. said...

What an interesting premise for a book! I'd be curious enough to read this one for myself :)

Maree said...

MANDS! I LOVE this review! Did you say Beatles? Gimme gimme hahaha :) I love love love your song choice too!

Keertana said...

Beatles references? SOLD. I just LOVE the Beatles! :D Also, this sounds a little like A Long, Long Sleep only it isn't a re-telling of Sleeping Beauty, but rather a dystopian novel, so that sounds great! I'll definitely have to check this out, so thank for putting it on my radar, dear. Wonderful review!(:

Flannery (The Readventurer) said...

I am currently in the middle of this one and I feel very similarly about it. I like her personality and reactions and her entire character seems realistic and refreshing. I also love all the Beatles references. It feels a bit heavy on the social issues and predictions for the future, but I guess I don't mind since I agree with a lot of it.

Belle said...

I'm glad you liked this! Makes me want to read it even more, such a great concept

Erin W. said...

I've really enjoyed the author's other books, so I must read this one as well. Sounds really good. Thanks for the giveaway and great review!

Fiery Na said...

I like the world because it's so different but probably wouldn't want it to be my reality. I don't mind living it through the characters, though :)

Reynje said...

I've heard a lot of great things about Karen Healey's novels - though I haven't read any yet. This one sounds really interesting.. I love seeing how people visual possible future Australia :)

Jennifer Messerschmidt said...

I loved this one as well and thought the addition of the Beatles titles and mention of their songs was awesome. Teagan was great and I loved the way it was written as her telling us her story. I found all the futuristic elements to be interesting and believable and scary!

Ellen said...

Nice review! Sounds like a great book.

Shirley said...

I never knew this was set in Melbourne~ This sounds really interesting..I can't wait to start my copy ;) Great review Mands<3

Sam said...

This is set in Australia? I didn't realise that! I remember reading the book description months back, but I guess I didn't take anything in properly. It sounds brilliant now though and I'm excited about reading it. :) Great review!

Jasprit said...

I love the sound of Tegan's new world, it initially reminded me of the film The Demolition man, especially the cover, it looks like she's woken up frozen like Sylvester Stallone did! And I really like strong mc's so I think me and Tegan will get on great! Beautiful review Mandee and thanks for the giveaway! :)

Alex (A Girl, Books, OtherThings) said...

Wow, this sounds like the kind of book that freak the bejesus out of me - I'm a biologist (water focused) and yeah, this stuff freaks me out all the time, to the point of wake up in the middle of the night with my heart racing.


So yeah, probably this won't be on my reading list, but I'm glad you liked it.

Katja Weinert said...

Sounds like a great read, thanks for the giveaway, Mandee!

Heidi said...

I've had my eye on this one since I first heard about it, but I didn't even realize it was an Aussie author! I've been fascinated by the idea...in the graphic novel, Transmetropolitan, my favorite issue is about a woman who goes through something similar. She's woken up to realize that everyone she knew is dead and that the world has completely changed--I'm really excited about reading a full novel with the same idea. I'm also surprised she doesn't get more depressed though--I would! Also...I like my meat (sorry, ranch girl), I couldn't live then. :P

Romi said...

Oh, I heard of this a week or two ago and passed it by- I don't think I fully read the synopsis and the cover really puts me off, but reading this review it sounds SO GOOD! I'm definitely adding it to my to-read list and seriously look forward to reading it, hopefully this very year! Excellent review- I don't think there are enough dystopian novels set in Australia, I'm pretty sure I now know of only 2!

Rachel said...

This story reminds me of Across the Universe a little. I still need to catch up with that series because I loved that book. I'm thinking I'll like this one too. Great review, Mandee. And thanks for the international giveaway! :)

Sharon ObsessionwithBooks said...

This one sounds really interesting, I havent heard of this book/author before but I love a good dystopian & I'm intrigued by the Melbourne setting.

A great review! Thankyou for sharing :-)

BookStacksOnDeck said...

This sounds pretty awesome!!! Wouldn't that be so crazy if you were frozen & then woke up 100 years later in the future?! I can't even imagine! <3

Emily @ Falling For YA said...

This sounds a scary because it seems like something that could actually happen. I don't think I would want to live in this time, although I do want to visit Melbourne someday because I've heard it's lovely!

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