Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Middle Ground by Katie Kacvinsky

Series: Awaken (bk. 2)

Genera: Dystopian Sci-fi

Subjects: Technology, resistance to government, brainwashing

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 321 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $16.99

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Summary/ product description: “In this provocative cautionary tale for teens, the sequel to Awaken, seventeen-year-old Maddie’s rebellion against the digital-only life grows dangerous. Maddie is in Los Angeles, trying to stay out of trouble. But one night, a seemingly small act of defiance lands her in the place she fears the most: a detention center. Here, patients are reprogrammed to accept a digital existence. Maddie is now fighting for her mind, her soul, and her very life. Once again, Katie Kacvinsky paints a disturbing picture of our increasingly technology-based society.”

My Rating: êêêê

My Review: This was a pretty good sequel. I had a tough time getting into it because I’ve been reading too many dystopians lately, but it picked up later on. This book is very relevant to real life. It’s the most realistic kind of dystopian series I’ve read. This book could easily become reality, which is kind of sad. I like being on the computer, but not all day! Maddie’s a really strong protagonist. She does remind me of Lena from Delirium, but more rebellious. Justine sounds like a great guy, but he’s not a strong enough love interest. I think he was better in the first book, Awaken, but I’d say that this book is much more focused on Maddie.

When she was put in the detention center, that’s when the story got really exciting. I like psychological thrillers with asylums and crazy people, not that this DC was really an insane asylum. She really fights hard against the brainwashing and “The Cure.” And then there’s a new character, Gabe, who helps her stay sane. (No love triangles occur, don’t worry) He’s a staff member, and never used a computer before.

I really think the technology like the MindReaders seem a bit advanced, but cool. And all this virtual stuff reminds me of Under the Never Sky, with its realms. It would be cool to have all this virtual reality stuff, as long as we don’t lose touch with the real world.

This book’s theme is to not let technology take over your life. Face-to-face communication is important. It makes us human, not machine. Humans are social creatures and technology changes the way we socialize. We should spend more time Unplugged than plugged in. Our life isn’t the internet. The internet is just a tool. We need to live our lives, now view them. I feel like I could write a whole response paper to this series. I highly recommend these books if you are looking for something dystopian/sci-fi with a real message. If you liked Delirium, Under the Never Sky, Possession, you should read this.

Cover Art Review: I think I liked the first book’s cover better. I understand the metaphor. A flower trapped in a jar, and on this cover, butterflies being let go. I just don’t think the butterflies look like they fit on the cover. They’re too colorful. Maybe if they were all one or two colors.


~Haley G

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