We are going to flashback a little bit today. In honor of the third Awaken book that recently came out, I am going to review the first two books. In my family we have a tradition that every year we draw out a name of a cousin who we are going to buy a gift for. Every year I love sitting there and getting to open the present my cousin picked out for me. Two years ago one of my cousins got my name and when I opened it, I found the book Awaken inside the wrapping. I had never heard of the book before but I was so excited to give it a go. Let me just say … I LOVED it!!!!
Growing up in a world that is so involved with technology, made this book really hit home. Every day we are becoming more and more dependent on computers, the internet, smart phones, texting, etc. In Awaken we see the world advanced to the point where human interaction is almost void. It made me realize how important everyday communication and our social lives really are. This book is set in 2060 where everything is done on the computer. Going to school, hanging out, and even dating is done online. That is the way Maddie lives. I absolutely love Maddie. I love seeing her growth through the first book and having her realize that there might be more than just the digital world. Of course this book has a love interest and let me just say, when he was introduced, I fell in love with him almost instantly. However, the reason I loved Awaken so much is because it made me look at life and how much I was taking for granted. Was I being thankful for having friends to hang out with and have me some "girl talk"? Was I taking the time to just be outside and enjoy the world around me? Was I taking full advantage of school and all that it had to offer me? Or just simply, was I fully enjoying the opportunity to be with my family, talking ... laughing ... and communicating together? So much in life is being forgotten as we shift our focus to the things on a screen. Awaken is one of the books that I went around telling anyone and everyone I knew to go read it.
I always get nervous reading the second book when I loved the first book so much. I always have such high expectations and sometimes it is a huge disappointment. Middle Ground was definitely not a disappointment! I loved it just as much as the first book. As soon as I finished Awaken, I drove down to the bookstore and got this follow-up in my hands! And what did that mean once I was back home ... Middle Ground and I had an all night reading date! I couldn't put it down!!! I don’t want to give too much away for all you who haven’t read the first book. I will just say it was amazing! The book had me laughing, crying, and biting my nails at points. You continue to see Maddie fighting against the digital world … I will just stop now or else I will give stuff away.
Should you read this book series??? YES!!!!!!! A hundred times yes!!!! Awaken is the book I recommend whenever someone asks me what they should read. Go buy it so you can read the final book that just came out this month! Great author, great characters, and just an overall great book!
Here is a look at what Awaken and Middle Ground are about:
Maddie lives in a world where everything is done on the computer. Whether it’s to go to school or on a date, people don’t venture out of their home. There’s really no need. For the most part, Maddie’s okay with the solitary, digital life—until she meets Justin. Justin likes being with people. He enjoys the physical closeness of face-to-face interactions. People aren’t meant to be alone, he tells her.
Suddenly, Maddie feels something awakening inside her—a feeling that maybe there is a different, better way to live. But with society and her parents telling her otherwise, Maddie is going to have to learn to stand up for herself if she wants to change the path her life is taking.
In this not-so-brave new world, two young people struggle to carve out their own space.
For four weeks Maddie has been living in Los Angeles, trying to be good. But no matter how hard she tries, something inside her won't be sated. She can't live a life of half-truths and false pretenses. So one night, she says how she really feels.
That's all it takes. One night. One bad decision, and Maddie is thrown into a detention center where she's forced to undergo secretive treatment meant to squash her rebellious streak. The powers that be call it rehabilitation. Maddie calls it torture.
Alone, Maddie will not survive. But if she can find something to hold on to - an image of Justin, their love - maybe she can fight. And if she's really lucky, maybe she'll even win.