When We Wake by Karen Healey is a beautifully written YA mostly set one hundred years in the future. Tegan Oglietti has a fantastic life (I love her name. Tegan Oglietti sounds like a spicy spaghetti dish.). She finally got her brother’s friend to go out with her. She explores the ruins of old buildings by night with her best friend, Alex, and her mom is a culinary genius. Then, one day, Tegan gets shot by a sniper aiming for the prime minister and dies. The end.
On the first day of her second life, Tegan wakes up in a hospital and is told that she is the first successful revival from cryogenic sleep. Her body was donated to science so she, therefore, was entered in a cryogenics experiment, frozen until her wounds could be fixed and she could be successfully revived. And she is. In 2127.
Thrust into a world where computers are as thin as paper and everything is environmentally friendly from the lack of meat at the supermarket to the human manure toilets, Tegan is overwhelmed. The paparazzi swarm her wherever she goes and she is subjected to constant testing. And yet, she is okay. Hey, everyone is caring for the environment and people can marry whomever they want. It seems like many things have improved since her time, and Tegan is thrilled.
That all changes as Tegan finds out more and more about her present. The world is dying; refugees are running to Australia, only to be put in horrible camps. A cult is claiming that Tegan has no soul, and should kill herself. Worst of all, the government has a hidden agenda for Project New Beginning, one that Tegan must expose to the world, before it’s too late…
This book gripped me from start to finish. I loved how Tegan let you know from the beginning of the book that she was on the run. At first, I was kind of bummed. “Well, there goes the surprise ending,” I thought. It’s really hard to pull off that kind of book. You have to make the journey the payoff, not the ending. When We Wake’s journey was filled with likeable characters, believable reactions, and both laugh out loud and tear inducing moments. There also isn’t a whole lot of techno babble. Even if you know nothing about science or technology, you can still enjoy it. The only problem I had with this book was that I felt that it was way to easy for Tegan to break into government buildings and files. If anything, it should be harder to do so in the future, not easier. Other than that, this book was pretty spectacular.
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