Title: Revived

Author: Cat Patrick

Release Date: Available

Death is optional for Daisy. Ever since the bus crash when she was five that killed the driver and twenty children, including Daisy, she has been part of the testing of an experimental drug called Revive, that brings the dead back to life. Daisy is very accident-prone and dies multiple times and, as a result, is revived and moved, her name changed. Daisy doesn’t really mind, although dying is a real pain in the rear. And she keeps dying of stupid causes like choking on a grape, or allergies. She lives with two of the scientists on the project. She doesn’t really make friends, as she will probably move again in a few years, anyway. Then, after dying of an allergy attack after a bee sting, Daisy Appleby becomes Daisy West. She goes to a new school, and, hey, actually makes a friend. Yet, the God Project, as it is so fondly dubbed, is even more sinister than Daisy knows. Soon she gets tangled in a web of lies — now her life is at stake, and this time if she dies, she dies for good.

I enjoyed this book. It was not the best book I have ever read, but it was engrossing and, at times, emotional. The writing was well done, but nothing special. Daisy’s view of death is skewered, so when she sees it firsthand, the result is heartbreaking. There are many light moments in the book, but the idea of morality and how fragile we are adds darkness. The relationships between most of the characters were touching and realistic, although the whole romance element in the book didn’t really do it for me. I’m not a huge fan of romance in general, however, so I might be a little biased. Revived is one of those rare Sci-Fi/paranormal stand-alone novels. It didn’t give me all the answers I craved, but the ending was satisfactory and wrapped things up nicely, no jarring, pull your hair out cliffhangers. I recommend this book if you are looking for a quick and interesting read.

Review by Annalise

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Title: Pure

Author: Julianna Baggott

Release Date: Available

When I started Pure by Julianna Baggott, I really had no idea what to expect. I prepared myself for something entertaining but not memorable, and hopefully not too typical. What I got… completely blew me out of the water. I’m beyond impressed with the totally engaging world, complex characters, and the fact that it made me think, and like thinking, and reminded me why I love reading.

Pure primarily follows two characters: Pressia, who lives in a world completely devastated by the Detonations, where everyone is fused to whatever they were near when the Detonations went off (i.e. a baby doll for a hand, birds in a back, a fan in a throat, two people fused together) and Partridge, who is part of an elite, “pure” society in a carefully controlled dome that is safe from radiation and other effects of the Detonations, but subject to mysterious experimentations that possibly take away one’s humanity. Both characters were likable and three-dimensional, and over time developed a real relationship for each other that wasn’t romantic, which is nice to see among YA’s “instalove” collection. Even minor characters were very well fleshed-out and I genuinely liked reading from everyone’s perspective and how it would bring the story to different places.

The best part by far, however, was the world-building. The Detonations were a science fiction expansion of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which is one of those morbidly interesting topics. Baggott is extremely skilled at developing her theories in several scenarios to make even the most unbelievable of things believable. Not to mention that it’s creepy! There is definitely some disturbing content, but it was all so very well done that I thoroughly enjoyed the being-creeped-out part. I also found it to be very neat, as in tidy, in that it’s organization and pacing held my interest until the end, at which point everything came to a (beyond) satisfactory conclusion. I was left wanting more, but NOT because of too many unanswered questions!

I really don’t know why I haven’t seen more about this book, because it is by far one of the best books I’ve come across since involving myself in the bookish world. It was fascinating, relevant, engaging and I just liked reading it without being distracted by annoying characters or “instalove.” I recommend it to anyone who enjoys dystopian, science fiction and a little bit of history, but is weary of reading something overdone, and most of all I recommend it to those who enjoy being told a good story. I feel that I can’t do Pure justice in words, but suffice it to say that I can tell it will always be a favorite of mine. 5/5 stars.

Review by Casey

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When We Wake

When We Wake

Title: When We Wake

Author: Karen Healey

Release Date: Available

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.

Review by Annalise

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