Cover Image: The Awoken

The Awoken

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It’s finding books like this one, written by a debut author, that reaffirms just how powerful reading can be for your soul. 

It involves cryogenics, dying young due to an undiscovered cure, in hopes to be awoken again when there becomes a cure.  In 2021, this process cost 200k and that is exactly what Alabine did at the tender newly wed age of 21. 

However, the world is a completely different horrific place when she is awoken a century later. She has no idea why they would bring her back in this time of war? 

This is a love story like no other you have ever imagined and it is breathtakingly brilliant.
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Awakening to a Changed World

Alabine Rivers, a young political activist, is devastated when she’s diagnosed with terminal cancer at twenty-three. With encouragement from her boyfriend, Max, she agrees to be cryogenically frozen in the hope that a cure will be discovered. 

A century later, she’s revived and awakens to a changed world. America is no longer the place she remembered. She finds herself in the midst of a revolution. The governing class is against the people who have been brought back after being frozen. The Awoken have been declared outside the law with no rights. They can be shot on sight. 

The Resurrectionists who are responsible for bringing Alabine back to life have an ulterior motive. They want her to be a leader in the movement for the survival of the Awoken. 

This is a dystopian novel with echoes of America today. Society is not accepting of differences, everyone is supposed to think alike. This is a frightening world for Alabine. She struggles to understand her new environment while having flashbacks to the old way of life. I thought she was a great character. It’s not easy to have your entire world completely changed, but she struggles and survives. 

This is a book that makes you think. It addresses many issues of the rights of groups that are not mainstream. It even tackles the moral question of cryogenics and the rights of people who have been brought back to life. If you enjoy dystopian novels, this is a good one. 

I received this book from Penguin Random House for this review.
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Alabine decided to undergo cryogenic freezing upon her death from cancer, to hopefully suspend her body until a cure is found. But when she is awoken a century later, it is to a world where cryogenics is outlawed and those who have undergone the procedure and been illegally ‘awoken’ are feared and hated. Joining up with the band of rebels who woke her, Alabine is still fighting for her life - both from the cancer that killed her the first time and those who want her dead again. 

This book seemed to take me forever to read. I don’t know if it was the book just not holding my interest or me being distracted. The first half of the book dragged for me, and the writing seemed a bit - maybe juvenile? It read as quite clunky and unpolished, but the second half seemed to flow a lot easier and the pace picked right up.  

It was definitely an interesting concept, especially the lack of technology in the future and the government’s attempt at squashing everyone’s individuality, to create the illusion of  everyone being exactly the same. There was just a requirement to suspend belief a little too far at times.  

I think lovers of dystopian books like Divergent will enjoy this one.
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This story is told in first person from the point of view of Alabine Rivers, 23 years old, madly in love and dying of cancer far too young. In a last hurrah, she and her beloved Max, decide that she should be cryogenically frozen in the hopes that there might be a cure found for her illness and scientists would figure out how to resurrect her. Approximately one hundred years later, Alabine is awoken to a new America divided by revolution where Resurrectionists are considered terrorists and they plan for her to play a vital role in their quest for the survival of the Awoken. 

The way our political and governmental systems evolved in this dystopian future was realistically horrifying. There are no races, everyone is American. There is no culture except for American. Differences are not celebrated. Everyone is equally American, supposedly, except for the Awoken. There are no phones, tvs, or internet. Technology and science are both suspect and disliked in general. Alabine has some difficult choices to make including whether to support the group that has resurrected her for their own purposes, find out what happened to the love her life and whether she even wants to be in this new reality at all. Alabine also must navigate this new environment with no idea who to trust, the Resurrectionists, the other Awoken, the average citizens who appear to abhor her for reasons she doesn’t understand, or politicians who continuously make appealing offers with strings attached. 

In her initial state of shock after being awoken, Alabine sometimes falls into a lucid dream state where her reality and key moments from her past seem to intertwine. This appears to be a coping mechanization created for the Awoken to mentally reconcile their new reality with their past. Alabine can use this process to destress and sometimes to avoid the scary reality of her new life. I really enjoyed the passages where her mental state was blended between current and past timelines. It was a creative way to flash back the reader to tell her love story.

I had a small quibble with the science behind the health status of some of the characters who had undergone cryogenics. Overall, I enjoyed the story and the characters, especially the friendships that Alabine found with several of the other Awoken. I also enjoyed the way the emotions were portrayed in all their complicated glory, in relationship with humanity and communities from love and hate to greed and apathy.

Thank you to Netgalley and Dutton Books for a copy provided for an honest review.
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Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book. I requested this book for two reasons. First, because I read an intriguing article about the author whose idea for the novel was sparked by her own death/near death experience. Second, because the premise of the story was so intriguing. And let me add, this is not the kind of novel I usually read. I don’t really like dystopian books, time travel books, books set in the future. I am not interested in science fiction or fantasy. I read The Handmaid’s tale when I was much, much younger. I couldn’t make myself reread it or watch the series. The news is depressing enough without dragging myself thru a depressing look at a possible future that is more like non-fiction than fiction.

So I had zero expectations when I started this book. Wow. Where to begin. The premise is, as I said, so intriguing. What if we could be frozen at death and awoken when and if a cure for whatever ails us has been discovered? Would you have the courage to do it? I mean, I guess if you had nothing to lose. But what happens when you wake up? Our heroine here, Alabine Rivers, was dying of incurable lymphoma and opts to be cryogenically preserved in the hopes that a cure in the future will allow her to be resurrected. With the assistance of her boyfriend, she is put to “sleep” and awoken 100 years in the future.

In an unforeseen twist, the future doesn’t appear to have moved much forward but backwards in its attitudes, and prejudices not only still exist but have morphed into a society that delineates paths by gender and discriminates those who have “awoken” vs the rest of humanity. There are no George Jetson flying cars, no teleporting, nothing that you or I might envision the future to look like. Gee, and here I was hoping that the world would “right” itself. I was so fascinated by the author’s ability to “create” this fictional future. I was about 20% into the book and asking myself, how is she going to manage to create this future world in the pages she has left?

Without giving away any vital clues, let me say she not only does that but creates a story blending past and future, family lost and family found, love lost and love found. The future imagined here is very real. It doesn’t take a huge stretch of your imagination to accept the premises laid out. I could very easily imagine that this is what a future might look like. It was a great story that I thoroughly enjoyed. I stayed up until 2 am last night finishing it. It is well worth a read even if like me, you don’t normally read books of this genre.
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The Awoken is a cinematic, speculative debut about a woman who undergoes cryogenic preservation at the time of her death and wakes up a century later in a world where her very life is a crime.

This was a thrilling dystopian novel that follows Alabine River's journey as she fights for her own rights to be alive. Alabine was totally relatable. Her reactions to everything around her seemed realistic and genuine. Her love story with Max was filled with sweet moments especially where she experiences lucid memories of her past and the only person she ever loved. 

I loved the author's writing with amazing world building, one I was easily immersed in. If you are a fan of Hunger Games and like a strong female character and light romance then you should read this book.
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I was convinced from the moment I saw the synopsis that this was going to be my kind of book, through and through. And turns out, I was right. I love being right, and I love this book. Alabine wakes up a century after she died of cancer. That right there is a trip, right? Well, the problem is, even though she woke up in a world where it is possible to cure the cancer that was her demise, her whole existence was no longer legal.

Talk about a thought-provoking book! There are so many concepts in the story that had my mind reeling, in the best possible way. First, we have the issue that started it all: preserving oneself in cryo after death. I mean, talk about a loaded moral question, right? But beyond that, Alabine realizes that the world she awakens in is vastly different than the one she died in. For one, the concept of cryogenic preservation was just starting when Alabine decided to give it a shot. The scientific community was excited, and hadn't really considered much of the aftermath. Now, a hundred years later, what is left of the United States now deems The Awoken as "inhuman", and it is perfectly legal to murder an Awoken.

Basically, just like in our current era, a group of people decided that their morality needed to be inflicted upon the country as a whole. So, as they decided that their own beliefs didn't jibe with cryogenics, new laws were passed basically ensuring that the Awoken had no rights under the law. Alabine finds that she was woken by the rebellion, and they want her to be their spokesperson. Apparently, she became a beloved figure after her death, and her fiancé Max had taken up her cause to find a way to bring her back. And guess who else decided to take a trip to cryo? Max! Only he is being held somewhere that Alabine cannot get to, and so she ends up needing the rebellion as much as they need her.

I really loved everything about this book, from start to finish. Let us list a few things:

►Alabine was really relatable. Oof, can you even imagine being dead for a century and then popping back into a very different world? Yeah, me either. Alabine's reactions to everything around her seemed so very honest and realistic, and obviously she was incredibly empathetic. I felt for her, as she realized that everyone she knew was dead, along with the world she knew being dead. Hell, she woke up in a different country! I loved seeing the world through her eyes, and watching her rebuild her life as she went along.

►The messages of this book certainly were timely. A lot of things that the "United American" government was doing reeked of current events. Sure, they were fighting slightly different battles, but the outcomes were the same: stripping rights from groups of people based on the moral beliefs of one group who deemed themselves more important.

►Loved the backstory of how the world changed over time. It was so interesting to read about how we got to the world that Abaline was now a part of. The author did a phenomenal job of answering every question that popped into my head, and the world-building was kind of perfect.

►The world was bleak, but also hopeful. I love my dark, awful worlds with a side of hope, and that is exactly how this one felt from start to finish. Yes, Alabine woke in a terrible situation. The government was garbage, the people resigned to just take it. But there were glimmers of hope laced throughout the story. Hope that maybe people could change, that the world could change.

Bottom Line: A beautiful and thought provoking tale about a very plausible future, complete with an incredible cast of characters.
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When Alabine Rivers faced dying from cancer, her only way out was cryogenics. So she froze herself for when they finally find a cure. Over a century later, Alabine is brought back, but the world is nothing like she expects. The Awoken are not accepted, in fact they are shot on the spot. Al must now find a way to not only survive, but find a way to change the minds of the public.

Whew. This was a heavy book. I would say if I had to compare it to something, it would be a little bit Blake Crouch’ish, but also a little bit divergent/hunger games? Gah I honestly don’t even know what to say about this one. It definitely makes you look and think about the state of our country and how it could be. It’s intense, but I could not stop reading. If you want to read something a bit different I highly recommend it!
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This was a good book, it takes place in a future where the United States (and parts of Canada) have broken apart and reformed as United America.  Alabine Rivers was in her early 20's in the 2000's and had been diagnosed with terminal cancer when she made the decision to cryogenically freeze her body to be revived when a cure for her cancer has been discovered.  Zip ahead about a 100 years and Alabine is awoken in a world that is vastly different than the one she knew, though there is no flying cars like she thought there would be.  The group of people that woke her did so because she became the face of the cryogenic movement after she was frozen, a movement that the government is opposed to and violently represses at every opportunity. The group is know as the Resurrectionists who are made up of supports of cryogenics or who were also awoken. They are hoping that with Alabine others will see that the movement is not the terrorist organization the government claims them to be. The start of this book was very good, there was some background on Alabine and the love of her life Max Green who is also currently frozen. There is a rapid pace to the story, the group is being tracked by government forces and is constantly moving from one safe camp to another.  My one issue with the story was the amount of time spent on Alabine and Max's history and how much they loved each other, I got that they were very close early on, having it brought up over and over again dragged the story down at points.  Overall though I did  enjoy this and would recommend it.  Thanks to #Netgalley and #Penguin Group for the ARC.
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A science fiction debut novel, The Awoken by Katelyn Monroe Howes is set a century into the future in the world of 2121. It begins with the death of Alabine Rivers, a young political activist, who awakens thanks to cryogenics and is hoping there is a cure for her cancer. Confused, and feeling out of sorts, Alabine is soon forced to flee amidst gunfire from pursuing armoured soldiers. She is resuscitated by the Resurrectionists, an underground militia who are fighting for the rights of the ‘awoken’, who are illegal and must be shot on sight. Struggling to survive and find her place in this new world, Alabine experiences lucid memories of her past life and the only person she ever loved. An easy-paced action saga that is used to convey a deeper message of ignorance, prejudice and systemic inequality. Whilst well intended, the story suffered somewhat and therefore only a three star read rating. With thanks to Penguin Group Dutton and the author, for an uncorrected advanced reader copy for review purposes. As always, the opinions herein are totally my own and freely given.
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𝔸𝕦𝕕𝕚𝕠𝕓𝕠𝕠𝕜/𝔹𝕠𝕠𝕜 ℝ𝕖𝕧𝕚𝕖𝕨

The Awoken by Katelyn Monroe Howes
Pub date: August 9, 2022
Narration: Sarah Naughton
Duration: 14H 44M

“𝘐 𝘵𝘰𝘭𝘥 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘣𝘦𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦. 𝘕𝘰𝘸 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘪𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥𝘳𝘦𝘯. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘵𝘸𝘰 𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘢𝘮𝘦 𝘴𝘰𝘶𝘭. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘰𝘯𝘦’𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘺. 𝘉𝘶𝘵 𝘮𝘰𝘴𝘵 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘭𝘺, 𝘪𝘵’𝘴 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘩 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳. 𝘞𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺, 𝘐 𝘶𝘳𝘨𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘦𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦, 𝘯𝘰 𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮 𝘪𝘵 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦𝘴, 𝘪𝘴 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘩𝘺. 𝘍𝘰𝘳 𝘪𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘢𝘳𝘬𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴.”

This passage right here resonates deeply with me! The story of The Awoken is centered around love - all kinds of love and though at first it may seem that The Awoken is centered around pure science fiction, know that it is so much more. It is about fear, intolerance, ethics and morality. And love. 

When Alabine Rivers meets the love of her life, Max, she is sick. She doesn’t know it yet but it’ll be just a short time before she dies. She’s cryogenically frozen, awaiting a cure, and when she wakes some 100+ years later, the world is, of course, much different. What Alabine didn’t expect was that her very presence would be a crime and that she would be hunted as a fugitive by those that would see her dead. Luckily, the world is split and a group of Resurrectionists fight for the rights of the Awoken. Struggling to adapt to this new world, she must also fight for her right to survive in this hostile new world. 

This is a gritty dystopian story that is full of action and adventure but also has a focus on social issues that are prominent in current times. I’ll be thinking about this one for a while. 

I can’t imagine a better narrator than Sarah Naughton! Full on emotive portrayal of all the characters and she really captured the essence of the story. Well done! 

Thank you @PRHAudio for this gifted ALC and to @DuttonBooks for this gifted DRC.
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I liked the dystopian premise but it was a little too out there for me.  The main character wakes up and wants answers but can’t get those answers.  But then miraculously questions are answered in the next few pages and repeat.  There was hope for me give more stars until the ending—I was left with so many questions and it felt very abrupt.
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I liked this story more than I thought I would. It has a Millennial perspective to it, which may be good or bad, based on what generation you are, but the protagonist was compelling and the storyline engaging.
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Alabine Rivers had terminal cancer, and when the opportunity to be cryogenically frozen until a cure is discovered comes along she takes it. She is woken up years later, in the middle of a divide. Those who believe that people frozen deserve to live their second life, and those who believe that you don't. Now it's up to Alabine to turn the tide in their favor and help the populace to realize that everyone deserves a second chance at life. 

The plot of this book sounded intriguing, and in the beginning, I did enjoy what I was reading. However, as we get further and further into the story I just found myself not really caring about the characters or what was happening.  
I think that there was just too much backstory happening for me, too many flashbacks, and a lot of jumping around that left me feeling confused. 

Normally this is the kind of book I would enjoy, so I'm not really sure why this one didn't work, or why I was having the issues I was having. Maybe I just read it at the wrong time or wasn't in the right mood. I might try and read it again at a later time as I've seen that a lot of people have loved it.
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The premise of this story really caught my attention. What if you could be cyrogenically frozen and resurrected 100 years into the future when hopefully the world has hopefully found a cure for terminal illnesses like cancer.   

Main Character, Alabine Rivers,  is young and in love with the handsome medic who cared for when she was injured in a random attack. Shortly thereafter, she received the life shattering new: she’s dying from terminal cancer.  but....there is hope - she opts for a chance at a second life via cryogenics and to be frozen until a potential cure is found. She is woken 100 years later to a very different, and very frightening America. Unknown to her She has become the poster child for the group called the Resurrectionists. She finds herself awoken into a country at war, an ethical and legal firestorm. It’s not pretty. The Awoken is fast paced, and truly cinematic, a bit like eating a barrel of popcorn at the movies sort of fast paced

Thank you to PENGUIN GROUP Dutton and NetGalley for allowing me to read and Review the digital ARC.
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**I received this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review**

I think this book should have been expanded more, the idea of it sounded amazing, and it started off so strong, but some parts of it was a bit weak, we have the main character who froze herself suddenly get awoken to a crazy world, she kept asking for answers and it was always at a bad time, but the next chapter all of the sudden its like the answers appeared, no one talked to her it was just a whole chapter of background.  The relationship between her and damien (I think that was his name? I forgot it already) kind of came out of nowhere, and I felt zero chemistry.  I wasnt fond of it and thought that a friendship could have been just as well.  I think the story needed just a little bit more world building done in a better way.  

And the ending?  no, it was all of the sudden and then there were no answers, it wasn't a cliffhanger ending, it was just an afterthought ending that didn't expand on what happened between then and now.

I will say that the writing is pretty good, I did get sucked into it, some parts I felt like I missed something because it jumped too much, from confusion and learning about the world to all of the sudden knowing something, i kept wondering if I somehow skipped ahead and missed a chapter or two, some relationships came out of nowhere, some situations that probably could have been left out.  I think some people will think this book is great, I think its just night quite fully there yet, it's good not the great that I know it could be.
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Wow!! The Awoken is a phenomenal work of speculative fiction; it’s truly cinematic and reads as though it’s destined for the big screen. 
The Awoken is an eerily timely and frightening sociopolitical dystopian suspense thriller. It is, at times, difficult to read - knowing how far we have already devolved, notably with the reversal of Roe. It could happen. That’s the scariest part of all. 
Alabine Rivers is young and in love with the handsome medic who cared for when she was injured in a random attack. Shortly thereafter, she received the life shattering new: she’s dying from terminal lymphoma.  Yet, there is hope - she opts for a chance at a second life via cryogenics. Only to awaken 100 years later to a very different, and very frightening  America. Her very life - the awoken - and her very life is illegal. She has unknowingly become the poster child for the group called the Resurrectionists. She finds herself awoken into a country at war, an ethical and legal firestorm. It’s not pretty. 
This is truly a love story, one of hope and compassion, of friendship and resilience amidst the darkest of humanity. 
The Awoken is fast paced, and truly cinematic, a bit like eating a barrel of popcorn at the movies sort of fast paced. I loved it. 🍿

𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐤 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐍𝐞𝐭 𝐆𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐲, 𝐊𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐲𝐧 𝐌𝐨𝐧𝐫𝐨𝐞 𝐇𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐬, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐏𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐮𝐢𝐧 𝐆𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐩 
𝐃𝐮𝐭𝐭𝐨𝐧 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐞𝐱𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐧𝐞𝐰 𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐢𝐧 𝐞𝐱𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐦𝐲 𝐡𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐰𝐡𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐨𝐩𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰.
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<b>Short Review:</b> Give me a dystopian story and I’m a happy reader. Give me this book and I’m over the moon. I absolutely loved it. This book is a deep dive into the power of societal prejudice and the complacency that drives it. It’s also a beautiful testimony of hope and love. 

<i>"I told you before this is a story about love. Now you know it is a story about all kinds of love. The love between parents and children. The love shared by two halves of the same soul. The love of one's country. But most importantly, it's about the love for each other. With this story, I urge you to see that life, no matter what form it takes, is worthy."</i>

Long Review: I'm tempted to just say see short review, but I’ll keep talking…

Dystopian America? Politics? Rebels? Cryogenics technology? Check, check, check. This is the story of Alabine Rivers who is woken up from her cryogenic preservation and into a world where she is now a wanted criminal. It’s hard to believe this was a debut novel. The characters and story leap off the page and totally immerse you in the story. It’s hard to come up for air. 

If you are a Hunger Games and/or Divergent fan, this is the book for you. Max and Alabine are the new Peeta and Katniss. Get this one on your must read list.
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This book is exactly what I’ve been missing. As someone who read The Hunger Games trilogy 13 times and devoured Divergent, I can speak to the allure of dystopian young adult reads and this ranks with the best. The characters are relatable, the plot is solidly written, and the setting is painted clearly enough to feel as though this could easily be our future. Although the book ended well, I am hopeful there will be many more!
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This isn't my usual genre, but I was intrigued by the idea of being cyrogenically frozen and resurrected 100 years into the future when hopefully the world has hopefully found a cure for terminal illnesses like cancer.  The main character struggles with fitting into this new world where proponents push her as the face of a movement while others deride her existence.  She also struggles with memories of her past life, particularly her great love.  A very human approach to a sci fi story.
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