When We Wake (When We Wake #1)

When We Wake (When We Wake #1)

Featured
 
4.3 (2)
 
4.2 (2)
1765   0
Write Review
When We Wake (When We Wake #1)
Author(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
March 05, 2013
ISBN
9780316200769
Buy This Book
      
My name is Tegan Oglietti, and on the last day of my first lifetime, I was so, so happy.

Sixteen-year-old Tegan is just like every other girl living in 2027--she's happiest when playing the guitar, she's falling in love for the first time, and she's joining her friends to protest the wrongs of the world: environmental collapse, social discrimination, and political injustice.

But on what should have been the best day of Tegan's life, she dies--and wakes up a hundred years in the future, locked in a government facility with no idea what happened.

Tegan is the first government guinea pig to be cryonically frozen and successfully revived, which makes her an instant celebrity--even though all she wants to do is try to rebuild some semblance of a normal life. But the future isn't all she hoped it would be, and when appalling secrets come to light, Tegan must make a choice: Does she keep her head down and survive, or fight for a better future?

Award-winning author Karen Healey has created a haunting, cautionary tale of an inspiring protagonist living in a not-so-distant future that could easily be our own.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.5  (2)
Characters 
 
4.5  (2)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (2)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

How Dystopia Will Probably Occur

Teegan loves her life in 2027-- her mom is great (although she misses her dad, who was killed as a soldier), she has an amazing new boyfriend, and she and her friends are politically active and attend a lot of rallies. Unfortunately, at one rally, she is shot by a sniper and killed. Because she has signed paperwork donating her body to science, she has been frozen using Cryonics and wakes up 100 years later. Other "freezies" have not been saved, so the government is very interested in what will happen to her. Because Teegan has been "resurrected", some political groups are not happy- the Inheritors of the Earth think that she has disobeyed God's law and should kill herself, and Australians for Australia consider her an illegal alien and want her deported. The world of 2127 is different in many ways-- it's okay to be gay, and no one blinks if there are gay couples, Muslims aren't discriminated against, and computers are sheets of plastic that can fold up and be put in a pocket. People don't eat red meat, though, and Australia has a strict anti-immigration policy. One of Teegan's great loves is music, especially the Beatles, and when she is finally allowed to go to school, she makes friends with several other students, including the "talented alien" Abdi from Djibouti. Teegan is kept strictly supervised by the government and is not supposed to say anything about her political beliefs, but teens are teens at any point in time, and she manages to find a government conspiracy, shoot her mouth off about it, and get into trouble.


Good Points
I really enjoyed the beginning of this book because it wasn't really dystopian, just what one would expect after a hundred plus years of global warming and depleting resources. Teegan's interest in music excuses her love of a VERY old band, but since there are lots of young Beatles fans even now, it makes it fun. Good world building, fun characters, and realistic reaction to waking up and finding out an entire world is gone.
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

A Must for Beatles and Dystopian Fans

What I Loved:
Before I get into the serious plot stuff, I have to talk about all of The Beatles love in this book. My parents raised me on music from the 60s and 70s, so, though I'm not a child of that age, I sure do know most of the music, and The Beatles have always been amongst my favorites, even if my favorite album changes through the years. Every chapter title is a Beatles song, but the references go much deeper than that, and you better believe I adore every single one. The songs do even serve a plot point, providing a link to her old life and a way to connect with the people of 2128 through music.

Tegan makes a wonderful heroine. Awakened over a hundred years after her last memory and informed of her death and revival, she is, understandably, freaked. However, after some time to mourn over her old life, she makes the best out of her new situation. She is helpful, hopeful, loving, determined, and sarcastic. Her voice thoughout When We Wake is a delight, and I connected to her immediately, not just because of her love of The Beatles.

Reviving Tegan a century later enables Healey to impart information to the reader in a logical way. Tegan really does not know anything about the world she's in and can ask questions and receive answers without it feeling like an infodump. Healey uses the device to the fullest and spaces out Tegan's education well. Healey does not feel the need to drop everything on the reader all at once, taking breaks for character development or to talk about less serious things like slang or toilets (in this future, people poo into compost buckets).

What makes this novel stand out from many others is that the society in which Tegan awakes really does seem to verge on utopian for quite a while. Sure, it's not completely perfect, but it seems largely better than the past. The world has warmed due to the depletion of the ozone layer, but mankind is now living in such a way as to diminish the negative effects on the environment. Homosexual love is now valued just as highly as heterosexual love, something our society really needs to learn to accept. The more Tegan learns, the more negatives appear in this future world, including continued racial tensions.

When We Wake, though not focused on romance, does have a couple of very sweet relationships. Tegan develops a crush on a Abdi, a musically-gifted, clever boy from Djibouti. Watching them slowly overcome the difficulties their situations (he's a thirdie - from the third world - and she's the Living Dead Girl) place on a relationship is adorable. I also really love Joph and Bethari, and I hope those girls can work out their issues and get back together.

What Left Me Wanting More:
The only thing missing from the novel for me were high enough stakes. There's some action and they are in danger, but, for whatever reason, they never felt especially imperilled. Perhaps this is due to the lack of death toll in the novel, or the narrative device whereby the entirety of the book is a broadcast being issued live by Tegan, since that means she survives to the end. In the sequel, I hope to see more from the dystopian government, so that I can really feel scared for Tegan and her friends.

The Final Verdict:
Karen Healey was unknown to me prior to When We Wake, but I will definitely be reading more of her books, including the sequel to this novel. When We Wake is a must-read for Beatles fans and for those who enjoy dystopian stories that don't focus entirely on romance.

Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

2 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.2
Plot 
 
4.0  (2)
Characters 
 
4.5  (2)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (2)
Already have an account? or Create an account
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

When We Wake review

I underestimated When We Wake. I'm not sure why, but sometimes I just don't expect much from a book. Sometimes it works out that I get what I expected, but then there are those times I'm pleasantly surprised which happened to be the case this time.

I really liked the way the story was told. At first I thought it was simply in first person present, but eventually it comes out that Tegan is actually doing a live webcast about everything that's happened to her. I liked when she'd break from strictly story-telling to give insight on the situation that she's since learned. I'm curious to see how this will go in book 2, though considering her cast ended at the end of When We Wake.

Tegan's kind of an angry character, understandably. This doesn't make it hard to relate to her, though. While I was reading the first few chapters I kept thinking “no, I don't want to know about her past life, because I already know she loses everybody and everything,” but it's kind of important to get a feel for her life before in order to sympathize. I liked that instead of despairing she used her anger and hurt to stand up for herself and fight, despite the many people wanting to use her.

Bethari is a fantastic character. She stands by Tegan and backs her up no matter what. She's sensible, fun, and an awesome computer hacker. I love the first scene in which her and Tegan are introduced. It's all awkward and weird for the first few minutes, but then they discover mutual interests and become more comfortable which each other. I don't know about you, but that describes pretty much all of my friend experiences.

I really liked that because Tegan wasn't up-to-date on the times I got to learn about all the future stuff right along with her; it felt more natural. I don't hate being dropped into a story and figuring things out for myself, but it can hinder my enjoyment some. Healey doesn't go overboard on the future slang either. I do think it's important for a book set in the future to have some of it's own words because language is a thing that evolves, but too much of it can weigh a book down. I think Healey added in just enough for it to feel real, but not pull me out of the story. Plus, kooshy is a really funny word.


The Nutshell: When We Wake is a well-rounded story with a little bit of action, mystery, and a main focus on Tegan's integration into future society. The characters are all pretty fleshed out and it's easy to sympathize with Tegan and her situation. If you want a book with good characters, an engaging story, and well-developed futuristic world then When We Wake is your book.

Hit

Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: March 27, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

When We Wake

When We Wake is, in my opinion, futuristic science fiction done well. (I haven’t read much of it, sure, but I found very little wrong with this novel.) Tegan Oglietti wakes up in the year 2128, a hundred years after her last memory, only to discover she’s part of a huge government experiment where cryonically frozen bodies are healed post-mortem and then revived. The Australia of the future is nothing like the Australia she knew, and Tegan has to deal with culture shock, as well as grief for her dead family and friends.

Tegan, I think, is a very strong protagonist, especially when you consider the issues she’s forced to face. Known internationally as The Living Dead Girl, she a huge celebrity, and several activist groups want to use her face to further their campaign. Even the Australian government, it turns out, has plans to use Tegan for its own gain. It soon becomes apparent that Tegan can’t trust anyone, except her new friends, including a handsome young man who oh-so-conveniently looks just like her now-dead boyfriend. But throughout this, as Tegan learns more about the world she’s been reborn into, she never lost her personality, capitulated to unfair demands, or compromised herself. She was, I found, a very vocal and opinionated young woman, who wasn’t afraid to upset people to make her point.

“I am so tired of being used. The army tried to do it, Tatia tried to do it, and now you’re trying to do it. I’m a person, not a symbol, not property, and not a prop. If you want me dead, I can’t stop you, but I won’t make it easier for you, either. Dirty your own fucking hands” (pg. 273, ARC).

Yet while Tegan’s character was undoubtedly a strong contribution to this novel’s success, Karen Healey’s biggest platform, I think, was the ethical and moral dilemmas introduced in When We Wakee. Before her death, Tegan was a registered organ donor, which apparently meant that her body could be used for science and then revived. That seems, honestly, like a bit of a jump to me. To go from “yes, I’ll sign up to give my kidney to a dying child” to “yes, I’ll sign up to be resurrected”. Except Tegan never knew she would be resurrected, so is it okay that the government did so? I don’t know; I’m not saying this to insert my own opinion (I don’t actually have one anyway). But that question is a good one, first posed by the author in the first few chapters, but then abandoned. I would have liked to see more being done with that, honestly, since I find it so fascinating.

Going back to Tegan. When We Wake is narrated first person, addressing an unseen “you”, i.e. breaking the fourth wall. Typically, I’m not a fan of that. It’s just a pet peeve of mine and I know it doesn’t bother a lot of readers. For once, though, I didn’t mind that the character was directly addressing me, pulling me into the story. In many respects, the news-broadcast style reminded me a lot of the Newsflesh Trilogy (amazing books about zombies, bloggers, and government cover-ups). But then the last chapter happened, and Tegan did a really great Ponyboy impersonation. If you haven’t read The Outsiders, just know it’s a gimmicky thing authors do sometimes that annoys me a lot, and I always say something about Ponyboy when I see it.

I’m also a bit miffed by the fact that there’s a sequel in the works. Those last few lines would have been so perfect had When We Wake been a standalone. I’m honestly not even sure I want to read the second book, since this was fine as is.

But altogether, When We Wake is a smart, intelligent book that portrays a very plausible futuristic society, toys around with interesting medical possibilities, and is narrated by an admirable young woman. In some places I wish Karen Healey had delved a bit deeper into her subject matter, but overall this was a very interesting book.

Was this review helpful to you? 
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Mother Cary's Butter Knife (Shadows & Light)
The smallest of three brothers, Keenan Mowat had a priceless...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars
Did you know that the earth is covered in three...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Three Sides of A Heart: Stories About Love Triangles
You may think you know the love triangle, but...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The November Girl
I am Anda, and the lake is my mother....
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Approximately Yours (North Pole, Minnesota)
Danny Garland is so out of Holly’s league. And...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A Penny Lost
Penelope Grace, usually forgotten under the shadow of her...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Chasing Eveline
Sixteen-year-old Ivy Higgins is the only student at Carmel...
 
4.7
 
5.0 (2)
Good and Gone
When Lexi Green’s older brother, Charlie, starts plotting a...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Glow
When thrift-store aficionado Julie discovers a series of antique paintings...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Stolen Secrets
After an abrupt move across the country to San Francisco,...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Somebody's Baby
Ever since Sloan won a reality singing competition, her music...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
White Rabbit
Caleb Roehrig, author of Last Seen Leaving, delivers another spellbinding...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Temptation of Adam
Adam Hawthorne is fine. Yeah, his mother left, his...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Undiscovered Country
In the aftermath of her mother's death, Cat recklessly...
 
3.8
 
0.0 (0)
Frazzled: Ordinary Mishaps and Inevitable Catastrophes
Things are looking up for Abbie Wu: this year...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Apex (Hunter Series #3)
Being a member of the Elite Hunter Command imperils...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars
 
4.7
"Honestly, I loved everything about this book. It’s filled to the brim with facts and numbers about the universe we..."
Code It! Create It!: Ideas & Inspiration for Coding (Girls Who Code)
 
5.0
"Interested in coding but not sure what products or activities you could do with it? Look no further than this..."
Let's Investigate with Nate #2: The Solar System
 
5.0
"Felix, Rosa, Braden, and Wendy are investigating with Nate again and this time it's all about the solar system. They're..."
Busy on the Farm
 
5.0
"BUSY ON THE FARM teaches about the different tasks to maintain a farm. The first thing is how to make..."
The Ultimate Guide to Gardening (Craft It Yourself)
 
5.0
"Don’t let the name intimidate you—this guide is as extensive as it is accessible. The book features 111 pleasingly..."
Ranger Rick: I Wish I Was a Lion
 
4.5
"Ranger Rick: I Wish I Was A Lion was a fun, educational, and an interactive book that is perfect for..."
Ultimate Explorer Guide: Explore, Discover, and Create Your Own Adventures with Real National Geographic Explorers as Your Guides!
 
5.0
"I’ve said it many times now, but I absolutely love National Geographic’s books for children. Each one is very different..."
I Am a Secret Service Agent: My Life Spent Protecting the President
 
4.0
" Emmett was a young, impressionable boy growing up in the South when President Kennedy was assassinated. The event made..."
Let's Investigate with Nate #1: The Water Cycle
 
5.0
"In LET'S INVESTIGATE WITH NATE, the doors of the Science Museum become a portal to another world, but only an..."
42 Is Not Just a Number: The Odyssey of Jackie Robinson, American Hero
 
3.5
"Jackie Robinson was an exceptional man, and in 42 Is Not Just a Number, Doreen Rappaport shows readers why he..."
Gobi: A Little Dog with a Big Heart
 
2.7
"I don’t think I’ve ever read a dog story without either crying or grinning through it. GOBI: A LITTLE DOG..."
100 Things to Be When You Grow Up
 
5.0
"This is one of the many “100 things” books I’ve read by National Geographic, and like with all the rest,..."
Laugh-Out-Loud Awesome Jokes for Kids (Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids) Paperback
 
3.7
"This book includes a number of Knock Knock jokes as well as a large number of one liners such as..."
KLUTZ Circuit Clay Science Kit
 
5.0
"Hours of step-by-step projects--endless sculpting and light-up possibilities. This electrical sculpture kit contains four colors of conducting clay (purple,..."
My Clay Critters
 
5.0
"More fun than barrel of sea-monkeys! With six air-dry colors, a carving tool, 49 insert pieces, and an Idea..."
The Klutz Book of Knots
 
4.0
"This fun guidebook comes with everything you need to practice knot tying. The easy to follow illustrations will have young..."
Make your Own Soap
 
4.7
"Of all the Klutz activity kits, of which there are many, this one is probably one of the more active—and..."
A Kid's Guide To America's First Ladies
 
4.3
"How does a First Lady train for a job that has no job description—or even a salary? A job that..."
Isaac The Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal'd
 
4.0
"Isaac The Alchemist is a very quiet book. Much like Isaac the boy. There is something powerful and inspiring about..."
Under Water, Under Earth
 
5.0
"If you love the ocean and all of it’s mystery, you need Under Water, Under Earth on your bookshelf. This..."