The first thing I noticed with Revived was that whoever wrote the jacket blurb didn’t do a very good job (a phenomenon I’m starting to notice more and more often). Patrick’s protagonist, Daisy, is neither reckless nor thrill-seeking. She doesn’t die on purpose, just because she knows her guardians will Revive her. It’s just that she seems to run into bad luck every now and then. With that in mind, I liked Daisy as a character more than I’d expected. Really, she was an average teenager who liked to read and blog. She moves to a new town, makes a friend and crushes on her brother, Matt.
I mean, obviously there’s some stuff with a special drug that raises the dead going on, too. That’s where I started to get a but confused as to Cat Patrick’s intentions with this novel. Did she want it to be a book about how Daisy saves her new friend’s life with the magical medicine? Or a romance-centric novel where Daisy and Matt work through issues of trust and honesty? Or was this supposed to be a YA thriller with a sci-fi twist, where Daisy fights to stop a sociopath from killing innocent people? Because all three of those storylines were present in Revived, but due to the limited page count of the book, it was difficult for the author to do it all justice.
That impression, of everything crammed into a box too small, ended up giving this novel a feeling of being rushed. And, honestly, it made things slightly hard to follow. Not in an “I’m confused, what’s going in?” sense, but more of a “Wait, why are we focusing so much on this one thing right now? What about XYZ?” type thing. Dealing with that kind of storyline is very much a balancing act, and I really feel like Patrick might need to go back to tightrope walking academy.
The whys and wherefores of the drug Revive, for instance, were really interesting. I really would have enjoyed it if the high school romance/friendship elements of the book had taken a backseat to the science fiction parts. The information the author provided on that front was fascination and well-presented. I think Revived could only have benefitted from more on that topic.
Cat Patrick’s prose was effective and appropriate for the books topic and audience, but nevertheless unremarkable. I’ve never been one to go for a simple, nondescript writing style. So while prose definitely wasn’t a detractor from Revived, I would have enjoyed this book more had Patrick’s style been more memorable.
In spite of what, I’m sure, seems like a lengthy list of this book’s failings, I did enjoy Revived. It wasn’t my favorite, and I don’t plan on raving about it, but it was decent and entertaining. I certainly thought this novel was worth my time.