Katie Kacvinsky- AwakenTwo things that attract me in a book are the cover and the title. As for this one, it’s more of the book cover. Do you notice how the flowers cling to life inside the jar? As I started to read Awaken, realization dawned on me as to why the author chose such book cover. It basically represents the context of the whole story.

You can’t just contain plants and expect them to live and bloom. This is exactly what’s happening in Awaken.  Maddie, the protagonist, lives in a lifetime where computer and technology are at its clout. An era where everything you do from dusk ‘til dawn is made possible through technology. Even the way you live your life as a human being is decided in just a click of the mouse. There’s no place like home in Maddie’s time and I meant that literally. People live their lives at home. They shop, watch movies, eat at a bistro, and walk on the beach, even party online.  People exist as an avatar. A mere picture. Anything you want to be—and everything you’re not. Maddie, however, yearned for something different and tried to see that there is more to life than living in a digital world.

I think what’s noteworthy about this book is the fact that we could see our very own lives jump off the pages as we read. At some point I had to ask myself, ‘Isn’t this what we’re turning into?’ We now live in a world like our lives are anchored in technology. Some are good, some are bad. The ‘digital world’ that mankind has created has connected millions of people around the world but has gradually thinned the string of human connection. To think of a time where people became less human is almost scary. God forbid.

Click here for the book summary and more reviews.

Here are few of my favorite quotes:

  • “You need to be content with small steps. That’s all life is. Small steps that you take every day so when you look back down the road it all adds up and you know you covered some distance. It took me a long time to accept that, but it’s true. You need to have patience.”
  • “Life should be a risk. It’s more than a straight line that you can see clearly from one point to the other. It dips and curves and you never know what’s around the bend sometimes until you get there. That scares a lot of people. But that’s the beauty of it.” 
  • “I was starting to think, maybe you need to feel your way more through life—just turn off the lights and follow your senses, even if you stumble once in a while. Maybe that’s what falling in love is like. Just feeling your way through the darkness until you find something solid to hold on to.” 
  •  “You can’t stop people from being human. We’re creative, we’re social. People are like water. If you try to contain them, they find a way to break free.” 
  • “But I’m learning it’s human nature to want the things you can’t have. What changes is how you go about pursuing the things you want. When you’re a little kid and you’re told no, you scream and throw a temper tantrum. When you’re a teenager and your parents tell you no, you’re old enough to internalize your temper tantrum. But you’re smarter and you’re sneakier this time around. So you nod and act like you care when they say no, when they tell you who you can be friends with, when they say the know what’s best. But then you go behind their backs to do it anyway. Because at some point, you need to start calling the shots. At some point, you need to start believing you know what’s best. Or, I thought with a smile, you just stop asking for their permission in the first place.” 
  •  “You know, there are so many things you can’t control in life, like what happens to you or how people are going to react to what you do. It’s wasted energy to worry about it. But you can control how you react. That’s the trick.” 
  •  “You don’t have to choose sides,” he said. “Make up your own mind and believe that.” 

Done and dusted, mariawenttotown15