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I Belong

Review: When We Wake by Karen Healey

Title: When We Wake

Author: Karen Healey

Genre: YA Science Fiction


Publication Date: March 5, 2013

FormatHardcover, 304 Pages

ISBN-10: 031620076X (LB Teen)

ISBN-13978-0316200769 (LB Teen)

Reviewed byBridget


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.

Quick & Dirty: Very interesting take on a Sci-Fi novel.  It was filled with good action, fun characters and a interesting plot.

Opening Sentence: My name is Tegan Oglietti.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review

Tegan Oglietti is 16 years old and she can’t be happier. She has an amazing best friend, a wonderful family and the boy she has been in love with for years finally asked her out. Then Tegan dies.  She wakes up and it is 100 years later. All of her family and friends have passed away and she is being given a second chance at life. When she was killed her body was donated to science and they used her for a new experiment they were working on. They were able to preserve her body and repair all the damage that had been done to it, and when she was ready they woke her up.

The year is now 2127 and everything has changed. She is in Australia and the world is worse off than it was before. The weather has turned so warm that there is a huge water shortage and there are very strict migration laws that make it so no one can come where they aren’t welcomed. Some countries have tried to upgrade to be more eco-friendly but it’s still not enough. With bringing Tegan back to life they are hoping to help soldiers killed in action, at least that is what they tell Tegan. She is automatically famous because she is the only person to have survived the experiment so far. She wants to try and live as normal life as possible, but she soon discovers that there is more to the experiment than she was told. She needs to find out the truth and survive long enough to tell the world.

I really enjoyed Tegan’s character. She is witty and cute. She loves the Beatles with a passion and is a pretty good musician. She misses her past life and all those in it, but she realizes that she can’t live in the past. She tries to make a difference in the world that she is in now, and she knows that those she has lost would be proud of her. She makes some great new friends and even falls for a new boy while on this wild adventure to find where she fits in this new life.

Abdi is one of the lucky people to get a visa to come to school in Australia. He will only be able to stay until he finishes school, then he will have to go back to his own country. He is treated poorly by many since most people don’t think he belongs there. Tegan meets him on her first day of school and accidentally confuses him with her boyfriend from before. He is very cold towards her at first but eventually they become friends. Of course Tegan can’t help but fall for Abdi, but right now with everything going on, a new relationship isn’t really ideal.

I really enjoyed this book. I thought that the idea was fresh and interesting. I really liked the characters and I thought that they were well developed. There were times when the writing confused me a little bit, but nothing too bad. I felt that the plot was pretty predictable, but I still enjoyed it.  The book flowed nicely and I was captivated pretty much from the beginning. The ending was left very open, but I felt that everything was tied up pretty nicely. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys YA Sci-fi. I think you would really enjoy it.

Notable Scene:

I don’t remember if it hurt.

There are questions I get asked a lot, in therapy, at school, and even at the compound, when the girls loosened up enough to talk to me. What do you remember? What did you see? How did it feel?

I’ll tell you the whole story. Even the embarrassing parts, even the bits where I behave like an enormous loser.

But I can’t tell you if there was any pain.

The truth is, it all stops with us pouring out of Parliament Station and up the steep steps, with Dalmar’s arm around my shoulders and Alex grinning at how cozy we were together. I was thinking of finding a quiet place to kiss Dalmar, and wondering whether Alex could be talked into letting me do some free-running practice before we broke into whatever abandoned hulk she wanted to explore. I was thinking about whether

Owen might bring me something back from Tasmania, and if Mum might be whipping up my favorite raspberry macarons, and if Dad would be proud of what I was doing today.

And then it all stops. The final memory of my first life is a freeze-frame of me leaning against Dalmar on the way up the steps.

FTC Advisory: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers/Hachette Book Group provided me with a copy of When We Wake. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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