By Sierra Zaccagnino Pennsylvania Issue 22 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
Awaken By Katie Kacvinsky Genres: Fiction- Resistance to Government; Science Fiction
Summary: Awaken follows Maddie, a teenage girl living in 2060 where the world revolves around digital life and insane technology that can do almost anything the mind can think of. Her father happens to be the founder of digital school, which means that a high-tech lifestyle has been the only way Maddie knows how to live her life. However, when she meets Justin, someone who believes in intimacy and real-life relationships, her whole world starts to turn upside down, leaving her with big decisions to make.
Personal Review: Even though this book was written in 2012, I think that it truly hits the mark on how technology has and could continue to affect society in the future. While it is interesting to see Kacvinsky’s take on the seemingly limitless powers of technology in the future, this book makes you think about how far digital life can invade reality and destroy the connections that people have with each other and the real world, which is something that I believe a lot of readers can delve into easily with this story.
All The Bright Places By Jennifer Niven Genres: Fiction- Friendship, Emotional Problems
Summary: In All the Bright Places, the story of two afflicted teens, Violet Markey and Theodore Finch, intertwine in an unforgettable, life-changing way. Once the two of them start to connect and help each other live their own lives for once, they create a bond that is strong between the two of them, but delicate to the world around them that seems to be closing in at times. Can the two of them save each other, or are they too far lost?
Personal Review: This book surpassed all my expectations and I have truly never encountered a book like this before. I found that the alternating passages of both Violet and Finch’s perspectives intensified the dramatic aspect of the story and allowed the reader to see into the different working of each of the characters’ minds in a unique way. This book will make you laugh at sometimes, and cry at others (which honestly varies between both happy and sad tears). I would recommend this book to any interested in going on an emotional rollercoaster, which I promise is more appealing than it may sound!
Girls With Sharp Sticks By Suzanne Young Genres: Fiction- Private Schools; Science Fiction
Summary: Situated primarily in an exclusive all-girls private school, the novel Girls With Sharp Sticks tells a tale of girls who are taught to be obedient, respectful, and overall perfect for prospective men after graduation. But as skepticism and defiance start to spread, many of the girls start to doubt their controlled education and wonder what their Guardians are keeping from them. Finding out the truth may require breaking a nail.
Personal Review: I was originally interested in reading this book because I was an immense fan of Suzanne Young’s best-selling series, The Program, which I finished in record-breaking time because I was completely hooked on the plot with so many twist and turns. Fortunately, once I started making my way through Girls With Sharp Sticks, I was not disappointed in the slightest. I could discern Young’s writing style fairly well, and her brilliant plot twists got me once again. If you are also a fan of the Program, there are some similar elements from that storyline in this novel, so I would recommend that you look at Young’s newest work. For any new readers of Young or anyone simply interested in science fiction, this book is a fantastic page-turner that will keep you on the edge of your seat with its perplexing mysteries, complex characters, and thought-provoking philosophical questions.
Sierra's reviews were published in Issue 22 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!