Awaken #1 by Kate Kacvinsky : 1/5 stars.
The plot of Awaken intrigued me : set in a future where people live like hermits in their house, where all human interaction has been replaced by virtual interaction on the computer. The main character is a teenager whose father helped put this future in place by creating Digital Schools - virtual school, so that students don't have to leave the computer to study. She suddenly takes a leap of faith and decides to meet some dude she met on a chatroom, who just happened to be some leader of the revolution against computers.
I wanted to like this book, really. I read it in two days : it can't be that bad, then, right? But honestly I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
The main character is supposed to be this shy girl used to being a hermit, not used to human interaction and like three chapters after meeting her Love Interest, she becomes instantly this brave sarcastic smart-ass who can hack computers and isn't afraid of anything. The author explained this completely stupid change by repeating that "[her love interest] brought out the better side of herself" but I don't really found this logicial nor believable. She's just flat. It seems like she got into this big revolution against virtual life merely because she can feel tinkling on her arm when Love Interest touches her...
That's the thing too. The Love Interest is just too present in this book. It seemed to me that the dystopian part was some kind of secondary plotline, a pretext and that the love story (which wasn't even all that interesting, to make it worse) was the main event. I know YA dystopia is in right now, but come on.. She spends 3/4 of the book pining for Love Interest, then in ecstasy because she finds him and then in pure misery because he temporarily leaves. She could have spent that time thinking, say, about a way to save her society from endoctrinement? Nope!
Their love story is also boring. And Love Interest does this annoying thing that 90% YA Love Interests do, that "oh no honey you can't lift a finger and help you're way too precious for me" trope that is supposed to be romantic, but really is condescending and infuriating.
The book is still a quick read, it's nicely written, too but it feels like it's just surfing on this YA dystopian fashion and brings nothing new to the already overflowing table.