Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Book Review: Those That Wake by Jesse Karp

Title: Those That Wake
Author: Jesse Karp
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
E-ARC (via Netgalley), 329 pages
Date Published: March 21, 2011
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
New York City’s spirit has been crushed. People walk the streets with their heads down, withdrawing from one another and into the cold comfort of technology. Teenagers Mal and Laura have grown up in this reality. They’ve never met. Seemingly, they never will.

But on the same day Mal learns his brother has disappeared, Laura discovers her parents have forgotten her. Both begin a search for their families that leads them to the same truth: someone or something has wiped the teens from the memories of every person they have ever known. Thrown together, Mal and Laura must find common ground as they attempt to reclaim their pasts.
Those That Wake is one of those books that really makes you think. The book is labeled dystopian, but I’d say it’s much more sci-fi. Normally, I’d say I don’t do sci-fi, but I really enjoyed how Jesse Karp created this story based on society’s disconnect from human nature and our growing dependency on technology. That, coupled with this crazy, ‘I can’t believe this is actually what this book is about,’ twist, make Those That Wake such a thrilling story.

The post-terrorist attack New York isn’t so different from our actual NYC and that makes it just a little bit scary. People walk around with their hands and eyes glued to their cell phones, trapped in the world of technology and interacting with people less and less. The four main characters of the story, Remak, Mike, Laura, and Mal, see that when no one else does. They’re left in this world where no one knows or remembers them, seemingly hopeless, but still fighting.
The world was slipping away from these people, all right, and something else was slipping in. They were forgetting to care. When they finally bothered to look up, there would be nothing to keep them going. They’d never even put up a fight, because they let desolation consume them bit by bit without even knowing it. ~ pg. 206
At times confusing, always thrilling, and definitely high concept, Those That Wake is a story to ponder. It’s split into four parts and starts off a bit slow, but once part 2 rolls around, the energy picks up. It’s almost necessary to read this one quickly, otherwise the reader will get lost. I found myself re-reading passages just to make sure I was clear about what was going on, but it’s worth it. The ending messes with your mind, switching realities, confusing the reader, but ultimately hopeful. That last word there is important…read the story and find out exactly why.

Those That Wake
is a fascinating, fast-paced, mind-blowing take on our collective thoughts and how much life is actually worth. It’s a thought-provoking story with intricate twists and tension-filled scenes. Fans of dystopia, sci-fi, and Inception-style stories should get a kick out of it. Jesse Karp has given the YA community something truly unique that stands out and should be noticed. Not only is it well-written, but very well executed as well. I’ll be on the lookout for his future work.

Opening line: Mal looked in the mirror and saw a road map of mistakes. ~ pg. 3

Favorite lines:

“You think that the world exists apart from your apathy, your inadvertent disdain for things, but it doesn’t. They are bound together. Your minds are far more powerful than you know. Your conception destroys things even as it creates them.” ~ pg. 285
And this one:
“Your life was worth everything.” ~ pg. 316
*This is the e-ARC version and lines, pages, cover art may differ from final copy
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Find Jesse Karp online:

Buy it online:


BrittLit said...

I haven't heard too much about this one, so I'm wicked glad you did a review. I think I will be buying this one soon. It's good to know that it's fast paced, because sometimes sci-fi/dystopians can be a little slow. Thanks!

Candace said...

I hadn't paid any attention to this one before. It's got my attention now! The part about feeling confused has me a bit nervous, but yet I think I know what you mean. I'll definitely have to remember to consider reading this.

lisa (the nerd) said...

thanks for your insightful (and spoiler free) review! i haven't heard of this one before, but i'm def interested now! it sounds like a scifi-dystopian hybrid i can get behind. :B

Wrighty said...

I'm not always a fan of sci fi either but I do like dystopian novels. I'll definitely give this one a try. Great review!

~The Book Pixie said...

This sounds really different but in a great, refreshing way. Will have to see about reading it sometime. :D


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