Archive for Karen Healey

Just finished When We Wake

Posted in Books, Science fiction, Young adult with tags on February 5, 2013 by Cara Marie

I hadn’t thought Karen Healey’s latest was out till later this month, but I found it in Whitcoulls yesterday and pounced. I couldn’t read it last night on account of book club but I read it this evening. And I aren’t I glad now I flaked on going to the movies? Because it is extremely good.

As I finished it, my flatmate asked me if it was sad. ‘It’s a book about a girl who’s died and is brought back to life after a hundred years,’ I said. ‘What do you think?’ That scenario gives you the grief of someone who’s lost their whole world, their whole family, and thus also encompasses the grief of a parent who’s lost their child. You really cannot get a lot sadder.

Although possibly it was a little disingeneous of me to give that answer, because I was at the end, and at that point my tears were more just an expression of a lot of emotion than of any particular sadness. It’s not an especially sad book … except for the premise.

More than sadness, I am struck by the sincere sense of outrage, and of a desire for change. It is a book that wears its heart on its sleeve, you know? And that is not a bad thing.

Anyway, this isn’t a proper review, this is just me saying I really liked this book. (Also, that even though it is going to have a sequel, it is completely satisfying on its own, thank god.) Although I might have some thoughts later about how it does/does not fit into the dystopia model of YA fiction. (I don’t think it’s a dystopia – the world Tegan wakes up isn’t really any better or worse than our own. But the shape of the story is not dissimilar.)