Thursday, January 23, 2014

{Review} When We Wake By: Karen Healey

Title: When We Wake
Author: Karen Healey
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Shelves: Young Adult, Dystopia, Science Fiction
Recommended for Fans Of: Amy Tintera, Beth Revis

Synopsis: On the last day of her first lifetime, Tegan was like any other girl. Happy, in love, and content. And then the her world shatters. And she wakes up 100 years later to find a whole new world. On that day, Tegan died, and her body was donated to science. Now she must assimilate into "modern society" and figure out the right from the wrong- even with all the lies people are telling her, and the truths her heart refuses to believe.

Review: Photo creds to me hehehe. Anyways, When We Wake was really weird. As in, BLURRED LINES weird.

Characters: I feel like Tegan's character was just really confusing. When We Wake had a lot of LGBT backgrounds, and I wasn't sure if Tegan actually fit into this "category." Basically, I wondered if she was straight. Not only did she say "I love you" to Maria, who was more of a friendly figure than a maternal figure, but she also was questioned heavily but her lesbian friend, Bethari. I wish Karen Healey could have made it more clear whether or not Tegan was bisexual, just so the reader has an idea when writing the review. And when she reads the romance scenes between Tegan and a guy and becomes extremely confused.

Storyline/Plot: Not original. Sorry. People have been donating their bodies to science since before I was born, and although When We Wake is set in the future, there's really no difference. Like most dystopian novels, it failed to impress me. And like many other dystopian novels, it also failed to keep my interest and attention. One thing I have to say is that I started off liking this book, and it did have a huge potential at the beginning. And then at the very end, I closed When We Wake not liking it very much at all.

Writing: I felt like I was reading a dystopian version of a holy textbook. If Karen Healey was the ruler in year 2127, then this would be her Bible. I appreciate any stand against racism or other controversial subjects in YA literature, but not to the extent where it ruins a book. Just too many controversial topics makes me really uncomfortable. We have (1) racism, (2) science and society (3) science and ethics (4) LGBT and (5) religion. It wasn't really written well at all and just served to bother me. A lot.

Conclusion: Yet another dystopian that left me disappointed. So I won't say that I really recommend this book to anyone. Although I have seen people give When We Wake 5 star ratings, there were many other readers who seemed to agree with me.



  1. I was so impressed by the cover! But it doesn't sound like a book I'd like. Thanks for the honest review :)

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read my review! I think this is the time for "Don't Judge a Book By It's Cover!" That might have been what I did when I picked it up *eek*


  2. Sigh. Dystopians seem to be doing the same to me lately. I haven't read When We Wake. I have been on a bit of a dystopian strike, so this one was banned from me for a while. But even now, after the ban has been somewhat lifted, I am really not interested. Which is disappointing, because Guardian of the Dead by this author was a truly wonderful, and astonishingly unique and interesting, with incredibly vivid, well drawn out characters. She needs to write a sequel to that one! Anyway, back on topic, thank you for your review, and for giving me yet another reason not to give this one a try!

  3. That's really too bad. I hate hearing that books were bad enough to get a review like this. Thanks for the honesty! Don't think I'll be reading this one.

  4. I understand the concept of reincarnation but why donating her body? As far as i know people sign for giving their bodies to science before they die. Myabe the plot is based on the part where the heroine tried to understand her past.
    Although it seems that it will become a phychological story, i will keep my distance and see. XD

  5. Certain dystopia/science fiction books lose my interest really fast if they aren't interesting enough, and it seems like this one wouldn't be a good fit for me. Those controversial topics that you mentioned are all in this same book would make me pretty uncomfortable too. Great review, Jayne. :)