Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Me on Revived

Title: Revived
Author: Cat Patrick
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

When she was a little girl, Daisy was killed in a bus crash. Moments after, she was brought back to life. At that moment, she became one of the first test subjects in a covert government program that tests a drug called Revive. At fifteen, Daisy has been Revived five times. Each death means a new name for a new town. After moving across the country again, Daisy meets Audrey and Matt, siblings who become her first real friends. But when she begins to question some moral implications of the drug, when she begins to realize the agency's true goals, Daisy might have to escape from an experiment much larger and far more sinister than she ever imagined.

Revived is a unique mix of different genres and ideas. A little contemporary, a little sci-fi, a little thriller/mystery, a little experimentation, a little intrigue and suspicion, a little romance. In the end, it reads like a contemporary romance with a few twists and surprises, plus the secret government agency. Cat Patrick has crafted something so imaginative but also so emotional. At the heart, this book is about life and death, about living after death, about what happens after you've experienced both and what's left behind.

This book wasn't what I expected. I imagined it would be about Daisy, about her experiences with the drug, about her living and dying and living again. At the end, it felt more emotional. An exploration of life and death and what happens after death, of the emotional struggles and the loneliness, the despair, the hopelessness. The need to do something to prolong life when death is staring you in the face. Most importantly, if you have the strength to move on and look ahead, to look beyond death and stare straight into life.

Daisy. She's rather interesting, not overly emotional but rational, a little stubborn, more than a little inquisitive (but who can blame her). I like that the being Revived five times didn't necessarily detract anything from her character, except perhaps a stoic view on death. And my heart always goes out to the loner kids with few friends who suddenly gain friends in a new town because someone super friendly walks up to you. Audrey and Matt were perfect for Daisy.

There isn't as much tension as one would expect, but I'm not saying it's bad. It's very reminiscent of Patrick's first book Forgotten, mysterious with its own quirks and twists but not necessarily pulse-pounding. The tension is rather subtle, you only get hints and glimpses until Daisy starts to question a thing or two.

The drug Revive is the massive plot idea that drives the book and I found it so interesting. Sure, it's nothing new, but the world-building and crafting that Patrick had to do around it to make it believable was flawless. A secret government agency, operatives, procedures, annual physicals, passwords, super computers, safe houses. Everything felt real.

This book is rather honest. Perhaps not about a government group that uses a drug to bring dead children back to life (that we know of), but about teenagers and certain struggles. Moving and fitting in, finding friends, living to the fullest extent. Living after death. The subject of death is rather emotional, for some more than others, but its collision with life, when both occur at the same time, is a unique experience.

(I received a copy of this book from Hachette Book Group Canada.)

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I haven't heard of this one before, but it does sound really fascinating and I'm glad you liked it. The themes explored in this story does seem to be interesting and I think I'm going to check this one out.

    Following you!