Saturday, January 1, 2011

Review: Those That Wake by Jesse Karp

Those That Wake
by Jesse Karp
Publication Date: March 21, 2011
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers
Pages: 336
Source: Requested from Netgalley
Purchase Amazon / Indiebound

(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.

My Thoughts

After an event termed Big Black occurs in New York City, a sense of hopelessness and fear is overwhelms the people of the city. Subliminal messages on cells, television and other electronic devices that contributed to the despair of the city. Crime, murder and suicide is increasing at alarming rates and there doesn't appear to be any slowing down. Those That Wake by Jesse Karp takes a look at the disconnection between people perpetuated by the one thing that is supposed to keep them connected - Technology.

I must admit that I had a difficult time getting into this book at the beginning. Characters were introduced without any connection and I was instantly trying to figure out how everyone would know each other. I was trying too hard to figure out why everything was happening rather than surrendering to the novel and just letting it unfold. Finally after surrendering to the book, I was able to become absorbed in the story of Mal, Laura, Mike and Remak, whose lives had unknowingly been altered and left in a state of confusion.   

It is during the four strangers' quest to reconnect with the lives and find the people who matter to them, they learn that a powerful entity has been working to keep them separated. They find that it is their own tenaciousness, survival instincts and hope that has left them unaffected by the technological entity that has taken over almost everyone around them. 

Those That Wake did make me take a step back and think about how technology, while in its attempts to keep us interconnected, can separate us and prevent us from making real connections. And all I can say now is that my eyes are open. 

Those That Wake is the debut novel of Jesse Karp and has an expected publication date of March 21, 2011. 

Disclaimer: I requested this novel for review from NetGalley and this review is based on the Advance Reading Copy. I was not compensated in any way for providing the review other than the ARC provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

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