Publishing Date: May 23rd, 2011
Pages: 352 pgs
Rating: 4.5 stars
Summary from GoodReads:
Maddie lives in a world where everything is done on the computer. Whether it’s to go to school or on a date, people don’t venture out of their home. There’s really no need. For the most part, Maddie’s okay with the solitary, digital life—until she meets Justin. Justin likes being with people. He enjoys the physical closeness of face-to-face interactions. People aren’t meant to be alone, he tells her.
Suddenly, Maddie feels something awakening inside her—a feeling that maybe there is a different, better way to live. But with society and her parents telling her otherwise, Maddie is going to have to learn to stand up for herself if she wants to change the path her life is taking.
In this not-so-brave new world, two young people struggle to carve out their own space.
This is a book set in the future and is set in a society where everything is done electronically. Students go to school online, go on dates via webcam and simulations and no one goes outside anymore. When people are in the outside world they are so preoccupied with being plugged in that they miss the beauty around them. That being said, most of the beauty around them is also simulated; they have fake trees and fake grass and as a result they have little wildlife. I have seen this theme on television but I haven't read any books that deal with the electronic revolution. While reading this book I thought that it really doesn't seem far off. How long can I go without going online, checking my phone, using my Ipod? I wouldn't lose my mind if I had to go without these things but it's not often that I decide to be unplugged. I'm sure this is true with many people my age. It's scary to read this book and to think of where the world could go. That being said, I find it highly unlikely that people would allow their lives to get to that point. I mean it's wonderful to talk to people via Skype but it can't beat hanging out in real life. My favourite thing in the world is to get outside in the summer and read my book. I couldn't imagine living indoors all the time. I know that when I do stay indoors too long my brain becomes mush and I become highly unmotivated to do anything. Anyhow, back to the book. Kacvinsky is an incredible story-teller. I couldn't put this book down. I felt personally invested in Maddie's life and I wanted to know what was going to happen with her. At one point in the book she is out with Justin doing things she shouldn't be doing and I just kept thinking, this is going to come back to bite her in the butt. I wanted to yell at her to think about her actions but at the same time I wanted her to get out and experience the world as it once was. Maddie is conflicted between her family and her increasing views that things just aren't right in the world. She wants to get out and experience more than the surface static that has become her life but she is constantly thinking of how her actions will affect her family. I also really liked Maddie's mother who in her own way encourages Maddie to live her life. I definitley recommend this book, I couldn't put it down and I read it in one day. I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5.