I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Still Point by Katie Kacvinsky
Narrator: Digital School
Series: Awaken #3
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on 2014-09-02
Genres: Action & Adventure, Computers, Dystopian, Family, Love & Romance, Parents, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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In the final installment to the trilogy begun with Awaken, Maddie returns home to make her final stand against Digital School, and uncovers deeply guarded secrets about her family an new truths about herself.
In the Awaken trilogy we see a near-future world that’s taken a good thing (technology) too far. Students spend all their time online, and even attend an all Digital School (DS). Teens have little face-to-face interaction anymore, and when friends get together they still have their heads down in their various devices. (Welcome to my life) Maddie is the daughter of the DS mastermind, and is a new recruit of the anti-technology brigade. These rebels fight for in-person schools and more human experiences (like going to an actual coffee house vs. having an online coffee date). Still Point is the series finale where we find out if Maddie’s cause is successful, and where her heart lies as well.
I like this kind of realistic dystopia – it makes me think about my own heavy reliance on technology and the pros and cons. If you have social anxiety like I do then things like email and texting are life changing, but I wouldn’t want to have a 100% digital world. I have a teenager who spends a lot of time online- and I’m glad that traditional classroom school is still available to provide that human interaction. In an ironic twist, Still Point is only available as an e-book- a constant reminder of our digital reliance while you read the text on the screen.
Still Point picks up where Middle Ground left off. Maddie’s back at home and trying to find some balance with her family, love life, and social causes. It’s hard to be in love with Justin, the poster boy of the rebellion. He is pretty creative with the romantic grand gestures but is not the most reliable of boyfriends, since he’s usually off saving the world and all that. Left to her own devices, Maddie uses her own connections to bring down DS, including Jax, an ally who first pops up in the short story Maddie’s Tattoo. With the vote for mandatory DS coming up, the stakes are higher than ever, and the action and reveals keep coming.
Since this is the last book in the series, Still Point is one big spoiler and I’m struggling not to spill all the surprises. Suffice it to say, the ending of Still Point is bittersweet. It’s not like Allegiant where I wanted to throw the book across the room, though I can’t say I got the exact ending I hoped for. At the same time, the ending is not out of left field and makes sense with the characters’ overall journey. In dystopian books you expect sacrifices, and I appreciate the bold choices Katie Kacvinsky made with this conclusion. Maddie matures a lot over the course of the series and I’m at peace with the way it all shook out. There were also some really cool twists in this book that I loved.
With Still Point the Awaken series is complete! You can buy Still Point today to read on your favorite digital device. I think this series will appeal to anyone who is thinking about the role technology plays in our lives, and to romantic dystopia fans. If you haven’t started reading this series yet, you can grab the first book, Awaken, for the bargain price of $1.99 for a limited time. And I recommend you read the short story Awaken prequel Maddie’s Tattoo ($0.99) first because it includes scenes referenced in Still Point. Keep reading for a quick Q&A with the author below.
Three Questions with Author Katie Kacvinsky:
Did you always have this ending in mind for the series or did it evolve as you were writing?
Ever since I started the Awaken series, I knew how it would end. But my characters have a way of throwing all of my ideas into the wind and setting off on their own journey. That is my favorite part of the writing process–getting into my characters shoes and letting them tell the story. So…STILL POINT ended in a way I never imagined. I grew up a lot while I was writing this series and a lot of my own life lessons seeped into the story.
What message would you like readers of the Awaken trilogy to walk away with?
I hope people think about technology and how it impacts their live and friendships. If it encourages people to get a little unplugged, then I’m ecstatic.
Are you writing anything now that we can look forward to?
I am currently working on a couple of projects. My next novel is geared towards the NA audience.