Author: Katie Kacvinsky
Published: 2011 by Houghton Mifflin
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.
"My mom gave me an old leather-bound journal for my seventeenth birthday."
When I read the synopsis of this book, I knew I had to read it. A dystopian story where the problem is over-using technology? So plausible. So scary.
The rise in crime such as school shootings, bombings, and just other not-so-lovely happenings, instilled complete fear of all humanity in most people. Thus, everything went online, where you couldn’t get shot, beat up, or pushed around by people. Most people never leave their houses, because there’s nothing outside that isn’t on their computer. This is story of Maddie. Her father is the man behind the main online school for all students. Maddie was a bit of rebel when she was younger, and so now a group of teens who want to escape the ever-present shadow of electronics, track her down to see if she can help them get codes out of her dad’s computer. It’s through this that her life finally begins, and she meets Justin.
In short, this book made me want to burn all computers and return to a world of no technology. Just everything they created to do online really made me mad….I mean, going for a walk in the mountains….ONLINE! While technology is great for medical and efficiency reasons, this complete fear of other humans caused everyone to hide behind their technology. So now I’m totally freaked out of a world like this happening. It’s so completely possible. School shootings/bombings? Check. Incredible improvements in technology? Check. Use of technology for things that should be done in the real world with real people? Check. Yeah I’m quite unnerved.
As for characters, I loved Justin and Maddie’s relationship. They were so cute and perfect together! Also, Clare was an amazing friend and quite the developed character. I also feel like there’s a lot of potential for an awesome character with Maddie’s brother Joe. Which brings me to my next point. I just found out she’s writing a sequel called Middle Ground.
Now I’m really excited!! I wasn’t sure if there was going to be a sequel or not.
Content Warning: Implied sex/making out. Language, probably.