Monday, May 21, 2012

Book Review: Revived by Cat Patrick

Title: Revived
Author: Cat Patrick
Publisher: Little Brown & Company
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Rating: 3.5/5

Cover Impressions:
Wow, wow, wow.  This cover is gorgeous.  In fact, the reason I was excited about this book in the first place had a lot more to do with the cover than the synopsis.  The colors are striking and the image of the eye in the middle of the tear is stunning.  The font is reminiscent of Science Fiction and alludes to the medical nature of Revive.  I almost wish this was a series so that I could see more of this artwork!

The Gist:
Daisy has died 5 times.  She is part of an experimental trial for the drug Revive, which brings her, and others like her, back from the dead.  Each death means a new city, a new name and the chance to re-invent herself.  When Daisy finds friendship and a new love interest, she discovers that she doesn't want to lose this life and begins to unearth the deep, dark secrets of the Revive program.

The premise of this novel is really interesting.  It begs the reader to questions whether or not our own government might be conducting super secret experiments with drugs that might one day change our entire world.  And, of course, whether or not we trust our government to use this knowledge in our best interest.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that this did not go the way of a typical zombie novel though there were moments where I thought it was heading down that path.  The plot moves smoothly and has enough intrigue and action to keep me interested. 

Daisy is an interesting character.  She has little to no apprehension about death, except the unpleasantness of, you know, dying.  I loved her obsession with decorating her room and keeping up with her blog.  She feels like a typical teen.  Even her love interest seems like a genuine school-girl crush complete with flirty glances, butterfly inducing phone calls and sweet, endearing moments.  Daisy's friends Audrey and Megan seem fun, but could have been given a little more personality (I spent half of the novel waiting to meet this wonderful, trans-gendered character and then get a couple pages of typical teenage chatter instead of the wit and sarcasm I was hoping for).


Honestly, this book had be right up until the beginning of the end.  I dealt with the teenage drama and accepted the touch of teen angsty romance but there were a few things that bothered me.

1. Why have Daisy steal the revive for Audrey if it wasn't going to do anything?  This felt like filler to me.  I kept waiting for her to pop up out of the casket zombie-style and go searching for Jake Gyllenhaal's brains.
2. More Megan.  Why include a trans gendered character if you aren't going to let her shine?
3. I hate, hate, HATE when the (usually) heroine gets caught up in a dangerous situation, blacks out and then awakens to (usually) a man telling her how she was rescued and all her problems were solved while she was dead/unconscious/incapacitated.  Why couldn't Daisy have figured out God was in town and that Cassie was evil and kicked some super villain ass?

It really felt like this story could have been better presented as a series, perhaps with each book featuring a different kid from the bus crash.  It was a fun read but, in the end, there were too many unanswered questions for my liking. 

Teaching/Parental Notes:

13 and up
Gender: Female
Sex: Kissing
Violence: Death by bee stings, gunplay
Inappropriate Language: None
Substance Abuse: Underage Drinking


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