Saturday, May 26, 2012

Week-End's Minis XVI: Revived by Cat Patrick

Hey everyone! How are you doing? It was great to have a 3-days week-end last week, but ugh, it derailed my blogging mojo! Not that it takes a lot, I know LOL. At least, the good news is my reading finally picked up! Yay! Now, I need to build up my read books pile a little, so I can offer you a choice for the WEM feature :P In the meantime, well it'll still be up to me :) And this week, my pick is Revived by Cat Patrick :) I know, I know, I've been reviewing a lot of YA lately... but what can I say, I got into a YA kick late April, beginning of May :P Hope you enjoy!

By the way, what are the good books you've read recently? :)

Revived by Cat Patrick
published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (Hachette) in May 2012
As a little girl, Daisy Appleby was killed in a school bus crash. Moments after the accident, she was brought back to life.

A secret government agency has developed a drug called Revive that can bring people back from the dead, and Daisy Appleby, a test subject, has been Revived five times in fifteen years. Daisy takes extraordinary risks, knowing that she can beat death, but each new death also means a new name, a new city, and a new life. When she meets Matt McKean, Daisy begins to question the moral implications of Revive, and as she discovers the agency’s true goals, she realizes she’s at the center of something much larger—and more sinister—than she ever imagined.
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi/contemporary
Series: None

What do you need to know? First, if you were going to skip this book because of the sci-fi element, don't, because while it is present, it is a very small part of the story. In fact, to be truthful, I felt Revived read more like a contemporary YA :)

Basically, Daisy is one of the 21 patients part of a long-term clinical trial for a drug, Revive, which essentially does what its name indicates. As long as the subject doesn't have cancer or a mortal injury such as a broken neck or something lodged in the head, the drug should be able to bring the person back to life. All the candidates for this clinical trial were in the same bus crash, which occurred about ten years ago, and were all re-located along their families and given new identities. Since Daisy was an orphan, she was placed under the custody of agents in the program.

In the subsequent years, Daisy has died four more times - the latest from an allergic reaction to a bee stung. Each time, she and her guardians were re-located and this time around, they end up in Omaha, Nebraska as the Wests. Daisy is looking forward to this fresh start. She realized that as Daisy Appleby, she had isolated herself, not daring to make friend. As Daisy West, she doesn't intend to make the same mistake... and when she meets Audrey McKean on her first day of school, she doesn't let the opportunity pass. Very quickly, Daisy becomes best friend with Audrey and develops a crush on Audrey's older brother, Matt.

Everything is perfect... but it doesn't last very long. Soon, Daisy notices some strange behaviors from Audrey and it doesn't take long till she learns that Audrey is sick - very sick - and doesn't have long to live. For the first time in her life, Daisy realizes how final death is... At the same time, Daisy is starting to get suspicious about the Revive project when she runs into an acquaintance from her previous life and this acquaintance suddenly disappears... and a new case is introduced into the project.

Why this book? I really enjoyed Ms Patrick's debut novel Forgotten (although I have yet to review it ^_^;;). I like her blend of contemporary/sci-fi YA and that's why I picked up Revived :)

What I liked? In Revived, I still enjoyed Ms Patrick's writing very much. Her style is very enjoyable and easy to read, she has a nice voice and I think she blends contemporary and sci-fi very well :) And because there is some sci-fi element in her books, the story is kept away from the high school drama which seems to have become a requirement for my contemporary YA books LOL.

What I liked best in Revived was the contrast between Daisy who have died 5 times without real consequences and therefore, doesn't see death as threatening, and Audrey who will die. It made Daisy really think about the finality of death and I think she will see it differently.

Aside from that, I liked the characters in this book: Daisy, Audrey, Matt and Daisy's father figure, Mason. I also liked her friendship with another candidate, Megan. I liked the "normalcy" of Daisy's life despite being part of such a project. I also enjoyed Daisy's friendship with Audrey and the romance with Matt was sweet. And the ending worked for me :)

Any issues? I enjoyed the contemporary part of Revived, but I didn't think it was enough to make this book really stands out. Technically, that fell onto the sci-fi part of the book, but it wasn't developed enough to meet the expectations. The concept was actually quite interesting and had a lot of potential, but Ms Patrick failed to exploit it. First of all, it should have been more integrated to the story in my opinion. As it is, I felt the contemporary and sci-fi aspects of the book were very separate. In fact, it felt like Daisy had two separate lives: one involving everything about Revive and the other with Audrey and Matt. I think this stemmed from the fact Daisy knew so much about the project, that she was involved. The way Mason raised her, he was very honest and didn't withhold information. As such, Daisy even had access to the project files! In a sense, that's pretty cool for Daisy. However, I think if Revive and the whole project had been more mysterious, it would have worked better for the readers.

Also, everything seemed to be so easy in this book. The way Daisy opened up to Matt and revealed the secrets about Revive. I know she fell in love with him and I know that Matt is trustworthy, but to see her open up so easily... It was just weird. You'd imagine such a project would be more secretive. Also, how she discovered about the new case and uncovered the truth. All she really did was connect the dots, but those dots were in neon colors. This should have been the thrilling, the exciting part of the book, but it failed because it was so straightforward.

The last thing that bothered me about Revived was the villain's pseudo-obsession with Daisy. Why was she a target? Was it because she died so many times and therefore attracted attention? Was it really because she was an orphan? That part still puzzles me.

My Grade? C. I did enjoy Revived, especially the contemporary part of the book. However, truth be told, Revived wasn't as good as Forgotten and it is mainly due to the sci-fi aspect feeling incomplete :( It's unfortunate because I had high expectations for Revived and really wanted to love this book. Still, I'll be picking up Ms Patrick's next book because I did enjoy her writing and I hope she'll continue this style of YA :)