Monday, April 30, 2012

Revived by Cat Patrick

So, people always kind of laugh when I make a comment about spending my bookstore paychecks at my bookstore…But, I’m not kidding. I really have a book-buying problem. However, I do sometimes get really cool ARC’s for free, and this was one of them. Thank you Little, Brown And Company!
This was one of the books you almost can’t not read in one sitting. The idea is just too good. I almost can’t believe that no one’s ever thought of this. It’s about Daisy, a girl who died in a bus accident as a little kid. It’s not one of those YA books told from the point of view of the dead main character, or not really any way. Daisy was brought back to life after the accident with a top-secret drug called Revive. She, along with some other kids from the crash, have inadvertently become the drug’s test subjects.
And you soon learn that Daisy kind of has a problem with staying alive. She’s actually died five times, and each time she gets revived with the drug. Each time she dies, her “family” has to relocate and change last names. Her family is made up of two agents who do a lot of tests, science-type things in a basement lab (that I kept thinking would look like Dexter’s in the cartoon) and work ridiculously hard at keeping everything secret. There would be all kinds of detrimental consequences if news of Revive leaked to the public, before all the tests and things are finished.
When Daisy moves to Omaha, stuff changes. For starters, she actually makes friends. And she falls in love with Matt. She comes to think of her new town as her home, and works her hardest to stay alive and not have to move again. Though, that’s sort of actually rather hard for Daisy because her personality is very carefree. She does stupid things like leave behind her epiPen when she has a severe allergy to bee stings, or walk on really high surfaces, with no support. She knows she will always be taken care of.
And she begins to learn just how messed up that is when she finds out that her new best friend, Audrey, is dying from cancer. Revive doesn’t work on people with diseases. It only works at bringing back people who were otherwise healthy right before they die. It doesn’t help matters that Audrey is Matt’s sister. And the more time Daisy spends with them, and grows to love them, the guiltier she feels. Why is she allowed to come back, but not Audrey?
Eventually, Daisy learns something about Revive that changes everything. And soon, Daisy is not only desperate for a way to save her best friend, but also desperate for some answers about the drug her whole life has revolved around. There’s romance, secret codes, death, illness, mystery, and a lot of quick thinking.
I loved Daisy. I thought she was realistically carefree for someone who’d been brought back to life so many times. I loved her best friend from the crash, Megan. She and Megan work on a blog together, and I’m pretty sure some of the best parts of the book were in the conversations between them. I also loved the relationship Daisy had with the agents and the fake family/real family moments that happened. I loved all the religious metaphors and how the leader of the government organization was nicknamed God.
I was never too surprised in the storyline. I knew Audrey was sick almost immediately upon meeting her. It took Daisy a very long time to get that. Maybe I know how to pick up clues after reading John Green’s latest book, or maybe Daisy just never met anyone sick before.
I also kind of guessed all the things that happened with Revive and the government way before Daisy had her light bulb turning on realizations. And that’s okay. It can be hard to surprise me with YA books sometimes. The only thing that kind of bothered me about it was that I wish the twist moments happened a lot sooner. Actually, I think Daisy should have questioned something on page one. Maybe she wouldn’t have thought about it again till stuff with her new friends progressed more, but I feel like the major action and questions happened too late in the game. I loved the book, and read it super fast, but I can see how that might be a problem for younger readers who rightly expect books like this to start immediately with action or at least some kind of doubt or question.
I also keep thinking about how Daisy got mad at one character for not ever wanting to talk about the crash. But, then I never really got to hear about the crash either. It’s mentioned that death is painful and that Daisy doesn’t want to tell Matt how awful it is because that would make him even more worried about his sister. But still, one of the coolest things about this book is that Daisy is the ultimate survivor. She’s died several times. Why leave out details about the one thing that completely has her stand out from all other YA main characters? I wanted more info about the crash and what it felt like to die. Like where does she go when she dies? Does she feel time pass before the medicine kicks in?
I feel like there needs to be a sequel. I want more answers. I’d love to see/hear what the other kids of the crash are like. Have they all died more than once? And why did God seem so interested in Daisy specifically? What’s so unique about her? I give this one a 8/10. I thought it was such a good idea. And I loved all the characters. I would definitely read a sequel.

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