Gr 8 Up—Tegan was just 16 when she died-well, sort of. After being shot at a protest in Sydney in 2027, she awakes in the future in a government facility where she's been preserved and frozen for 100 years. Being the first successfully revived human in Australia means that Tegan is an instant celebrity in a world that is much different from the one that she knows. As she struggles to build a life for herself with some sense of normalcy, she learns that not all citizens are excited about the scientific advancement that brought her back to life, and that the government that saved her might not have the best intentions. When We Wake kicks off with a great premise that's an easy sell to teens in this age of dystopian fiction. Tegan is a relatable character placed in a future that, while advanced, is creepily easy to envision. The story drags a bit in the middle, leaving time for readers to figure out some "secrets" before the main character does. Overall, this is a solid addition to the books that engross teens and have them wondering what's to stop this future from becoming our own.—Emily Chornomaz, Camden County Library System, NJ
Awakening from cryogenic stasis 100 years after being accidentally shot by a sniper, 16-year-old Tegan Oglietti must adjust to a new life in 22nd-century Australia. The big question, both for readers and for Tegan: why has she been revived? The answer, which is gradually revealed through Tegan’s confessional-style narration, demonstrates that, despite technological and other advances, human greed, corruption, and self-interest persist across the centuries. Healey (The Shattering) constructs a very persuasive future world, whose technology, slang, hyperconnectivity, and climatic peril are smartly extrapolated from contemporary society (meat consumption is heavily taxed, drugs are regulated and safe, and Australia has a strict “No Migrant” policy in place). The diversity of the cast is authentic and natural, from the lesbian and transgendered friends Tegan makes to her love interest, a brusque Somali classmate with secrets of his own. Healey doesn’t make her points about social justice and activism through big, flashy moments; the story’s injustices unfold in a way that’s stark and unvarnished, and Tegan’s determination to right the wrongs she finds will hit home with readers. Ages 12–up. Agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. (Mar.)
* "Science fiction done right."Kirkus, starred review"
Healey constructs a very persuasive future world...The story's injustices unfold in a way that's stark and unvarnished, and Tegan's determination to right the wrongs she finds will hit home with readers."Publishers Weekly
One moment, Tegan is happily in love and off to save the world, but in the next, she finds she was killed at a political rally and was cryogenically frozen, only to be revived one hundred years later as part of a government project. Separated from everything she knew, Tegan just wants to find some normalcy, but instead she is stuck in the middle of a political and religious controversy over the regeneration of humans. Finding that her two new friends and a new love are the only ones she can trust ,Tegan must unravel the secrets behind the program that brought her back to life. Healey starts her novel with an intriguing premise and a spunky character, but the remainder fails to reach the full potential the beginning implies. Without a doubt, the credibility of the setting is essential to success in science fiction, and sadly, this is where this novel fails. With very little other than repeated references to changes in slang, the novel's elements and details neglect to create the right atmosphere to make the world truly believable. In addition, the secret conspiracy that drives the plot is vague, making the setting even more lackluster and the overall conflict uninteresting. With an emotional arch that takes Tegan from confused to accepting and indifferent to in love in moments, this book might fail from a literary view, but it is still certain to appeal to genre fans looking for a new dystopian premise. Reviewer: Rachel Wadham
In a fast-moving and carefully built science-fiction story, Tegan Oglietti attends a climate change rally in 2027 and wakes up in a hospital just over 100 years later. Soon after waking, Tegan learns that a sniper shot her at the rally, and her body was frozen using an experimental technique. Tegan is the first person to be awoken from a frozen state and is, as she discovers when she tries to flee the hospital, the subject of much journalistic curiosity. Although her government handlers try to keep her out of the public eye, she is allowed to live with one of her doctors as well as to attend school. There, she meets a cast of well-drawn characters, including Bethari, a savvy aspiring journalist; Joph, a chemistry genius who creates legal drugs; and Abdi, a singer from Djibouti in Australia on a rare visa. As Tegan's handlers become increasingly sinister, the teens begin investigating the project that brought Tegan back. The worldbuilding is thorough and expressed easily without ever lapsing into tiresome exposition. Tegan's friends are a fully realized multiracial and substantially LGBT cast, and even Tegan's whiteness is reflected upon thoughtfully. The ending is complete enough to provide some closure, but readers may hope to learn more about this world and its characters in a second volume. Accessible, thoughtful and compelling--science fiction done right. (Science fiction. 12 & up)