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WHEN WE WAKE by Karen Healey Kirkus Star

WHEN WE WAKE

By Karen Healey

Age Range: 12 - 18

Pub Date: March 5th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-316-20076-9
Publisher: Little, Brown

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)