05 June 2012

Revived by Cat Patrick

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.

Revived was an interesting book for two reasons: (a) the concept was fascinating even though the writing and plot wasn't and (b) somehow I got two hundred pages in on the concept alone before I just couldn't take it anymore.  The main character, Daisy, was too generic, the writing weak, the romance lousy and preachy to boot.  I finally just gave up on it in sheer agitation and disappointment.

The idea -- the results of a government project designed to bring people back to life told through the eyes of one of the subjects -- was awesome.  The plot was awful.  Cliche to the point of madness, I knew what was going to happen chapters in advance.  There were, I think, maybe two places that took me by surprise, but I was so aloof of the characters that I didn't really care.

The main character, Daisy, had no depth whatsoever.  Her fears and cares were too generic; she completely lacked complexity.  There was very little dynamic between her and her "parents" (the agents assigned to her, Mason and Cassie).  The sub-characters were underdeveloped.  The only ones I liked turned out to be letdowns later on.

The romance between Daisy and Matt, aside from being entirely too predictable, was horrifyingly shallow.  Daisy acted too much like a "real girl," which felt off to me because she had never had a normal life.  She was constantly moving, changing identities: she had no fear of death, for goodness sake, since she could be brought back to life so easily.  I expected a different set of insecurities from her.  She was too spastic for her character to be believable.

I thought the writing to be very simple and straightforward at first, but after a hundred pages, long after I'd expected some depth to emerge, it just became weak.  Far too much telling.  Also, it felt as if Cat Patrick was merely skimming the surface of the characters, like she was writing for a show on ABC Family.  I could tell that there concepts were there, but she just wasn't delving into them.

This book really had the potential for a stunning, thought-provoking, and heart wrenching theme, but it read more like a rough draft than a polished finished copy.

Quotes
The makes Mason laugh for real, and I find it's impossible to keep a straight face.  His unfiltered happiness is a rare treat, like when comedians laugh themselves out of character while performing sketch comedy.  It doesn't happen all that often, but when it does, it's contagious. (p. 87)
Book Info:

  • pages - hardcover, 336
  • published - May 2012
  • publisher - Little, Brown Book for Young Readers
  • genre - sci-fi
  • received via - library :)
  • rating - 3/5