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Book Review: 'Revived' full of teen angst

12:13 AM, Jun. 14, 2013  |  Comments
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Daisy is dying from a bee sting. She feels her body shutting down in slow motion, her throat closing; she also hears the commotion around her. As she is fading into the darkness, she wonders whether "they" will make it on time. Daisy has been "revived" in four different instances, and this would be her fifth time if only her guardians can beat the clock.

Daisy is an alias, or a least her latest one. She is an experiment. She originally "died" when she was 4 years old and in a bus crash. Twenty-one other children also died in that crash; all but four were revived.

Revive is a secret government "God project" using specialized pharmaceuticals to resuscitate humans. When the bus crash occurred 11 years ago, it was the perfect opportunity for the government to intervene and attempt this grand experiment. All the students who were lucky enough to be reanimated were relocated, along with their families, for security reasons.

Daisy's situation was different. She already was an orphan, so the Revive program provided guardians for her: scientists who would act as her parents but continue to track, observe and experiment with the test subjects (including Daisy) who were part of "the project."

Daisy is frustrated with trying to fit in, make new friends and lead a normal teenage life with every relocation. Her latest move, from Michigan to Omaha, has been tough, until she meets Audrey and flirts with Matt. Audrey is one of the most popular girls at Daisy's new school, and she not only accepts Daisy, but she includes her in every aspect of her life. Another plus, the cute boy in Daisy's English class, Matt, ends up being Audrey's brother.

It is the first time in Daisy's short life that she wants to stay in one place, wants to have a best friend, a boyfriend and no secrets. The amount of top secret information Daisy is not allowed to reveal is immense, and secrets are becoming harder to keep as she grows closer to these siblings.

Daisy can't figure out why Audrey has accepted her so readily or why everyone seems so sad and uncomfortable around her new friend. Then she realizes Audrey is sick and has terminal cancer.

Daisy is in love with Matt, who would do anything for his sister, and she adores Audrey. She begins to think about throwing away her secure life and possibly destroying the Revive program by telling Audrey and Matt about the drug. Even though it isn't made to work on people who are dying, what is the worst thing that could possibly happen? The government wouldn't kill a 16-year-old for giving up a secret, or would it?

This is a wonderfully written cliffhanger and sci-fi thriller with teen angst, relationship issues and romance intertwined. One might have to suspend credulity due to some scenarios in this book, but author Cat Patrick pulls things together beautifully.

The adult supporting characters are interesting and for the most part believable, even if the situations are not. The villains offer a nice twist.

Teens who like a quick read with science fiction and romantic underpinnings will be drawn to this book. Pair "Revived" with another popular piece of young adult science fiction, "The Adoration of Jenna Foxx" by Mary E. Pearson.

Sue Engel is the library director at Horace Mann Middle School in Wausau.

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