Release Date: May 8, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Finished copy received from publisher
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.
Tell Me More: At the heart of every major scientific discovery is the existence and absence of life. Having power over creation and destruction is something that all human beings contemplate at least once in their lives, and Cat Patrick’s take on that ethical dilemma makes for an interesting piece of literature. However, I hold a few reservations about the execution.
Daisy’s name is the least of all the contradictions that make up this unique character–it conjures up images of a dainty, shy girl in the place of what she really is. The first 50 pages struck me as a little strange, and I quickly realized that the reason for it was a lack of detail about Daisy. She felt like a construct to me, a sketch of a character that hasn’t been inked in and coloured, up until the chapters where she starts to question the Revive program. She comes alive then, and her determination pushes the story along with a much faster pace. The urgency that I was looking for in such a high-tech story simply wasn’t present throughout the whole novel, and I think it could have been a much stronger story with it.
That said, Revived‘s plot is a lively piece of Patrick’s imagination come to life. It forces the reader to face its questions, and it won’t take no for an answer. For much of the novel, I was torn as to whether this would be a book that younger teens could handle, despite the facility of its language. It’s certainly a novel that needs to be read, but I would recommend that parents and teachers take the time to explain the ethical decisions Daisy makes. Patrick doesn’t shy away from giving Daisy a chance to think and reflect on the consequences of her actions and the actions of the entire Revive team. She poses questions that are difficult for both Daisy and the reader to consider, and she is fair to both.
The Final Say: I would give anything for more thought-provoking novels like Revive, and I think our society would be better off for it. Give Cat Patrick’s sophomore novel to your kids when it’s time to talk about life and death. You won’t regret it.
Cat Patrick is an author of books for teens. Her debut novel, FORGOTTEN (available now), is about a girl who can remember the future instead of the past, and was praised by NYT bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay Asher, as a “mindbending,” one-sitting read. The book is being translated into 21 languages and Paramount bought the movie rights, with True Grit’s Hailee Steinfeld attached to star as the main character, London Lane.Patrick lives near Seattle with her husband and twin 3-year-olds, and is afraid of zombies, planes, and zombies on planes.