Today I am hosting a review as well as a giveaway, so be sure to scroll down and enter for your chance to win awesome prizes.
Date: November 20, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Summary (from book jacket):
For four weeks Maddie has been living in Los Angeles, trying to be good. But no matter how hard she tries, something inside her won’t be sated. She can’t live a life of half-truths and false pretenses. So one night, she says how she really feels.
That’s all it takes. One night, one bad decision, and Maddie is thrown into the place she fears the most: a detention center where she’s forced to undergo secretive treatment meant to quell her rebellious streak. The powers that be call it rehabilitation. Maddie calls it torture.
Alone, Maddie will not survive. But if she can find something to hold on to—an image of Justin, their love—maybe she can fight. And if she’s really lucky, maybe she’ll even win.
When I read Awaken last summer, I was in love with a world that is not unlike our own right now. The only difference is that society has not completely fled behind screens—but we are choosing self-isolation.
In this sequel Kacvinsky really brings it full circle. Readers will follow Maddie in her turmoil as she experiences what is really happening in the detention center, and how she fights for her survival. After all, no one who goes in comes out the same.
The one element of the novel I loved was the deeper evolution of Maddie’s character. In the first novel I felt as if she was not as developed as she could be, and I convinced myself that the author was holding back for a purpose—that purpose is revealed in this novel. In Awaken we are given a snapshot into Maddie’s home life, school life, and social life (or lack thereof). In this sequel we see her true transformation from a teen behind a screen to a teen fighting to stay a part of life and all it encompasses.
What struck me most about this novel is the pacing. The pacing for this one was a lot faster than the previous. In Awaken it took many chapters to finally get my heart beating and pages begging to be turned. For Middle Ground, it took no time at all. I wanted to know what would happen next in that detention center, but mostly I was craving Justin. His absence in this sequel was felt by me because as a reader, I am convinced that if Justin is on the page with Maddie, all will be well with her. His absence made me question it—much like Maddie—and made me see her true independence, the fact that she could and would survive on her own. But why should she when she has Justin? Because that is life—sometimes going it alone is the better option.
I will say this about the detention center: WOW! I mean really, truly, WOW! I was not prepared for all Maddie experienced. Many times during the novel I felt as if I was there with Maddie, trying to fight through the therapy, the nightmares, the depression. And that is all I am going to say about the detention center, because I am afraid I will ruin important plot points.
This sequel has it all: romantic love, true friendship, absentee parents, tattle-tale brothers, detention centers...does it need anything more?
As far as sequels go, this one really worked. I will say this: re-read the final two chapters of Awaken before picking up Middle Ground just to refresh your memory of where Kacvinsky left us.
And now it is time for a giveaway—and who doesn’t love a good giveaway?a Rafflecopter giveaway
All giveaway entries across the blog tour will be entered to win a grand prize: One (1) signed copy of Middle Ground and Maddie's Journal (US only). Seriously guys, this is awesome. I will contain my jealousy - GOOD LUCK TO ALL!
FYI: This is a continuation of the giveaway from the Oct. 19th post.