August 16, 2014

Review: Still Point

It has been a while since I’ve blogged about anything—between teaching workshops for two weeks before school started to surviving back to school, I have been pooped.

But, I am back. And I am reviewing the final novel in one of my favorite YA dystopian series.

Title: ‘Still Point’
Author: Katie Kacvinsky
Pages: 345
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Available: September 2
Source: Netgalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

In the final installment to the trilogy begun with "Awaken, " Maddie returns home to make her final stand against Digital School, and uncovers deeply guarded secrets about her family an new truths about herself.

My Thoughts:

‘Awaken’ is one of my favorite dystopian novels for teens—it reflects a world they currently live in a hyperbolic way. It is one of the few dystopian novels I’ve read where I thought, “I can see this in twenty years.” So, I am a fan of Kacvinsky’s writing and world-building.

With the final installment of the series, I was a bit surprised. But in a good way.

Maddie returns home and agrees to abide by her father’s rules, as long as he is home.

But the world is crumbling around them, and Digital School is in danger of being toppled. Maddie’s father is in the center of it; after all, he is the founder of DS. This gives his character a reason to be absent, and a way for readers to see a relationship between Maddie and her mother.

This whole series has focused on the strain between Maddie and her dad—so it was refreshing to have mom step in instead. A lot of times I do not enjoy parents being involved in YA tales because they tend to get in the way of the storytelling. That is not the case in this novel. It offers a softness to the hard, technological world in which people are living.

While Maddie is living home and fighting DS in her own way, I must not forget the other half of her heart. Justin.

Oh Justin. He is heartbroken that Maddie left without saying goodbye, but she has his heart. He is a fighter, not just against DS but FOR Maddie.

That is about all I feel I can say without giving away any important plot points.

Kacvinsky brings her series full circle with a satisfying ending. She builds on Maddie’s character development, and it is refreshing to see Maddie grow on her own, on her own terms.

If you have read ‘Awaken’ and ‘Middle Ground,’ you have to read ‘Still Point.’ The final showdown against DS happens; but be warned: there are prices to pay when something greater is at stake.

There is no ‘Allegiant-style’ ending here—but I still needed a few tissues.

Do I recommend this book?

Absolutely! This is one of my favorite dystopian series—and I reference ‘Awaken’ a lot when I work with teachers and with students. This series is one of the dystopian series that will open a lot of discussion into a classroom because some students are already living a life very close to what is being portrayed.

Let’s talk about books—what’s your favorite dystopian novel/series?
Happy Reading!

-      The Hodgenator

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