Friday, February 26, 2010

Review: Wide Awake

Wide Awake

Title: Wide Awake
Author: David Levithan
ISBN/Publisher: 0-375-83466-4/Knopf (part of Random House)
Age Group/Genre: Young Adult

Wide Awake is set in the future (to the point where the teens don't know what 'getting jiggy with it' or 'who let the dogs out' mean. BTW that made me feel old...LOL). Anyways, a gay Jewish man is finally elected president of the United States of America. This makes the main character, Duncan, extremely excited not only because he worked on the campaign, but also because he is gay and Jewish.

But not all can stay in the happy, celebrating mode because the governor of Kansas (the decisive state) demands a recount (it reminded me of Florida). Now, Duncan and his campaigning buddies, including his boyfriend, rally out to Topeka, Kansas to support the maybe President Stein. On the way out to Kansas, his friends and him encounter relationship problems, despite the uniting of such a wonderful event.

If you read Levithan's, Boy Meets Boy you will want to read this one because this one is set in a such a different world than we have now. For one thing, Duncan and his friends shop at a "non-shopping mall." This means that instead of paying the store for the item, you make a donation to a charity of your choice. Aids is something that is in the past, but democracy is still going strong, but with a few changes.

I really enjoyed this novel because the writing was so wonderfully done and even inspirational. The speeches that are written are amazing...Mr. Levithan could totally have been a speech writer for a politician. There also some historical notes in this novel including the Boston Tea Party (which you need to read on pages 151-153. A little hint is that Duncan thought it started with...Betsy Ross's birthday party gone wrong) and Bleeding Kansas.

I'll recommend this book to mature young adults and adults because I'm sure there are some people that won't agree with Duncan's perspective. There are some radical ideas and some sexual scenes, but they totally fit into the characters relationships. However,a lot of other readers will find it thought provoking because there is lots to think about...where our society is headed and how individuals affect our society. And lots and lots on equality rights. The themes of prejudice, freedom, tolerance, and love are in this book and beautifully written.

A few favorite lines...
"There is no such thing as equality for some. Equality must be for all. That is what freedom is. That is what liberty is. No human being is born more or less important than any other. How can we allow ourselves to forget that? What simpler truth is there? page 14

There's a great speech about community on pages 26-27.

There's a great explanation about the electoral college and popular voting on page 54. (sorry it's a couple paragraphs).
Don't let them get to you. All they have is hate and in the end hate is worthless. They want for us to become hateful, too, and to forfeit His love in our anger. page 139

Only when you are challenged---and only when you challenge yourself---do you discover what truly matters. page 208

Another great speech on pages 217-218.

My Rating

(This book was bought at a store called FullyBooked)

***Now go and grab your fave cup of tea (or whatever beverage you prefer) and HAPPY readings***

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