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Author Interview: Katie Kacvinsky & Giveaway

Katie Kacvinsky


  • Awaken
Website | Buy the Book

Maddie lives in a world where everything is done on the computer. Whether it’s to go to school or on a date, people don’t venture out of their home. There’s really no need. For the most part, Maddie’s okay with the solitary, digital life—until she meets Justin. Justin likes being with people. He enjoys the physical closeness of face-to-face interactions. People aren’t meant to be alone, he tells her.

Suddenly, Maddie feels something awakening inside her—a feeling that maybe there is a different, better way to live. But with society and her parents telling her otherwise, Maddie is going to have to learn to stand up for herself if she wants to change the path her life is taking.

In this not-so-brave new world, two young people struggle to carve out their own space.

Describe Awaken in three words.

Futuristic romantic dystopia.

Are you hoping that readers will take away any specific message from reading Awaken?

I hope it encourages readers to think about their own relationships with people, the environment, and technology. I hope it makes people consider both the benefits and drawbacks of being connected all the time. If my book makes people think, then I’m happy.

I loved the characters in this novel! Were you anything like Maddie when you were a teen?

I was on the rebellious side as a teen, so I can definitely relate to Maddie. If someone imposed rules or boundaries on me, I usually broke them. While Maddie is technologically isolated in the book, I also felt isolated in high school. I drifted around between clicks of friends and felt like an outsider. It wasn’t until I learned to stop caring what people thought that I finally started to have fun.

Will we be seeing more of Maddie and Justin?

I hope so! I wrote the sequel to Awaken and I’m crossing my fingers it gets picked up. The sequel is a darker story. In my opinion, a character needs to hit rock bottom before they’re finally motivated to turn events around in their lives. You could say the sequel shows how Madeline hits rock bottom (and it reveals a big piece of Justin’s past). My agent calls it intense; I think that’s a good word to describe it.

Are you working on anything now? Can you tell us a little bit about it?

I’m working on some edits for my next book, scheduled to come out in spring, 2012. It’s called First Comes Love and I’m ridiculously proud of this book. It’s a young adult coming-of-age story that flips narratives between the male character (Gray) and the female (Dylan). It’s about love, death, life after high school, and how to juggle independence with staying loyal to friends and parents. More than anything, it’s about life and how to make the most of it.

What books are in your summer reading pile?

I’m in a book club and we’re reading Case Histories. I just bought Anna and the French Kiss (I definitely need some summer romance reading). Sarah Dessen’s latest book is a must and I want to pick up Okay for Now, by Gary D. Schmidt—based on the cover alone, it looks like my kind of book.

Official Contest information:
  • to enter, please fill out the form below
  • entrants must be 13 years of age or older
  • contest deadline is May 30, 2011
  • contest open to Everyone*
  • check out my Contest Policy/Privacy Policy
*Thanks Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing the prize. I'll be sending directly to the winner.

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Author Interview: Katie Kacvinsky & Giveaway + space