Monday, June 18, 2012

Review: Revived by Cat Patrick


RevivedPublication date: May 8th 2012.
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


As soon as I finished reading Revived, I rushed to GoodReads to check my friends’ ratings, and they were exactly what I expected them to be: eight out of ten gave this book three stars, just like I did. In my experience, there are two types of three-star ratings: the I-liked-this-but-didn’t-love-it three stars and the I-have-no-idea-how-to-rate-this three stars. Revived undoubtedly belongs to the former. It wasn’t bad by any standard, but it certainly wasn’t captivating either. I suppose describing a book as merely enjoyable isn’t much of a compliment when I so badly hoped to need the words like exciting, mind-blowing and spectacular.

Dying is very unpleasant. Fifteen-year-old Daisy McDaniel should know, she’s done it five times so far. Each time, she was brought back with an experimental drug called Revive. She was five when she died the first time, together with 20 other children, most of whom were also brought back from the dead. Now they’re all part of a secret experimental program and they’re living under different names all over America.
After getting stung by a bee and dying for the fifth time, Daisy must move to Omaha with two agents who are posing as her parents. She’s had a lot of practice moving around, but there’s one thing she’s never done: she’s never made friends; so it’s no small surprise when she strikes an immediate friendship with the school’s golden girl, Audrey. Audrey has an older brother, Matt, and he and Daisy soon realize that they like each other a lot. With Audrey on one side and Matt on the other, Daisy is happier than she’s ever been, but the Revive program is going through some changes and God, the mysterious scientist behind it, is not acting like himself at all.

The more I read, the more I realized how much wasted potential there is in Revived. In the right hands, this story could have torn me apart and then allowed me to put myself back together. In Cat Patrick’s hands, however, it ended up being mediocre: neither the writing nor the plot have any obvious flaws, but I just couldn’t help thinking how much more it could have been. I felt kind of sad when I should have been sobbing, I smiled inwardly when I should have been grinning like a lunatic, and the scenes that should have made me swoon left me lukewarm at best.

The relationship between Daisy and Matt was sudden, but it didn’t bother me as instalove usually does until she decided to reveal all her secrets to him after four days of being together. As soon as I relaxed and started enjoying the fact that neither of them was proclaiming eternal love, Daisy chose to endanger herself, the agents she was living with and dozens of other people in the program for some boy she’d only just met. No matter how many right decisions she’d made after that, I couldn’t forgive her for her recklessness and stupidity.

I think Cat Patrick could write better books, four and five-star books, if only she’d dare to further explore the emotional reactions of her characters. I have high hopes for her next project.



24 comments:

  1. I've been meaning to buy this book for some time now since I was really interested in the plot-line. After reading your review, I've decided to just borrow it from a library instead.
    It's so sad when books have so much potential that end up getting wasted. I'm not sure about how I would feel with the instant-love. Four days is too little time to reveal your secrets. :/
    I'll admit though that I'm still intrigued with the plot.
    Thanks for the beautiful and honest review, Maja ! :)

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  2. Your review reminds of how I felt over the last book I read: Girl Saves Boy. It too, dealt with death and the character's declining health due to cancer. It should've been a messy, emotional read but somehow, it wasn't. As much as I hate crying over fictional characters, there is an assumed emotional expectations for books like these.

    Great review, Maja. I have this book as well but I think I'll be putting if off for now.

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  3. I'm sorry to hear that this book isn't great :( I have a copy and it's coming up on my TBR list. I was really excited to read it so it's disappointing to hear that it's only mediocre.

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  4. EXACTLY and absolutely and you-are-so-completely-right -- you hit the target on this review, Maja! This was definitely an I-liked-this-but-didn't-love-it kind of book. It had a really cool premise and Cat Patrick is an awesome writer, but it didn't have enough emotional connection, even with the whole cancer thing. And how Daisy chose to tell Matt everything when they'd just met frustrated me too!

    Amazing honest review, Maja! I love it when we feel the same way about a book because it always makes me feel that I'll fall in love with all the other books you recommend too :) I'm hoping with you that Cat will read your review and put a little more emotion into her next book, because then I'm sure it will be amazing! ;) <3

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  5. I haven't read anything by Cat Patrick but I have been wanting to give this a try. 3 star books that are mediocre at best actually tend to bother me sometimes when I wish I had spent the time reading something completely worthwhile. Still, like you said, there is nothing wrong with enjoyable, and I'm glad you thought this was okay overall. :) Daisy sounds a little irritating to me but I do like the premise for this story. Lovely review, Maja!

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  6. Ugh! I have this coming up. I can't stand when characters make stupid decisions it infruriates me to no end. Sounds like the characters are a bit flat without depth and that sucks. The whole concept is really cool, though. I will be back to compare with you in a couple of weeks.

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  7. Nice review. I haven't read this one, but I think I'd totally agree with you. I love character books and it sounds like the ones in this book just aren't developed enough to really FEEL for them. Bummer it wasn't that great, but I'm glad you still enjoyed it somewhat.

    -Lauren

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  8. Great review!!! I haven't heard much about this one before but after reading your review I don't think it is one for me! Cat Patrick sounds like a great author but Daisy does not sound like an engaging character and I really don't like it when relationships develop so quickly it seems unrealistic! Thanks for the honest review :-)

    SeeitORreadit

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  9. Love the way you describe three-stars books, Maja - sometimes I do rate books three-stars because I have no idea how many stars I should give to it! x) This book sounds very interesting, so I'm very sad that it doesn't deliver the amazing premise! I can totally see what you mean - I'd be furious too if the heroine risks everything for a guy whom she just meet recently! xD

    Awesome review, Maja! Although you hope that this book could be something more, I'm glad that you fairly enjoy it! :)

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  10. There's nothing worse than a book that falls short not because of obvious holes of mistakes, but because it could have been so much more. Frankly, the premise here did sound amazing - dying five times? coming back, and not as a zombie either? I'd have bought into that! But knowing that it doesn't really make it, and with so many other great books waiting... I'm not sure if I'll read it.

    Thanks for the honest review! :) Missed you, btw

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  11. You know, from the first time I heard of this book, I thought it sounded interesting, but so far, I haven't had any burning desire to actually grab myself a copy and read it. Like you, a lot of my Goodreads friends have been kind of "meh" on the ratings as well. I think I'm going to pass for now. Thanks for sharing your thoughts though! :D

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  12. Tell me how you really feel, why don't ya?! LOL

    Just from reading a couple of reviews, I'd already decided this one wasn't for me, and your review further cements that. I just think I would have been frustrated with all the 'almost there but not really' emotions. Patrick really does seem to have great ideas, but they just don't seem to hit the mark.

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  13. I left a comment on Goodreads but thought I'd leave one here too because you rock! And well... this book didn't exactly >.< Her "stupidity" did you mean how she blabbed her secret after knowing the guy 5 seconds? Yeah.. smart this one! :D

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  14. I've read my reviews like yours where the end reaction of the book is "meh". I'm having a really hard time finding a good YA book to sink my teeth into. I just checked out "Unraveling" which I'm hoping is as good as everyone says it is. *Fingers crossed* Here's hoping your next read is better!

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  15. I'm glad you liked this, although I'm sad it didn't wow you. The general consensus for this one seems to be: it was good, but it wasn't spectacular. It seems like she just sort of skimmed along the surface of this concept, instead of really digging deep and making it something emotional and fantastic. Still, it certainly seems she has potential--hopefully she will just continue to improve. :D Great review!

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  16. I completely agree with everything you said, Maja! I loved Forgotten and I did enjoy Revived although I liked Forgotten more. The concept of Revived was quite unique and Daisy was a great character. I didn't quite liked Matt as much as Luke from Forgotten!

    Anyway, awesome review, Maja! <3

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  17. Awww sorry you didn't enjoy this one as much yo'd hoped Maja! The premise to this sounds totally awesome and I just love the cover too! I find 3 star books the most hardest to review, but you did an awesome job reviewing this one! I was really looking forward to this one, but now I think I may put it off for a while! :)

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  18. Maja! Heya! This is an awesome review and I love how achingly honest it is. You literally just said the truth and let it go which I have to appreciate on a whole nother level. I love how honest your reviews always are. You're, well, Maja you're amazing!

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  19. *huff huff huff* Am I late? Did I make it in time? No?

    :) Sorry I missed this one yesterday, but great review! Honestly, I think this book would drive me insane. The few things that you mentioned are enough to convince me that I need to steer clear! Is the mysterious scientist really named "God"? How weird! Maybe the second one will be better.

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    Replies
    1. You are definitely late and this is your final warning. I have perfected my Death Glare and now it works even from one continent to the other. I would be very afraid if I were you. :)

      <3 Yup, they nicknamed the scientist God, the agents disciples or something ridiculous as that.

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  20. The story you describe at first sounds really good. I can see how it would have great potential. Too bad this didn't quite grab and live up to it. Maja, I have to say, your reviews are superb. You have a gift with words and nailing down stories. I have review-envy! ;)

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  21. If you don't know me or, my gosh, are inexplicably not a music fan, that...probably means not a thing to you. Or maybe it sounds weird. Basically it just means that I liked Forgotten and Revived so much that I heard distinctive music while I read. A soundtrack, if you will. I'm a music junkie, yes, but not everything makes me think musically.

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  22. I was kind of ambivalent about Forgotten so I never really planned on reading this one. Nevertheless, I'm glad to read your thoughts on it. Random side note, I can't really handle the name Daisy.

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  23. When I was reading your summary of this book, I felt that that was the type of book I would love to read! Then I read through your reaction. If only the story could have lived up to its amazing idea and provide a captivating story. Wonderful review Maja!!!!! :)

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