Wednesday, 2 April 2014

While We Run by Karen Healey

This post contains a review and a giveaway




While We Run (When We Wake #2) by Karen Healey
Published Mar 26, 2014 by Allen & Unwin (US readers: this title will be published by Little, Brown in May 2014!)
Source: the publisher
Rating: 4 stars

From the blurb: Abdi Taalib and Tegan Oglietti are adored everywhere they go. Crowds flock to hear the talented teenagers speak and sing. Earth has become overcrowded, polluted, and s fast running out of resources. Abdi and Tegan offer a message of hope- that the Ark project is a second chance, a new world… for those with enough money.
But what the crowds don’t know if that Abdi and Tegan don’t believe a word of the propaganda they’ve been tortured and manipulated into spouting. Once they manage to escape the government’s clasp, they’ll do everything in their power to discover the final shocking secrets of the Ark Project… and find justice for its victims.

While We Run by Karen Healey is the sequel to When We Wake, set in a futuristic version of our world. Abdi and Tegan have been on a two-month tour, enforced by SADU handlers, Diane and Lat. If they don’t play their parts they are punished, or worse, forced to watch the other receive punishment. But things are set to change: decisions must be made and it will be up to them.

I enjoyed When We Wake last year, and reading over my notes made me remember how much. The futuristic world was well thought-out and I adored the Beatles references. While We Run is an excellent sequel filled with action and plenty of plot progression. It also features the perfect amount of back story with Abdi going over previous events during his narration. These recaps were never over-detailed and really helped me remember what had happened to them.

This part of the story is told from Abdi’s perspective and I really enjoyed him as a narrator. We learn more about his family background, his former life in Djibouti, and how his mother coached him from a young age to hide his feelings and read other people, all to be the perfect politician. His time spent with Diane was horrific. He’s undergone psychological and physical torture. His behaviour is enforced by the implant he has in the base of his neck  - Tegan has one too. The worst of it was hinted at throughout the story and I knew what was going to be revealed. I thought it was really interesting that the sexual assault in this book focused on a boy, and his shame and confusion was heartbreaking.

Abdi has a lot of feelings to work out and his time in captivity has changed him. He’s filled with rage and despite being happy to see Tegan, he also feels betrayed by her, too. When they meet up with the others, he is happy to see Joph but has little patience for Bethari, based on their interactions at school. I could understand his feelings but it was great to see him work through them over the course of the story.

The plot moves swiftly and there are plenty of scene changes and action. There was a lot going on, plenty of twists and insecurity about who to trust. There’s a lot of attention to detail when it comes to their world, for instance when Abdi sits on a normal chair and realises it doesn't change to suit his body or the extreme weather patterns and alliances between countries. Their world is technologically advanced, more tolerant of beliefs and sexuality, but it’s also cruel, harsh, deceitful, and most importantly it is believable.

I loved the way the story wrapped up, no cliffhanger here. It was clever and satisfying but it also leaves room for a follow up (I have no idea if there is going to be a third book, but I’d be keen for it, if that’s the case.)

Purchase: A&R  /  Booktopia  /  Bookworld  /  Dymocks  /  Fishpond (intl shipping)

Thank you to the wonderful people at Allen & Unwin for my review copy. They've also provided me with a copy to giveaway, and I'm going to give my copy away, too!





28 comments:

  1. Happy to hear you enjoyed this sequel and there was plenty of action and plot progression. I'm not familiar with this series myself but it sounds pretty interesting. Awesome review =)

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  2. I haven't heard of this series but it sounds so interesting!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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  3. I don't remember the first book...but ooh Beatles references?! Fun. Glad you liked the sequel.

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    1. Yes! Not as many in this book, but LOTS in the first book!

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  4. This sounds really good! I love futuristic and dystopian stories

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  5. I'm so glad that you enjoyed this follow up book Mandee, also it sounds like the author incorporated the right amount of balance of recapping of the first book too. I hate it when I can't remember a single thing, and the author hardly recaps or when there's pages and pages of recapping. Fab review!

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  6. I haven't really heard much about this series and it sounds really intriguing so I'm going to go check out the first book. :)

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    1. Great idea, it was pub'd in the USA so you should be able to find it

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  7. I don't recall the first book at all. I am going to have to look it up. Still this sounds like an intriguing series and I love that you get a firm resolution without cliffhangers!

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    1. Please do, Heids! You should be able to find it in the States!

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  8. I have heard only amazing things about the first one and I'm so happy you enjoyed the sequel as well! I need to catch up and read them soon. Thank you so much for the giveaway :)

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  9. I've seen the first book around but never picked it up. Now, I think I will! Brilliant review :)

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  10. Hmmm... the tour sounds a little like the Hunger Games, but I've heard good things about the first book.
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

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    1. I suppose it was a little similar, but it was just the two of them and they had not won any sort of tournament like THG!

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  11. I have never heard of these books! I'm going to have to check them out after reading your review. Glad you enjoyed this one!! :)

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  12. Awesome review. I haven't heard a great deal about the series, but going to grab a copy of book one now. I love me some futuristic dystopian.

    Where are the nails though? This one would have been super hard to recreate.

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  13. I have the first book and have been meaning to read it, and I just got the sequel in the mail, so I think it's time to play catch up this weekend. I am thrilled to hear that the sequel lived up to the first book, and that there is no dreaded cliffie in store for me. :-) The worldbuilding sounds fantastic, and I can't wait to meet Abdi and Tegan. Fantastic review!

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    1. That's great, Lauren! I hope you love this series

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  14. I remember how you liked When We Wake. Glad to hear the sequel lives up. Sounds fun that there are Beatles references in this futuristic world! Yay for no cliffhangers too. I'm eager to check out this series!

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