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While We Run Hardcover – May 27, 2014
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—In this gripping sequel to When We Wake (Little, Brown, 2013), the schemes, betrayals, and heroics of a group of teenagers living in Australia in 2127 are told from the perspective of Abdi Taalib, who was last seen through the eyes of Tegan, the first novel's protagonist. The story opens with Abdi and Tegan in captivity, used and abused in order to quell the unrest they created with Tegan's last telecast that uncovered various governmental wrongdoings. There is, of course, a thrilling escape, shifting loyalties, tough decisions, and romance. The future world Healey creates is all the more terrifying for being entirely plausible. Her chosen dystopian plot points (regeneration of cryogenically frozen youth, environmental destruction, and dreams of fleeing a dying planet) are compelling and gripping. However, it's the social justice consciousness she brings to these elements that make this title stand above most others. Her cast of characters is diverse but not tokenizing or whitewashed. A Muslim girl scrupulously performs her prayers in between her journalist/hacker crusades. The trans lesbian chemist helps bring medicine to struggling nations but refuses to engage in top-down cultural imperialism. Abdi is a rape survivor, and Healey offers one of the rare instances when an abusive sexual dynamic between an older woman and a teenage boy is effectively dealt with in young adult fiction. There are some four-letter words and sexuality, but nothing gratuitous or overly graphic, and while the themes are fairly intense, the series is an excellent read for high school students.—Kyle Lukoff, Corlears School, New York City
The strong sequel to When We Wake (2013) continues the story of Tegan, the cryogenically preserved Australian murder victim who has been revived to become propaganda for the Resolution, a starship designed to seed a new, more viable planet as Earth withers and dies. This time, the novel is told from the point of view of Abdi, Tegan’s love interest and unwitting fellow propagandist. The government has forced them to sing and dance for potential Resolution donors, and as they wait for help, isolated and broken, secrets emerge that are more sinister than those originally hidden in the cryogenics labs. While the pacing occasionally lags, readers will easily become entangled in the messy questions of ethics that Abdi and Tegan face as they try to escape a political plot. Together, Abdi and Tegan must decide whether freeing themselves is worth the lives of others and to what lengths they are willing to go to spread the truth. An apt parable for contemporary socioeconomic times. Grades 9-12. --Erin Downey Howerton
Top customer reviews
When the book begins, Abdi and Teegan have been captured by SADU. They are being forced to go on tour to promote the star ship and crytonics . They are forced to lie to people and immigrants to get them to donate themselves to the project to be "preserved" and transported to the new planet where they can have a "second chance". Abdi and Teegan are tortured and physically, emotionally, and sexually abused to keep them going with the program and "being good".
Adbi thinks Teegan has actually started believing what they are telling people and he contemplates suicide just to escape at one of the events. That's when a miracle happens and a figure from his past comes to save Teegan and him.
Unfortunately the rescue isn't easy and their are casualties. It also turns out that their rescuers have their own plans for Teegan and Abdi. Keegan and Abdi have to figure out fast who they can trust and the battle of their lives begins.
Determind to tell the truth about the Art Project and keep themselves alive, they must overcome many obstacles and learn to trust and rely on each other and their true allies.
Nothing goes according to plan in this fast paced dramatic sequel to "When We Wake". A must read for all who have read "When We Wake" as well as fans of any young adult sci-fi or coming of age or young adult action novels.
Quick & Dirty: Fast paced story full of action, romance, and mystery. I really enjoyed this and would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a great young adult sci-fi book.
Opening Sentence: They always wanted me to sing “Here Comes the Sun.”
Abdi Taalib has spent the last 6 months as a slave to the Australian government. He left his home in Djibouti to attend a prestigious school where he had a musical scholarship. Everything was going great until he met Tegan. A beautiful girl that died a hundred years ago, but they preserved her body. She was brought back to life and now she is an icon for the Australian government. But she uncovered a sinister plan and exposed the government. Afterwards there needed to be some major damage control and the government has forced Tegan and Abdi to fix things.
They have been tortured into compliance and they don’t know how much more they can take. Luckily they have some allies that go to great lengths to rescue them. Soon they are on the run and they aren’t sure who they can trust. Their supposed allies might not have the best intentions and the people they escaped from are relentless to get them back. Soon they realize that if they want to permanently stop the Australian government they are going to have to make some tough choices that may cost thousands of people their lives.
This was all told from Abdi’s POV, which I really liked. You get to learn so much more about him and that made my connection with him grow immensely. I really liked him in the first book but seeing this new vulnerable side to him made him a much more realistic character. While he was imprisoned by the government he was tortured in many different ways and it has caused him to have a lot of anger. It was interesting to watch him try to cope with everything that has happening to him and made me really feel sympathetic towards him. Overall, I really liked his character and was glad that I got to be inside his head.
I fell in love with Tegan in the first book and my love for her just grew. It was interesting to see her through Abdi’s eyes and what he thought of her. Instead of being the scared girl that had to start over she had become a strong person that everyone looks to as a leader. She’s not perfect but her flaws just make her a more likeable character. The relationship between Abdi and Tegan was full of struggles, but I really loved them together. I thought that the way things developed was very realistic and eventually, I felt that connection that they had in the first book.
While We Run is an action packed unique sci-fi book. From the very first page you are thrown back into the wonderful world that Healey created in the first book and I was hooked immediately. The fast pace and intriguing plot makes this a very quick read. I liked that it was all told from Abdi’s POV, it gave you a different side to the story that you didn’t get to see in the first book. The only thing that I didn’t like was that I felt the story didn’t progress quite as much as I would have liked it too. It was a continuation of the first book but the plots were a little too similar and that made it feel slightly repetitive. You could actually read this as a standalone and I don’t think that you would be too lost but I would suggest that you read both of them to get the full effect of the story. The ending was very satisfying and I can’t wait to see what else Healey comes out with next. I would highly recommend this series to anyone that likes young adult sci-fi books.
Making noise in public had to be punished.
From the outside, I must have looked a little unwell, perhaps momentarily dizzy. Faces turned toward me, then politely away.
Diane laid her free hand on my wrist, her face com posed in concern. Her other hand was hidden in the folds of her outfit, clutching the implant controller, and that was the one I watched.
It felt like eternity. It always did. Realistically, though, it was only a few seconds that I suffered, while Diane touched me and smiled, her hidden hand drawing pain from me until I thought my bones would burst through my skin. When she finally turned off the controller, I almost collapsed with relief, locking my knees at the last second.
“There we go,” Diane murmured, and stroked my sweating palm as if she were soothing a fretting pet. “Do you think you can talk about the camps for me now?”
“Yes, Diane,” I said, and hated myself
FTC Advisory: Little Brown Books for Young Readers/Hachette Book Group provided me with a copy of While We Run. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.