Release Date: April 2nd AUS / May 1st US
Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont / Little, Brown Books for Young Reades
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Buy it: Amazon / Book Depository
As a little girl, Daisy Appleby was killed in a school bus crash. Moments after the accident, she was brought back to life.Cat Patrick throws us into the miracles of Daisy's life right from the beginning of the novel. It's not often the main character dies within the first two pages. Even rarer when she's walking, talking and travelling out of state by the third page. Cheating death is a natural phenomenon to Daisy. She should have died at the age of 5 when she was involved in a tragic accident, but instead she was selected for a secret scientific experiment to test a drug called Revive. Rightfully named, as it brings the gift of life back to it's subject with a well-timed injection. But with each death, she and the agents acting as her parents must relocate, adopting with new identities to avoid awkward questions like, "How the *BEEP* are you alive?!" After her fifth death, Daisy Appleby becomes Daisy West, and while she's accustomed to settling into a new school, she's not familiar with growing emotionally attached to people. But Omaha is home to the McKean siblings, a girl and a boy who are about to unintentionally rumble Daisy's entire world.
A secret government agency has developed a drug called Revive that can bring people back from the dead, and Daisy Appleby, a test subject, has been Revived five times in fifteen years. Daisy takes extraordinary risks, knowing that she can beat death, but each new death also means a new name, a new city, and a new life. When she meets Matt McKean, Daisy begins to question the moral implications of Revive, and as she discovers the agency’s true goals, she realizes she’s at the center of something much larger — and more sinister — than she ever imagined.
Daisy has a very real, girl-next-door kind of vibe. She's an easily likable character, her emotions and sweetness make her relatable, while her unique upbringing give her a compelling aura. In ways, she does take life for granted. Death is not a threat she's really had to fear, with the Revive drug just an injection away from bringing her back. But that all changes the more she becomes invested in her new life. She may have outwitted death all these years, but it strikes back in a way she never expected, forcing Daisy to reassess her own life, the ethics of the Revive drug and especially to question the motives of the man who created it. She shows visible growth as the novel progresses and I really enjoyed watching her change.
While I'm not sure any can live up to the heart-fluttering, sugary sweet romance of Luke and London from Cat's debut novel, Forgotten, Daisy and Matt were an endearing pair. It's nothing mind-blowing, but the blossoms of first love. It begins as an innocent attraction, cute and genuine, but the rosy hue doesn't last forever and their loyalty is tested when an event completely shatters their worlds. Something that could either draw them closer together or be the bridge that painfully separates them forever...
I did go into this book expecting something completely different. The US cover gave me more of a dystopian feel, with the impression that there would be lots of action and intensity. That's likely my own fault for reading too much into it. While I do love the US art, the Australian one (shown above) has a more softer, contemplative, contemporary feel which is a truer representation of the story. So really, that was my only problem: My expectations were different to what the story shaped up to be. And the fact that I couldn't help but compare it to Forgotten, because that was one of my favourite reads last year. And while I did enjoy Revived (obviously!), I had to tell my inner voice to shut the heck up and stop saying, "He's nice, but he's no Luke Henry..." etc.
Once again Cat has pieced together a beautifully written novel. I won't say if she leaves us on a happy or sad note, but I love that her endings feel very realistic and not always what you typically expect from these kind of YA books. Just as she did in Forgotten, Cat is brilliant at surprising you with a well-timed twist that in retrospect, you really should have seen coming, but just didn't see the clues until the very last minute. The second half of the novel picks up the pace as suspicions arise, the mystery deepens and our protagonist is weighed down by an emotional upheaval that inspires some thought-provoking questions. Revived is an engaging read from a wonderfully talented author with a penchant for a unique premise!
4/5 Golden Apples!