I don’t think I know of a single person who didn’t like Cat Patrick’s debut novel, Forgotten, when it came out last year. I loved it myself, so I was super-excited when Egmont UK were nice enough to send me a copy of the author’s new book, Revived, to review. It actually hits the shelves today, so get out there and pick one up!
Plot summary – As a little girl, Daisy Appleby was killed in a school bus crash. Moments after the accident, she was brought back to life.
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 centre of something much larger—and more sinister—than she ever imagined.
I’m not sure that plot summary really sums up the concept of Revived properly. For me, it was much more about Daisy herself rather than a huge, sinister plot. She slowly comes to realise how the drug she is so accustomed to can negatively affect the world as a whole. The whole conspiracy thing, or however else you want to sum up the last sentence of the above summary, didn’t really seem like a massive focal point really. Not that that’s a bad thing. Far from it – I was much more interested in Daisy’s day-to-day life and her past than the company behind Revive.
I ended up judging Revived on two levels – the first is your fairly standard YA novel about a drug that can bring the dead back to life. An interesting concept with a fast-moving plot that’s written very well, but a moderately trivial one all the same. Then however, there’s the second level, the one that sets it apart from all the other books in this genre. It’s much, much deeper and deals with the more adult concepts of death, grief and recovery.
I swear, it actually hurt me. I had to keep putting the book down to stare absently into space and think about what I’d just read. It’s not that the events in the story upset me per se, more that I was occasionally reminded of similar emotions from my own past. Only the best authors can work the reader’s own experiences into the pages of a novel, and Cat Patrick is clearly the best of the best.
Daisy herself isn’t so wonderful unfortunately. I didn’t mind her for the majority of the novel, as she was a realistic character with her own thoughts, memories and opinions. She even has a backbone when necessary. It’s just that she made one horrendously stupid decision based on absolutely no logic or reason and it irritated me beyond belief. I actually slammed the book down so hard afterwards that the man next to me on the train started to edge away. True story.
Aside from that though, it’s a damn good book. The relationship between Daisy and Matt felt real to me – we see them meet, we watch them fall slowly in love and then we cheer them on as they overcome their troubles. I didn’t actually like Matt much, but that’s my own opinion, not a fault of the writing. He just seemed too demanding and selfish for my liking, but not enough for it to affect the book.
As a long story short, I really enjoyed Revived. I didn’t like it as much as Cat Patrick’s first novel, but there are some twists and turns that will leave you gasping and emotions that are impossible not to react to.