When We Wake

When We Wake

Compelling and sleekly sick (in a bad way), When We Wake is a nightmarish view of the near future that will make readers think about the future of science, medicine, politics, and government intervention in citizens' lives. Tegan Oglietti is having a great day. She's off to a rally with her politically inclined pals and new crush Dalmar. But what starts off as a promising day ends with Tegan's death! She is hit by a sniper's bullet and dies at the rally.

Tegan wakes up 100 years later in a controlled experiment. She has been chryonically frozen for the past 100 years. Her past is gone--her friends, her boyfriend, her parents, her home. She longs to talk to someone her own age. She begs the doctors to let her live a "normal" life. There are some people who aren't so pleased that Tegan has survived. They consider her an illegal alien--someone who immigrated illegally to Australia. The citizens believe she doesn't belong in her own country.

Operation New Beginnning is the government's attempt to save the future's soldiers. Tegan will make this possible, the doctor explains. Tegan is allowed to move in with Marie (the doctor) and begin to attend school. Her life is anything but normal as for her own safety she must always travel with bodyguards. There is danger everywhere. Tegan and her friends discover the government's terrible secret. Operation New Beginning isn't just about freezing someone. It's got a darker side, and Tegan wants to uncover its dirty secrets and show them to the world. How far will the government go to hide its secrets? Will it kill off its own Living Dead Girl? Tegan is forced to make a tough decision to save Marie's life.

I liked that each chapter name was a Beatles song like "Yesterday," "Revolver," and "The Ballad of John and Yoko" and that Ringo is Tegan's favorite Beatle.

ISBN: 9780316200769 304 pages. Grades 7 & up.

Recommended by Pamela Thompson, Library Media Specialist, Texas, USA

Visit her YA novels blog at http://booksbypamelathompson.blogspot.com/


When Tegan wakes up after being cryogenically frozen for a century, at first she thinks things might be better in the future.  People seem more accepting of other cultures and lifestyles, and technology is so much further advanced.

The more she learns, however, the more Tegan realizes that many things have only gotten worse.  For starters, the temperature is so hot that people have stopped going outside and even with sunscreen and full clothing, sunburning is likely.  

Also, the world has adopted a ruthless standoff between third world countries and those that are thriving.  Australia has a strict “no migrant” policy that leads all foreigners caught in their country to imprisonment.

 Under strict military surveillance and warned not to speak to the press herself, Tegan has been told that she is part of a program to help bring soldiers back to life. However, there are plenty of other frozen specimens so why was she the one revived?

Recommended by Carrie Shaurette, Librarian, New York City USA


  1. In the year 2027, Tegan is a 16 year-old girl who is living the best day of her life. While at a climate change protest with her friends she is mistakenly shot by a sniper and killed. Now move on to 100 years into the future and Tegan is just waking up thinking it has only been a little while since that fateful day in 2027.

Tegan is the first cyronically frozen person who has successfully been brought back to life and seems to be functioning normally. This alone makes her a celebrity but being a celebrity is not what she wants. She wants answers to her questions! Why has she been revived? Why is she under such intense military supervision and media scrutiny?

She is allowed to live with one of her doctors and attend school where she meets Abdi, Bethari and Joph. As Tegan starts learning more about the mysterious “Ark Project” and her handlers become more aggressive the teenagers begin on a quest of finding out why Tegan was brought back and what “really is” going  on.

Our time is linked to the future in this book. Showing how problems we have now such as human rights abuses, climate change, and diminishing natural resources are still around in the future. Plus the Beatles live on. Their music is Tegan’s favorite and it even extends into the 22nd century.

296 pages

Recommended by: Joleen Waltman, Librarian, Idaho USA

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