By: Cat Patrick
Review by: Kylie Comfoltey
From back cover: 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 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.
This was a quick read. No deep thinking involved on my part as the reader, and sometimes that's exactly what I'm looking for in a book. Unfortunately, Revived didn't entirely live up to the synopsis above. I didn't feel that Daisy took extraordinary risks--not until the end of the book, anyway. I expected a story about a girl who is fearless and driven to action. This was only somewhat that story.
Daisy was not as strong or dynamic of a character as I'd been expecting at the start of the book, but she grew and developed while the story unfolded. She is likable, sweet and tough. I liked the way relationships developed for her, both friend and boyfriend. Her life became more meaningful after her 5th death, but I felt that she grasped onto that sudden meaning and decided too quickly to give away secrets and tell her story to someone she hardly knew. But she's a teenager experiencing first love, so maybe the real problem was in her being entrusted with so much top secret information to begin with.
My favorite relationship in the book was between Daisy and her "fake" dad, Mason. Mason is assigned to care for Daisy as part of the Revive program, and it becomes clear early on in the story that he cares for her more as a daughter than a work assignment. He is protective but trusting. Mason is great and really the one true constant in Daisy's life (lives).
By the end of the Epilogue, it seemed that the real purpose of the story shined. I went into this book expecting some mystery and trouble and reckless behavior, what with all the secret government drug talk, so I was left wanting when most of the pages were filled with Daisy's inner searchings. Friendships and romance blossom in the book, and yes--Daisy does question the moral implications of Revive and find herself in the middle of a sinister scheme, as promised--but the real purpose of the story seems to be a lesson on coping with death. Real death, not Revive Program temporary death. Daisy has to learn the hardest way that, while she tends to think of it as an inconvenience given her own circumstances and raising, death is permanent and heartbreaking.
The message I walked away with is that life goes on after the death of a loved one, and that happiness isn't lost forever. It's a great message, especially for young readers. It's not what I expected to get out of the story. Cat Patrick spent a good number of pages on Daisy's grief and recovery, and ultimately her newfound appreciation for life and the desire to live it well.
I would have loved more about the Revive program and more about Daisy's different lives and deaths. I went into this expecting more mystery and daring fiascoes, but I'm not disappointed in what I got. It's a quick, interesting read with some great messages. Give it a try!
Drugs/Alcohol: Moderate. There is underage drinking at one point.
Violence: Mild. Unless you count bee attacks. Nasty little killers.