Author: Robin Wasserman
Series: Cold Awakening #2
Genre: Teen Fantasy
Rating: 3/5 stars
The Overview: Before the accident, Lia Kahn was happy.Before the accident, Lia Kahn was loved. Before, Lia was a lot of things: Normal. Alive.
Lia no longer believes in before. Six months after the crash that killed her, six months after being reborn, Lia has finally accepted her new reality. She is a machine, a mech, and she belongs with her own kind. It’s a wild, carefree life, without rules and without fear. Because there’s nothing to fear when you have nothing left to lose. But when a voice from her past cries out for revenge, everything changes. Lia is forced to choose between her old life and her new one. Between humans and mechs. Between sacrificing the girl she used to be and saving the boy she used to love. Even if it means he’ll hate her forever.
Because I’ve owned the beautiful little hardcovers of this series for several years now, I decided it was finally time to read them. Well, I guess you can say it was finally time to read them again, as this was my second time through the first novel, Skinned. While I enjoyed Skinned immensely more this time around, it still left me feeling depressed. I decided that if I was going to tackle the series again, Crashed better offer some sort of silver lining, or else I may never make it to the third and final book. You see, awful heart-wrenching things happen to Lia in the first book (some of which she brought on herself), and there really weren’t any positives to the story. Don’t get me wrong, it was written beautifully and parts of it were absolutely genius. Even so, I was still left without that tiny ray of hope and feared the negative aspects were going to be the only aspects of the series. While Crashed was equally evoking, it managed to give me what Skinned had not: balance.
Now that Lia has finally come to terms with her situation (well… mostly), it allowed the focus to shift to the broader conflicts of the story. It also provided an opportunity to get to know the secondary characters a bit more, and they were AWESOME. If I’m honest, I’m probably more excited to see where their decisions take them moving forward than the main character herself. That’s not to say the protagonist is a weak character, I just found others more relatable.
It’s one thing to have written great characters, but Wasserman really knew how to use them. Personalities clash, epiphanies take place, true motives are revealed, and all of it was evident through the brilliant dialogue. Thought-provoking, drawn-out arguments took place between the characters and they were always so engaging that I found myself riled enough to want to join in. Even if the rest of the book was total crap (it wasn’t), the dialogue alone would have been enough to keep me reading on – it was superb!
There are so many strengths to this series that I wish I could recommend it to everyone. The trouble is, the plot is downright depressing – focusing on all of the dregs life has to offer – that I just can’t justify putting it up for recommendation. If you decide to try it anyway, be warned that Wasserman will rip your heart out, but she’ll do it in the most beautiful, profound way possible. If you need me, I’ll be over here steeling myself for the final novel.
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