Hardie Grant Egmont
Copy courtesy of Celine
Daisy Appleby has just died for the fifth time and has now been revived as Daisy West. Daisy is a test subject for a government program running experiments on a drug known as Revive which has the power to bring people back from the dead.
When Daisy was 4 she was in a bus accident along with 20 other people, mostly young children. They were used as subjects for Revive and most of them have gone on to be relocated under new names and are continually monitored and studied by their handlers. Daisy lives with Mason and Cassie, two government workers who pose as her parents. Although she was only supposed to have died once, Daisy has been Revived several more times, the most recently after an anaphylactic reaction to a bee sting. Each time she is Revived, Daisy and her ‘parents’ are forced to relocate towns and assume a new last name. Just in case anyone ever sees her after she is supposed to be dead.
Daisy has never cared about moving before, but as Daisy West in Omaha Nebraska, she makes her first real friend Audrey and crushes on a cute boy in her English class who just happens to be Audrey’s brother. It also seems that he returns her feelings and Daisy finds herself becoming attached to her new home, her new school and her new friends and lifestyle. This is dangerous because they could be moved on at any moment by the person in charge of the program and Daisy is also faced with keeping her big secret from her best friend and her almost-boyfriend.
But then Daisy discovers a secret about the Revive program, something that makes her desperate to dig deeper and know more. Trouble is, someone doesn’t want her to find out and she might just pay with her life. Permanently this time.
I was a big fan of Cat Patrick’s debut novel Forgotten and I wanted to read this as soon as it came out but somehow I just never did. I ended up doing a bookswap with Celine from Forget Me Not – I sent her a copy of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and she sent me a spare copy she had of this book. It sat on my shelf for a while, quite a long time actually but recently I was looking to take a little break from the review pile, which I try to do every now and then and read something that had been sitting on the shelf for quite a long time. I saw this and immediately picked it up. Funny how sometimes, the timing is just right.
Daisy has always lived her life not making connections. She’s raised by two employees who pose as her parents, but aren’t really, one of which more resembles a robot than an actual person. She makes no close friends, knowing she could be moving soon and that she can’t keep/maintain any friendships with someone after she has ‘died’. Although smart, easily keeping up with her classes despite her disrupted academic life, Daisy leads a very solitary, lonely existence but all that changes when she and her two handlers/’parents’ move to Omaha. She is immediately befriended by Audrey and catches the eye of Audrey’s brother. Despite the potential for awkward there, there isn’t any. The three can hang out comfortably and Daisy also spends time with each of them alone. When she learns something about her friend, Daisy is tempted for the first time ever to tell someone the real story of her past and the fact that she is participating in this clinical trial, for want of a better term and what Revived does. She wants to give Matt, Audrey’s brother, something of herself, to have no secrets and I fully understood that. Your first crush (your first love) is such a heady thing and there’s such a compulsion to share everything about yourself, no matter what. But at the same time she exposes herself to a lot of things as well: ridicule and alienation, should Matt not believe her, danger should anyone find out what she has done and manipulation by people who may want Revive.
I did have a few issues with this one – Matt believes her alarmingly easily, I would’ve expected a little more time spent by Daisy convincing him and then he also does exactly what I mentioned above and manipulates/emotionally blackmails her to steal him a vial of the drug so that he can use it on someone close to him. Despite what Daisy tells him, that it doesn’t work that way, it won’t cure that sort of thing, he still insists and gets incredibly mad at her when she doesn’t want to. I know that Matt isn’t acting or thinking rationally and that’s part of the conflict – he thinks Daisy has the answer and he won’t listen when she tells him that she doesn’t and he then accuses her of being selfish. He’s being a total dick but he is entitled to act that way, given what he’s going through. It did make it hard to accept the way that he kept treating Daisy though and the fact that she mostly just allowed it and and allowed him to manipulate her. They’d known each other such a short time and even though I know everything is heightened and intense when you’re a teen, it just felt a little wrong.
I think the science was a bit weak (non-existent) and I wrote that off as maybe Daisy not really knowing enough about it but her handler/father-figure Mason allowed her to ask questions and access files and be involved so maybe the author just chose not to focus on it, instead focusing on Daisy coming of age/growing up/etc. But that meant I did have questions that weren’t answered which is always a bit disappointing. Perhaps I was just expecting too much from this one.
Book #157 of 2013