Thursday, March 3, 2011

Those That Wake by Jesse Karp

Those That Wake

Author: Jesse Karp

Publisher: Harcourt Publishing

2½ out of 5 stars

They have no memory of you whatsoever. Your family, friends, colleagues, and even acquaintances you just made today. To them you’re just some stranger who is bothering them, wasting their time. They really would like to help you, but they claim to have never seen you in their entire life. They wonder if you’re feeling okay, as you insist that you are their daughter, wife, friend, boss, or sister. They think, wouldn’t I know if you were my cousin or my best friend? Wouldn’t the sight of you spark some recognition and it would all come rushing back in an instant? Sadly, it wouldn’t, because you have just been wiped from the memories of all of those that have ever known you.

Mal and Laura are just two teens that this has happened to. All of a sudden, everyone around them is starting to lose their memories of Mal and Laura, one by one. Their loved ones and their friends are all slipping away from them without even realizing it.

Mal has been shuffled from foster home to foster home ever since his famous boxing champ of a father died. In Mal’s mind he doesn’t have anyone, and he doesn’t need anyone. That is, until his older brother, Tommy, calls out of the blue. Mal hasn’t seen Tommy for years, and now he is calling for help? What is going on? Should Mal open his heart to his brother and find out why he needs him so badly?

Laura is a teen who has been raised to strive for her best and always come out on top. But after an interview for a job, she realizes that her parents have forgotten about her. They no longer remember her, and when she goes to confront them she is kicked out by hotel security. How could this happen? Her parents who doted on her every second of her life, and were always there guiding her and holding her hand. Where are they now?

In this futuristic world, people only care about themselves. They are absorbed in their cell phones as they glide from place to place. Everything is routine, and they would never bother to disrupt it. Especially after the Big Black. After the Big Black humans in New York City have lost hope. Some say it was a terrorist attack, others say it was a plot of the corporations. But all of this combined, and more, is going to make it even harder for Mal and Laura to get their lives back. Will they ever see their families again? And can they put a stop to whoever is controlling their lives and simultaneously ruining them? All is revealed in Jesse Karp’s unimaginable futuristic chronicle of two teens fighting for all they ever knew in, Those That Wake!

This book definitely made me think, and my mind struggled to comprehend the enormity of it all at times. The plot of Those That Wake goes beyond just Laura and Mal’s personal problems, but covers the problems that the human race faces. This is just a glimpse of what could happen in the future if we lose our sense to care anymore. I received this book from Net Galley* (see below), and I recommend it for teens and adults alike.  It is probably more suitable for teens fourteen and up as it deals with some hard to grasp concepts and ideas.

Jesse Karp is obviously an astounding writer. I could tell just from his choice of words, and the way that he strung them together that he knew how to create an image in the reader’s mind. From the first page this is what enthralled me as I took in stark images of New York, and people who had just lost their will to live and the hope that used to burn inside them. However, the writing seemed a bit awkward when it was all put together. I felt that it took a long time for the characters to meet up and for the plot of Those That Wake to become evident. This really did slow the story down, and could put some readers off.

This is where I stress though, that the story does get immensely better in the second half of the book. In the beginning I was very, very confused with everything going on and there seemed to be no possible explanation yet. However, when I reached the middle of the book pieces started falling into place and I got a better understanding of what was truly at work here. I must say though, that the confusing writing and the mind-boggling storyline really took away from the overall feel of Those That Wake.

When I came to the ending I felt that there was a lot resolved and it put me at ease. When I read about how the characters brought themselves closure, that especially wrapped up the story well. When I did find out what was wiping Laura and Mal’s existence off the face of the planet it was a very larger-than-life idea. However, I felt that Jesse Karp really put a lot of thought into Those That Wake, and studied humans and the way we work to be able to come up with such a breathtaking and remarkable idea to center his whole book around.

The title, Those That Wake, also has much more meaning to it than I first perceived. Once I read the whole book, the title suddenly meant so much more and represented more than I originally thought.

I would have liked to have seen more of an explanation for everything in general. Some things were never fully explained, and others seemed to be thrown in for reasons beyond me. Also, it would have been nice to get more of an idea of what New York was like in the future, as this wasn’t as big of a part throughout the story.

In the end, Those That Wake is an incredible novel with a solid idea that can reach into the deepest crevices of your mind and cause you to question everything you know just by thinking about it. Join Laura and Mal, as they journey to what is truly plaguing the human race in, Those That Wake!

-This is T.B. with Another Book Back on the Shelf…
Until Next Time, Keep Reading!

*I received this book from Net Galley, a website on which you can request free advanced reader copies of books.  I received Those That Wake by Jesse Karp  in exchange for my honest review.  This book will be released on March 21, 2011.  Thank you Net Galley!
Check out Jesse Karp's website at
Those That Wake is available from Amazon here.


  1. Great review! I also gave this book 2 stars and agreed with a lot of what you said. The actual idea of hopelessness as a sort of disease is definitely a mind boggling concept, and there were some interesting bits in the book, I'll give it that.
    But I totally agree with you when you say the confusion of the storyline really took away from any enjoyment I might've had reading.
    Your review puts a really nice positive view on the book though, so kudos to that!

  2. Thanks for talking about the good and the bad points of the book. It sounds very intriguing, but I'm sad about the confusing storyline, that's one of the things that usually puts me off :(

  3. Aww and I actually thought that this book's premise is really interesting. But I would still like to read it sometime, though. Thanks for sharing your cool review!

    By the way, ARGH's over the moon at the fact that a lot of people loved his interview. He's writing a petition letter and is planning to collect signatures to have him replace Robert Pattinson as we speak!

    Brush Up On Your Reading

  4. Laura (All of Everything)- The idea behind the whole book blew me away, but when it came down to the overall storyline I was disappointed. I learned about Those That Wake on your blog, and it was interesting, so I decided to give it a try. However, the concept and idea behind it is quite amazing, despite the book's other faults.

    Alex (A Girl, Books, OtherThings)- I actually heard about Those That Wake over on Laura's blog and even though she didn't enjoy it as much, I still wanted to try it out. However, I understand her likes and dislikes now. I would have to say that the confusing storyline was one of my biggest problems with Those That Wake.

    Nina B.- If you think you might like it than I say go ahead and read it! It's still an amazing book if you can grasp everything and really make sense of it. I'm sure it would be very enjoyable then.

    ARGH would be so much better than Robert Pattinson and I really think he should go for it! :) I can't wait to hear more from ARGH in the future!

  5. Tessa, thanks so much for an honest review. In my opinion, those are always the best. I had heard a lot of good things about Those that wake- that it was nice to read a review that wasn't all Crazy" about it... you know what I mean? I'm still not sure if I'll give it a try....Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

  6. Thanks for dropping by my blog! I'm glad you enjoyed seeing the survey results :)

    The premise of this book sounds really cool - I'm sorry to hear that the execution didn't quite live up to it :(

  7. The Lovely Getaway- I'm glad you liked the review, and yes, I get what you mean. :) If you give it a try I would love to hear what you think!

    Danya- The survey results were awesome, and you really did a great job with them! The synopsis is what caught my attention as well, but the overall storyline was choppy and confusing. I'm glad I gave it a try though.

  8. Ohhh now, this sounds like something I would really like. It'd be interesting to see the connections in the book and reality. Thanks for the great review!

  9. I think that you would enjoy this one a lot actually! I would love to hear what you think of it!


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