Received from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)As a little girl, Daisy Appleby was killed in a school bus crash. Moments after the accident, she was brought back to life.
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 also 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.
MY THOUGHTSRevived has a fascinating premise, the idea of a super drug able to thwart death raising a series of intriguing questions for both us as readers as well as our young protagonist. How differently would we live our lives if the threat of death no longer had the finality it does now? While physically we would perhaps take greater risks—live louder, faster, harder—emotionally would be an entirely different story, something Revived brings to the forefront as Daisy settles into her new home in Omaha. We are presented with two different versions of death in this story–Daisy’s type of death wherein the loss of life is merely an inconvenience easily remedied, and then the type of death that leaves us feeling hollow, empty, and struggling for purchase as the world tilts and knocks us off balance—and we read with no shortage of anticipation as Daisy is forced to take a closer look at how death has irrevocably shaped her life.
From the first chapter in which we experience one of Daisy’s deaths with her, we find ourselves glued to the pages, unabashedly curious about a drug able to wrestle someone back from the clammy hands of death with no physical or mental consequences. Daisy in the beginning is content with her world, slightly put out at their nomadic lifestyle given they have to relocate after each of her untimely demises, but ultimately she doesn’t question her handlers or the Revive program itself. To our immense relief, meeting Matt and Audrey in Omaha ignites in her a desire to uncover the intricacies of the drug and the twenty-one other people in the program, and while we don’t uncover as many details as our eager minds might like, we at least find ourselves fully supporting Daisy as she starts asking the questions we’ve wished to give voice to from the beginning.
The romance with Matt is a sweet one, smiles plastered to our faces when we see them together, but theirs is not a relationship that has the paper pages acting as electrical conduits to shoot currents up and down our arms. We enjoy our time with them but aren’t necessarily swept up in the intensity thrumming between them, more like we can feel their phantom fingers wrap around our hearts but they never squeeze, instead we just take note of their pressure now and again as Matt and Audrey navigate a shared pain. While the romance is not the type to feel out of place or as though it’s been added perfunctorily, more interesting to read about than their love is how death affects the two of them individually, and how Matt’s visceral reaction to his loss makes Daisy reevaluate everything she’s ever known and experienced. It’s the juxtaposition of the two of them – the young woman for whom death is merely a new beginning and the young man for whom death is a messy, painful end—that makes Revived continue to play through our minds long after we’ve finished reading.