Today is release day! And I am finally posting my review of this book that completely, absolutely, blew me away!
Author: Lauren Oliver
Details: Hardcover, 440 pgs (I read an ARC)
Published: Feb 1st, 2011 by HarperTeen
isbn: 0061726826 (ISBN13: 9780061726828)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Received from: HarperTeen
Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -the deliria- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.
But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.
The following review was wrote months ago when I read the book, but as I read this review the amazing beauty of this book comes back to me. It really, truly was amazing!
I just finished this book, and I'm awe struck? No... speechless? Yes, definitely. But first came the tears. I made it through the book without crying (much) until the end. Then I bawled. Straight out, bawled. This story was beautiful, devastating, infuriating, and oh, so very very beautiful.
I started out being unsure about Lena. She says herself that she's in between. Not beautiful, not ugly. Doesn't stand out in any way. She's always been a good girl, does what her aunt and everyone tells her to do. Accepts the way of things with no questions asked. The day of her evaluation comes and that is the day her life changes forever. The day she says gray is her favorite color because of the way the sun sets on the water (or something like that, that's NOT a quote!), and says Romeo and Juliet is beautiful instead of saying how it's scary. That's the day she first sees Alex and her life is forever changed. She doesn't know it yet, at that point, but as a reader it's clear to us that this is the beginning. It takes Lena awhile and a few out of character acts for her to realize that all the numbness around her is wrong. That taking out a piece of someone's brain so they can't feel love, so they can't feel, is just. plain. wrong.
This book takes place in a city that isn't so different from cities we live in today. There are still the rich and the poor, people still go about their daily activities of cooking, cleaning, working, etc. But there are fewer (almost none) cars on the road due to fuel rationing, there's a fence surrounding the city keeping the wilds out and the people in, they only allow certain reading material, if people 'get infected' with deliria they can be put in prisons and even killed for it. Love is not allowed. Love is an infection and it will kill you. There's even a handbook about the symptoms.
Alex, oh Alex.... I loved Alex. He was sweet, and accepting and he showed Lena what is really truly important in life. He showed her what deliria really felt like and made her realize she'd rather die then live without it. He was an amazing character and I only wish we could have gotten to know him even better.
This story really makes you feel. Makes you appreciate and makes you cherish your life and loved ones even more.
The side characters were great. Hana, Lena's best friend is a bit of rebel and it's due to her rebelling and them going in restricted areas that leads Lena to Alex. Hana is a true friend who is there for her through anything. Encouraging her that she's making the right, or wrong, choices.
This book was amazing and I really don't know what to say other then that. It was beautiful, poetic, horrifying and oh, so much more.
I have a feeling that I'll be choked up for days. This is a book that as soon as you finish you want to discuss it with others. You want to call every single person you know and tell them to READ IT NOW! Unfortunately, I have MONTHS before I can tell the world to go buy this book so I'm just resorting to discussing with my blogger friends who have read it.
I can tell you this. Go now. Go to the store and BUY THIS BOOK! You will NOT regret it. You will fall in love with it and you will want everyone you know to read it. Your copy will become tattered and worn because you will read it over and over and you will loan it out over and over and you will push the book into everyone's hands who will take it.
Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. The opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid nor influenced in any way.