Saturday, April 9, 2011


Rating: 5 out of 5 Procedures

Lena Haloway is content in her safe, government-managed society. She feels (mostly) relaxed about the future in which her husband and career will be decided, and looks forward to turning 18, when she’ll be cured of deliria, a.k.a. love. She tries not to think about her mother’s suicide (her last words to Lena were a forbidden “I love you”) or the supposed “Invalid” community made up of the uncured just beyond her Portland, Maine, border. There’s no real point—she believes her government knows how to best protect its people, and should do so at any cost. But 95 days before her cure, Lena meets Alex, a confident and mysterious young man who makes her heart flutter and her skin turn red-hot. As their romance blossoms, Lena begins to doubt the intentions of those in power, and fears that her world will turn gray should she submit to the procedure. In this powerful and beautifully written novel, Lauren Oliver, the bestselling author of Before I Fall, throws readers into a tightly controlled society where options don’t exist, and shows not only the lengths one will go for a chance at freedom, but also the true meaning of sacrifice. (Jessica Schein,

I did not know what to expect from this novel. The cover is intriguing; the back and the flaps don't really give much away as far as any sort of synopsis; I had to know what it was. I had only read three chapters and I was hooked. It is the kind of story that publishers devour and tackle because it is so sellable. It is the kind of story that avid readers love because it is unique and intriguing. It is the kind of story that needs to be told and Lauren Oliver is the only one who could give it the voice it needed.

Oliver's writing is decadent and provoking. Every motion, every word simply breathes. There is movement in her words that you don't find everywhere. Her writing is reminiscent of Jennifer Donnelly's, but they both have a distinctive style that is their own.

Lena is a reliable character. I never once felt like she was too weak for her task at hand, but I still always wondered if she would be able to make it. There is an element of Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games in this book in that it is a dystopian society with an authoritative regime, and I'm not the first to compare it to those books.

The commentary on society is intriguing. I kept thinking of all the aspects being presented. The fact that it is not too outlandish for something like this actually happen to our country and our society is scary in itself. And then I kept thinking about how everything stems from love. Even hate and anger are biproducts of love even though they are the antitheses. At some point, when you are angry with someone or hate someone, you loved them also. There are different kinds of love as well. Not just romantic. Mother-daughter relationships are explored in Oliver's book as well as the love between best friends. I'm glad that Oliver did not choose to focus so solely on the romantic aspect, but, rather, showed how love encompasses everything and there simply is no cure for it.

This is Book One in a trilogy which I was mad about because now I have to wait for the next book to be released. I guess I will have time to re-read it then. This deserves a 5 out of 5. Awesome work, Ms. Oliver!

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