Just like she did in Delirium, Lauren Oliver has created another combination of fabulous writing and addictive narrative. It’s a mean and deadly combo–this book is bound to keep up at night with a flashlight under the covers!
If you weren’t entirely convinced or enthralled with Lena’s character in the first book, the sequel will change that for sure. It’s hard to resist Lena’s resilience and unfaltering will to survive, to become a better person. Thrown into the wild (literally) and forced to find her way anew, Lena is charming and unimaginably strong–a woman turned to dust and reborn from the ashes.
The story moves back and forth from “Then,” when Lena first enters the Wilds, to “Now,” where she navigates the world as an Invalid, from an entirely new outlook. She is like a new person altogether. Hardened for sure, but still endearing and commendable.
But there’s a strumming and uncomfortable pressure that weighs heavily on Lena’s heart: the painful memory of Alex and the sacrifice of his life for her freedom. In the midst of becoming a member of the Resistance and pulling herself back up, can Lena actually do the unthinkable and forget her former love? And is it possible that she can fall in love with someone else, someone dangerously unexpected?
At its core, the book is ultimately about grief, about the process of healing, of building, and rebuilding out of nothing. It’s about the power of love to both build, and break, one’s soul. Although set in a futuristic dystopian society, there are many great lessons to be learned here. To top it off, Oliver’s detailed and poetic writing is both beautiful and hauntingly moving.
[And let me just express for a moment how mad (and impressed) I am with the author right now! As soon as I read the last word of the story, a chill moved through my body, from the tips of my hair down to my toenails. I grabbed the book and literally started shaking (and yelling at) it furiously! That's a pretty powerful response right there! It should seriously be illegal to write such a powerful story and then cruelly force readers to wait an entire YEAR to read the next installment!]
All joking and ranting aside, you will not want to miss this exciting read. Teens and adults alike will undoubtedly be singing its praises from some time to come.
Reader beware: you will miss sleep reading this!
Audience: fans of dystopias, romance readers, teens and adults
Themes: love, star-crossed lovers, grieving for loved ones, resistance/revolution/uprising, war, violence, discovering oneself, recovery/coping, dystopian societies, censorship, abandonment, religion, extremists, death
Readalikes (If you love this, you will also like):
√ Hana by Lauren Oliver
√ The Matched series by Allie Condie
√ The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
√ The Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor (my review)
√ The Divergent series by Veronica Roth (my review)