Author: Lauren Oliver
Date finished reading: February 16, 2014
This book had an interesting plot. It is set in a world where it is believed that love is a disease. In order to be truly happy, residents were to submit to receiving the cure so that they would be immune to the disease. That was the kind of setup Lena was brought up in. She looked forward to the day that she would receive her own cure. She has be haunted by her mother’s suicide who was believed to be infected with the disease. Lena would do her best to take the right path as expected of her – until she met Alex.
I can’t blame Lena for her view of things because that was what she had known all her life. Her excitement to finally undergo the cure which she believed would make others see her differently. I’d have to agree though that she is lucky to have Hana. It was Hana’s bold, outspoken beliefs that first set a tiny fissure in Lena’s perfect world. Hana was a memorable character because of her angst and rebellious soul. She was always the one to question how things are how they were, only in the end, the idea of running away is something she can’t handle.
Then there’s Alex, the invalid. His presence set the tone for Lena’s eyes to finally see what the government was doing – their lies, deceptions, inhumanity – all of which becomes a shock to her. The final blow was her mother, the reason why she finally agreed to go out in the Wilds. I look up to Lena’s mother just as how she was described in the story. She values her family and she brought up her kids in love and happiness, even when they were too young to see how lucky they were.
What I liked about this story is the redefinition of love. Sure love can hurt; it causes us to do crazy things. But it is also sacrifice, to the point of putting other people’s happiness first and downscaling ours. And how this time, the author uses the more believeable connection between parent and child rather than the overly used boy-meets-girl then everything becomes perfect kinda thing.
The only downside while I was reading is the effort of the author to drag the story. There were times when I felt she was just filling the spaces with flowery language rather than continuing the story. I like her love for detail, but if used so much, it can become boring. I’d be interested in reading the next books because of the cliffhanger ending and I have my hopes up on how the story would turn out.
As Lena’s mother always says, “I love you. Remember. They cannot take it.”
“I guess that’s just part of loving people: You have to give things up. Sometimes you even have to give them up.”
My Rating: ★★★★