Author: Lauren Oliver
Publication: HarperCollins (February 1, 2011)
Description: Ninety-five days, and then I'll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It's hard to be patient. It's hard not to be afraid while I'm still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn't touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't.
Lauren Oliver astonished readers with her stunning debut, Before I Fall. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called it "raw, emotional, and, at times, beautiful. An end as brave as it is heartbreaking." Her much-awaited second novel fulfills her promise as an exceptionally talented and versatile writer.
My Thoughts: This is still another entry into the growing body of young adult dystopias. In this world, love has been identified as a disease and a medical cure has been found. But the cure can't be administered until the person is eighteen. After the cure, people are safe from love and hate. They are happy.
Lena is nearing the date for her cure. At first she is eager. She wants to be safe from the heartache that she saw her mother go through. Her mother was not cured. She had the procedure three times but it didn't work for her. When Lena was six, her mother committed suicide. Lena remembers dancing and laughing and singing with her mother. But she also remembers that her mother kept the shades drawn and was afraid that the neighbors would hear. She learned to hide emotions. Lena has lived with her aunt and uncle for the last eleven years and has seen what it is like living "cured."
When she meets a boy named Alex, she begins to take another closer look at her society. She had believed that the electrified fence around her city kept her safe from the uncured living outside. Now she sees the fence as imprisoning her. This society has guards and night raids and regulators. They are under constant observation to make sure that no trace of the disease is sneaking in. Resisters and Sympathizers are killed or imprisoned in the Crypt.
We get a chance to see this very repressive society both through Lena's eyes and through Alex's. Alex was born outside the city and was brought in as a child to live with some members of the resistance. He knows what it is like outside the city and in a place where love is not eradicated. He brings Lena out to his home outside the fence.
Lena has some huge decisions to make. Should she have the cure and live the life that is planned for her? Should she go away with Alex to live outside the city? And, if she decides to go, can she actually escape from the city?
This was a well-told story. The change in Lena from page one to page 448 is massive but well-done and consistent with her character. The society was horrible. It was outwardly so perfect and had such a rotten underbelly. I am eager to see what happens next in this trilogy. I recommend this for young adults who like dystopias and who like romances. The relationship between Lena and Alex is very romantic in a Romeo and Juliet sort of way.
He leans another inch closer. And it's like the flames seep out of his eyes and light my whole body on fire. I've never been this close to a boy before. I feel like fainting and running all at the same time. But I can't move.
All credit goes to Readerchick12 for this lovely trailer.