Delirium Stories : Hana, Annabel, & Raven
author: lauren oliver
pages : [paperback] 208
favorite character : annabel
For the first time, Lauren Oliver’s short stories about characters in the Delirium world appear in print. Originally published as digital novellas, Hana, Annabel, and Raven each center around a fascinating and complex character who adds important information to the series and gives it greater depth. This collection also includes an excerpt from Requiem, the final novel in Oliver’s New York Times bestselling series.
Hana is told through the perspective of Lena’s best friend, Hana Tate. Set during the tumultuous summer before Lena and Hana are supposed to be cured, this story is a poignant and revealing look at a moment when the girls’ paths diverge and their futures are altered forever.
Lena’s mother, Annabel, has always been a mystery–a ghost from Lena’s past–until now. Her journey from teenage runaway to prisoner of the state is a taut, gripping narrative that expands the Delirium world and illuminates events–and Lena–through a new point of view.
And as the passionate, fierce leader of a rebel group in the Wilds, Raven plays an integral role in the resistance effort and comes into Lena’s life at a crucial time. Crackling with intensity, Raven is a brilliant story told in the voice of one of the strongest and most tenacious characters in the Delirium world.
While I didn’t enjoy the end of the Delirium trilogy, I did think that the world it was set in was very interesting and I wanted to read this set of short stories so that I could hear from other perspectives inside a world where love is a disease to be eradicated. I was especially eager to read ‘Annabel’, which tells the past of Lena’s mother. I definitely think that this collection is worth picking up for any Delirium fan; I enjoyed reading it all in a paperback rather than hunting down the ebooks for myself.
First in the book is ‘Hana’. A lot is revealed about Lena’s best friend in the final book of the trilogy, though I liked reading in the first person about her before she’d been cured. It was interesting to see how her position was somewhat switched with Lena’s while they’re both questioning authority or accepting their positions in society. It was nice to set the build-up to Hana’s decision which effects the events in Delirium and I could almost understand her motivation behind that, now that I’ve read this short story.
‘Annabel’ was my favorite of the three. I liked the sections told in the mother’s past, back when she was Lena’s age and struggling to resist the cure that would rid her of love as well as most other emotions. It was also interesting to get a glimpse of society as it turned from what we know in reality to Lena’s reality, where the cure is forced upon everyone. I also loved how those sections contrasted with her mother’s years in prison, as well as the events taking place in her cell while Delirium took place.
My second favorite story was ‘Raven’, the last included in the book. I loved hearing about her caring relationship with Blue; I might’ve teared up a little bit over that, especially because she came so close to losing her so many times and still has a hard time even thinking about Blue’s name. I loved seeing her expectations and worries for the future; it gave me a better picture of what could happen to some characters after Requiem concluded.
Overall these stories were short, sweet, and I feel like they added a lot to the world that Delirium is set in. I rented this book from the library rather than buying it for my personal collection. Even though I’d highly recommend giving this a read, I wouldn’t say that you need to keep it around to read again.