3 stars · dystopia · young adult

Dry by Neal & Jarrod Shusterman: drink your water, kids

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Dry

authors : neal shusterman & jarrod shusterman

other books by neal shusterman :

unwind scythe challenger deep

pages : [hardcover] 390

memorable quote :

Sometimes you have to be the monster to survive.

summary :

When the California drought escalates to catastrophic proportions, one teen is forced to make life and death decisions for her family in this harrowing story of survival from New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman.

The drought—or the Tap-Out, as everyone calls it—has been going on for a while now. Everyone’s lives have become an endless list of don’ts: don’t water the lawn, don’t fill up your pool, don’t take long showers.

Until the taps run dry.

Suddenly, Alyssa’s quiet suburban street spirals into a warzone of desperation; neighbors and families turned against each other on the hunt for water. And when her parents don’t return and her life—and the life of her brother—is threatened, Alyssa has to make impossible choices if she’s going to survive.

review :

I received an ARC of this book at BookCon in 2018. This in no way influenced my review or opinion.

Dry shows a reality that doesn’t seem so impossible. After terrible droughts and spreading wildfires, the entire water supply to Southern California is shut off without warning. The story is told in multiple points of view, all of them teenagers experiencing this crisis. The plot mostly follows a series of dangerous misadventures that occur because everyone is dumb and keeps forgetting that they need all of this water to survive.

This story is incredibly realistic, because I don’t think any of us are prepared to deal with a sudden crisis that might occur on this sort of scale. It’s scary, with all of the fires that have occurred in California just recently. And it kind of emphasizes how idiotic humanity can be–in saving themselves, in caring for one another, and in looking after the environment.

The problem is, most of the force behind the plot occurs through dramatic misunderstandings or really stupid mistakes. Most of the time when there was a shift in the plot, it was a combination of the two. Which made their quest for water sort of . . . boring. Obviously the overall motivation for the characters is survival, but they’re cookie-cutter stereotypes beyond that. I really didn’t care for most of them, which means I didn’t care if they lived or died. Hypothetically it’s fine if there are a few characters you could do without . . . but in a survival story where you’re supposed to be rooting for the main characters, on the edge of your seat, I felt next to nothing.

The characters aren’t exactly good people. They’re all flawed and as such, pretty realistic, which can be appreciated. But it’s very odd that, even with multiple first person points of view, I feel like I never got to know any of them. Like their personalities were trapped somewhere beyond a gigantic wall (which probably also had all of the water on the other side of it as well).

I did really enjoy the first bit of the book, as well as the last hundred or so pages. Perhaps if there had been more intrigue with the characters, instead of a rather repetitive middle portion, it would have better kept my interest. It took me months to get through this book.

One of my favorite parts, though, was the little snapshots that occur sometimes between different points of view. This lets readers see what’s happening with the outside world, or in other parts of California, or with other minor characters who’ve been referenced in the text. I loved that it gave a better picture of the crisis and more context for the dangers that were out there. Also, they showed what was happening at Disneyland in this end-of-the-world type situation, and I was very excited because I just love Disney so much.

Still, if you’re looking for a survival story, this one is pretty run of the mill. There aren’t any characters here for you to fall in love with. The concept is pretty unique, and interesting, and realistic, but the plot is nothing groundbreaking. I’d say pick up a different one of Shusterman’s books and leave this one on the shelf.

How I felt while reading this book:

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How I felt after reading this book:

tenor

3/5 stars

 

 

4 stars · dystopia · Fantasy · reread review

Reread Reflection: Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken

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How do you review a book after you’ve already read it? Review the reread!

I absolutely loved The Darkest Minds which was the first book in this trilogy. When I finally got my hands on book three, I remembered pretty clearly what happened in that book and was less certain about Never Fade. That calls for a reread!

First of all, I have to admit Never Fade suffers from the second book slump. I like it, but nowhere near with the passion of how I loved book one. This involves more of the political intrigue, a lot less of the action. There’s a lot happening but it’s all verbal plot twists, not exactly action scenes, except for probably the very first and last scenes of the book. Ruby shuts down so much when she’s around the League that it’s hard to get a read on her for . . kind of anything, which leads to an unfortunate monotone in places when she’s trying not to feel and all.

There are some pretty good plot twists in here, though, and those easily kept me reading. I mean, it’s kind of like you’re thinking nothing else could go worse, and then everything goes much worse than you could ever think possible.

Before this reread, I couldn’t remember too much about Never Fade apart from pieces of the end of the book. And then I kept thinking, no, that couldn’t possibly be how it ends . . . but it does, and it still makes me a mixture of sad and angry. All in all, it made me unsure if this is a trilogy I’ll reread in its entirety again. I still have a special place in my heart for The Darkest Minds, because when I read that it felt so clever and unlike anything else I’d ever read. Never Fade brings in more dystopian tropes, and, well, I’ll be putting up my review of book three in a few days.

So, while I really liked this book, I don’t feel like I absolutely need this book.

 

 

3 stars · dystopia · young adult

Prodigy by Marie Lu

Prodigy

Legend #2
Book 1: Legend

author : marie lu

pages : [hardcover] 371

memorable quote He is beauty, inside and out.
He is the silver lining in a world of darkness.

favorite character : day

summary :

Injured and on the run, it has been seven days since June and Day barely escaped Los Angeles and the Republic with their lives. Day is believed dead having lost his own brother to an execution squad who thought they were assassinating him. June is now the Republic’s most wanted traitor. Desperate for help, they turn to the Patriots – a vigilante rebel group sworn to bring down the Republic. But can they trust them or have they unwittingly become pawns in the most terrifying of political games?

review :

I have a feeling that this is a trilogy that only keeps getting better. While it isn’t one of my favorites (and I wanted so badly to love it!) these books have some great elements that I think everyone should take a look at. I love a book that makes you think.

For instance, just as soon as you’re sure you have it all figured out in Prodigy . . . something comes along and blows it all away. In an amazingly realistic sense. It’s hard to pinpoint who, exactly, is the bad guy here because everyone has their different motivations, their evils and kindnesses, and there are so many agendas going on that it’s difficult for June and Day to know who their real allies are. Apart from each other, of course. The way their relationship progressed was pretty sweet, too.

Again, I just have a problem with the writing style. I’m unsure of whether it’s Marie Lu or simply the way she crafted these books. I’m tempted to continue following her writing even after I finish Champion because she has amazing ideas and I WANT to be able to enjoy them more.

Something I really did love? The action. Yes, these books are perfect for people looking for an adrenaline rush–and if you need nothing else, I’m certain you’ll love them. There’s never a dull moment here because even when the characters are resting, it’s usually only because they’ve discovered a new and terrible plot twist that’s about to make a whole other mess come down on them.

 Day is still my favorite character to read because, come on, who doesn’t prefer the rebellious badass. I love June for who she is, the strength she has, and the beautifully sharp mind she’s got . . . but there’s just something about vigilante justice that’s that much cooler.

While these aren’t my favorite books, I’ll recommend that others at least give them a go. I know there are others out there who’ll love them more than me!

Writing: 55%
Characters: 80%
Romance: 60%
Action: 100%
Plot: 70%
Overall: 73%

3/5 stars

dystopia · series · young adult

Legend by Marie Lu

Legend

Legend #1

author : marie lu

pages : [hardcover] 305

memorable quote Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything’s possible again.

favorite character : day

summary :

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

review :

Legend. I’ve been hearing about it for years. I’ve even had the privilege of hearing Marie Lu speak at Book Con (twice!) before I even picked up one of her books. Possibly because by the time I heard about her trilogy, I was on dystopian overload and decided that I needed to give that genre a rest for a little while. Because it’s been a long time since I’ve read a dystopian I’ve loved, and my friend was kind enough to let me borrow these books from her, I finally dove into the world of Legend. I wasn’t immediately impressed.

The book alternates between Day, vigilante on the streets, and June, prodigy of the military nation they live in. What was awesome about Day’s chapters were that they were written in gold ink, which I thought was pretty unique and fun. The text itself fit into their personalities. Day is fighting for freedom and individuality; June prefers the black text, what’s expected, known, and follows the rules.

I think throughout the novel I began to look forward to Day’s chapters, probably because they often ended on mini cliffhangers and I wanted to know what was happening with him. It wasn’t that June ever truly bored me, but sometimes I wanted to push past her angst-y wondering and political problems to get to Day’s more pressing (and life-threatening) issues. He’s a fun character to read, but I never fully connected with him in Legend. I never understood why he needed to be on his own instead of joining the other rebels, why he wasn’t helping his family more.

I will say that there are some parts of his story I found really predictable and others that were refreshingly new. I did love how some parts of the story that I was waiting to happen (that I can’t discuss for fear of spoiling!) happened much sooner than I ever thought they would, so I had to wonder what could possibly happen next to complicate things enough to fill the novel.

I’m not sure if I’ll recommend Legend. While parts of the story are interesting, there is nothing distinctively unique about this that wowed me, particularly because I don’t think I connect with Lu’s writing style.

Writing: 50%
Characters: 75%
Romance: 60%
Action: 98%
Plot: 70%
Overall:  70.6%

3/5 stars

5 stars · dystopia · young adult

In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis

In a Handful of Dust

Not a Drop to Drink #2

release date : september 23rd

author : mindy mcginnis

pages : [hardcover] 384

memorable quote They found each other’s hands in the dark, and an angel with chipped marble wings watched over them as they slept.

favorite characters : lynn & lucy

summary :

The only thing bigger than the world is fear.

Lucy’s life by the pond has always been full. She has water and friends, laughter and the love of her adoptive mother, Lynn, who has made sure that Lucy’s childhood was very different from her own. Yet it seems Lucy’s future is settled already—a house, a man, children, and a water source—and anything beyond their life by the pond is beyond reach.

When disease burns through their community, the once life-saving water of the pond might be the source of what’s killing them now. Rumors of desalinization plants in California have lingered in Lynn’s mind, and the prospect of a “normal” life for Lucy sets the two of them on an epic journey west to face new dangers: hunger, mountains, deserts, betrayal, and the perils of a world so vast that Lucy fears she could be lost forever, only to disappear in a handful of dust.

In this companion to Not a Drop to Drink, Mindy McGinnis thrillingly combines the heart-swelling hope of a journey, the challenges of establishing your own place in the world, and the gripping physical danger of nature in a futuristic frontier.

review :

Not a Drop to Drink is one of my favorite books and I’d never expected to love it when I first started reading it. While it’s a great book on it’s own, as soon as I heard about a companion novel set in the same world several years after the events of book one, I absolutely had to get my hands on it. Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed! Mindy McGinnis delivers again with an action-filled, heart-wrenching story that’ll have you crying, laughing, and thinking of how thankful you are that you don’t need to go through the trials Lynn and Lucy do.

What makes In a Handful of Dust so different from its predecessor is how we’re shown more of the United States as it is after the devastation of the Shortage. I liked getting to see more side characters with their own stories, whether they’re old enough to remember the world before things went bad or if they’re like Lynn and Lucy, never having known anything but this harsh life.

Both books show humanity’s capacity for cruel actions but I think this second book really honed how people were willing to go to any length to survive. I thought that it was bad learning about Lynn’s upbringing, alone with her mother who taught her from a young age to shoot anyone on sight, simply so those people wouldn’t have the chance to take a little of their water. This companion book has many more horrors. Without spoiling anything, I’ll say there were a few twists that had me gagging.

In the first book, Lucy was only a little girl, so it was fantastic to get to see how her personality has developed now that she’s older. Obviously I was also excited to see Lynn; she’s had such a devastating life that she’s one of those characters I just want to hold back and protect from all of the bad things in the world. She’s such a strong woman, though, and her bond with Lucy absolutely makes the book for me. The two of them could be set in any kind of world, in any time, and I’d still love them and the little family they’ve made for themselves.

I really, really love these books and want to recommend them to everyone. Mindy McGinnis is fabulous and I want more of her writing immediately. She makes it so easy to slip into the world she’s created, so easy to fall in love with her characters. Go read her great prose for yourself.

5/5 stars

4 stars · dystopia

Rise by Anna Carey

 

Rise

The Eve Trilogy #3
Book 1: Eve
Book 2: Once

author : anna carey

pages : [hardcover] 310

favorite characters : eve & clara

summary :

How far will you go when you have nothing left to lose?

When she lost her soul mate, Caleb, Eve felt like her world had ended. Trapped in the palace, forced to play the part of the happy, patriotic princess of The New America—and the blushing bride of her father’s top adviser—Eve’s whole life is a lie. The only thing that keeps her going is Caleb’s memory, and the revolution he started.

Now, Eve is taking over where Caleb left off. With the help of Moss, an undercover subversive in the King’s court, she plots to take down The New America, beginning with the capital, the City of Sand. Will Eve be able to bring about a new, free world when she’s called upon to perform the ultimate act of rebellion—killing her father?

In Rise, Eve must choose who to leave behind, who to save, and who to fight as Anna Carey’s epic tale of romance and sacrifice in the chilling dystopia of The New America comes to a stunning conclusion.

review :

 This is the last book in the Eve trilogy and I was really looking forward to seeing how the author was going to conclude these books. Rise starts just a few weeks after the conclusion of book two. While I feel like the plot of this book read just as quickly as the other two books, it also lacked the amount of detail and character connections that I’ve been searching for throughout the series and hoped would finally come through in this final novel.

I think that I’ve come to the conclusion that while Rise and the other Eve books are interesting and made me want to know what was going to happen next, they aren’t very memorable as a whole for the dystopian genre. I’m not going to rave about how I love the characters because there is no epic love connection or friendship; characters that I knew that I should care about, I felt like I barely knew. It saddened me because I feel so much potential in the ideas Carey focuses on. I can only hope that her writing will improve and I’ll definitely try more from her in the future.

While I didn’t dislike the way that this book ended, at first it infuriated me. I’d waited that long to have it end like that? Yet the more I sat on it-and it’s been a week since I read it, until I felt able to review the book-the more I liked that ending. It seemed fitting and worked well with the way the rest of the book was written. I can imagine what’s going to happen next and maybe what’s in my mind is even better because I can infuse it with feeling that might not have been there if more had been included in the original text.

Would I recommend this trilogy? Yes, definitely. But it would be more of a dystopian for the summer, a lighter trilogy that doesn’t take a huge attention span or time commitment. I might end up rereading these books in the future; I’ll definitely keep an eye out to see what Carey’s writing in the future. This isn’t the best trilogy, but it’s a good, satisfying one.

4/5 stars

4 stars · dystopia · young adult

Once by Anna Carey

 

Once

Eve #2
Book 1: Eve

author : anna carey

pages : [hardcover] 354

memorable quote Only boring people get bored.

favorite characters : caleb & eve

summary :

When you’re being hunted, who can you trust?

For the first time since she escaped from her school many months ago, Eve can sleep soundly. She’s living in Califia, a haven for women, protected from the terrifying fate that awaits orphaned girls in The New America.

But her safety came at a price: She was forced to abandon Caleb, the boy she loves, wounded and alone at the city gates. When Eve gets word that Caleb is in trouble, she sets out into the wild again to rescue him, only to be captured and brought to the City of Sand, the capital of The New America.

Trapped inside the City walls, Eve uncovers a shocking secret about her past–and is forced to confront the harsh reality of her future. When she discovers Caleb is alive, Eve attempts to flee her prison so they can be together–but the consequences could be deadly. She must make a desperate choice to save the ones she loves . . . or risk losing Caleb forever.

In this breathless sequel to “Eve,” Anna Carey returns to her tale of romance, adventure, and sacrifice in a world that is both wonderfully strange and chillingly familiar.

review :

 I picked this book up right after I finished Eve. I don’t know what it is about these books that have me addicted to them. They aren’t action-packed dystopians, more character and setting based situations. Yet as soon as I picked up Once, it was just like book one: I couldn’t put it down and flew through this book. It was a very quick read, one that I really liked, and something that made me excited for book three.

What made me really happy about book two were the plot twists I couldn’t predict. Sometimes I knew that Eve was making a mistake with some decision she made but I was never certain of how it was going to play out. I feel like there are so many different things at work in these books that are going to completely come together in the third and final book in this trilogy. Once just builds up more suspense and makes me eager to see how things will play out!

The one thing that did annoy me about this book was how Eve’s priorities sometimes seemed skewed. Whenever she wasn’t in immediate danger, she would relax and not think of ways to try to help her friends who were in terrible situations. When she was in trouble, then she would lament about how she would never be able to save anyone else. Sometimes she trusted people she shouldn’t have and did some naive things but most of that can be chalked up to her isolated upbringing. She’s slowly expanding her awareness and realizing that most of what she’s been taught is a lie . . but this book, like the last one, shows how she’s tentatively beginning to think for herself.

I really like these books so far and would really recommend them. They’re quick reads but I think they’re entertaining and nothing like the dystopians I’ve been reading lately. If you’re looking for more action, I wouldn’t head for the Eve trilogy, but if you want interesting characters and great writing, pick these books up!

4/5 stars

5 stars · dystopia · series · young adult

Eve by Anna Carey

 

Eve

Eve #1

author : anna carey

pages : [hardcover] 336

memorable quote You can love anyone. Love is just caring about someone very deeply. Feeling like that person matters to you, like your whole world would be sadder without them in it.

favorite characters : eve & benny

summary :

Where do you go when nowhere is safe?

Sixteen years after a deadly virus wiped out most of Earth’s population, the world is a perilous place. Eighteen-year-old Eve has never been beyond the heavily guarded perimeter of her school, where she and two hundred other orphaned girls have been promised a future as the teachers and artists of the New America. But the night before graduation, Eve learns the shocking truth about her school’s real purpose and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Arden, her former rival from school, and Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust… and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

In this epic new series, Anna Carey imagines a future that is both beautiful and terrifying.

review :

I’ve had this trilogy on my radar for a while but only just decided to pick it up. I love dystopian novels but sometimes it can get to feel like I’m reading the same thing over and over. Fortunately Eve was a little breath of fresh air from what I’ve been reading recently. I really, really liked this novel and can’t wait to move on to the next book!

Eve moves at a slower pace than many other books in its genre but I think that it works well for this novel because it gives the reader more time to adjust to Eve’s world and also allows us to see things from her perspective. She hasn’t been outside the walls of the School since she was five years old and has no real instincts for survival. She isn’t like other dystopian heroines because she isn’t immediately a kick-ass kind of girl. She isn’t stupid, either; I saw her as the gentle, motherly type of person who’s incredibly smart but maybe has no survival sense.

This was a really quick read, especially because I kept wanting to know what would happen next with the characters. You could fly through these pages very quickly, especially if you’re a serious reader. That really worked for me because I felt like even though the pacing of the plot was slower, I was making so much progress with reading that I hardly noticed that.

It did help that the whole book had a Peter Pan vibe going for it, what with Eve running from home and Caleb taking her to a band of boys who view her as a kind of mother. Even though I’m not sure that any of it was meant in that way, it was cute and made me want to look for other parts of the book that felt more like a fairy tale than a dystopia.

Overall, I thought that this book was great. It has some of the same elements as other dystopian books but I loved how the characters made it different and I can see where the plot might go next. I’m hoping that the next installment has a little more action, fleshes out the characters more, and gets me excited for book three!

5/5 stars

1 star · dystopia · series · young adult

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

Ignite Me

Shatter Me #3
Book 1: Shatter Me
Book 2: Unravel Me

author : tahereh mafi

pages : [hardcover] 409

favorite character : kenji 

summary :

The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, called “a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love.”

With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her.

The Shatter Me series is perfect for fans who crave action-packed young adult novels with tantalizing romance like Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Legend by Marie Lu. Tahereh Mafi has created a captivating and original story that combines the best of dystopian and paranormal, and was praised by Publishers Weekly as “a gripping read from an author who’s not afraid to take risks.” Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and satisfying end.

review :

I liked Shatter Me. Liked Unravel Me. And could barely get through Ignite Me.

Honestly, up until this conclusion I counted Shatter Me as one of my favorite books and I was so looking forward to seeing how everything in Juliette’s world would change and develop. Unfortunately even though the love story/love triangle has always been a part of these books, it completely dominated this third installment. Juliette flip-flops between the two men who love her and she’s much more concerned with deciding between them than concerning herself with an impending battle.

The book begins with the aftermath of Unravel Me. I absolutely loved the ending to that and could see what was being set up for the next book. While I’ve never liked Warner as much as some of his supporters have, I loved his character. I thought he was interesting, wanted to hear more about his motivations, and liked that he was a different kind of villain. Ignite Me completely tears apart almost everything we learned about the main three characters in book one. It was incredibly frustrating, the way that everything was so easily changed and manipulated to be viewed beneath a different light, to justify some of the events that took place throughout the series. Adam’s character was completely demolished in this book, in my opinion. He spends much of it doing absolutely nothing but yelling at people, mostly Juliette. Then storming out of rooms. It didn’t match how his character acted before at all.

So I must disagree with the summary of the book. No, this conclusion was not shocking. I could predict everything in the ending from the first few chapters. I would have marked this book as did not finish if I hadn’t had such a connection with the beginning of the series. This book is not satisfying, nor is it action-packed. I think that was what I had most of a problem with; honestly, I like romance in YA novels. Sometimes I love it-even when there are love triangles! But Juliette’s real-world problems of taking down the Reestablishment, protecting and saving her friends, as well as killing Anderson, are shoved into the last twenty pages of the book. That’s right. There is absolutely no conflict that is not love triangle related until the very end. In fact, I thought that I’d made a mistake and there had to be another book in this series.

The conclusion came too abruptly and too easily, obviously. There was much more time spent on Juliette’s training then on the actual fight, though her training mostly consisted of her not being able to do anything and then spontaneously solving her problems (usually during a fight with one of her men).

The answers I’d hoped to get about why Juliette’s world was this way never came. I didn’t really need an explanation for why some people had powers-though it would have been good to know if that was something that was typical, around the world, or if it’d just started happening. I’m really disappointed that this is the ending that we got. I’ll continue to read and love Shatter Me, possibly Unravel Me  . . . but not this.

Although this book utterly devastated me, I’d like to leave this review on a good note. I absolutely love Kenji and was glad to see him appear so much throughout the book. I also found James so adorable and lovely, though I wish that he’d had more time devoted to him and that most of the conflict had been steered toward his reaction to certain revelations.

I wouldn’t recommend this book, or beginning this series with high expectations.

1/5 stars

3 stars · dystopia · series · young adult

Delirium Stories by Lauren Oliver

 

Delirium Stories : Hana, Annabel, & Raven

Delirium #0.5, 1.5, 2.5
Book 1: Delirium
Book 2: Pandemonium
Book 3: Requiem

author: lauren oliver

pages : [paperback] 208

favorite character : annabel

summary :

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.

review :

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.

4/5 stars