Ninety-five days, and all will be well. Lena will have had her procedure, and any trace of the disease, amor deliria nervosa, will be in the past. She will have a new life with whatever man she is matched with, and she will be free of pain, of agony, of loss, of sorrow. She will be free of love, a terrible word that drags people into the depths of their own sickness.
She will be free.
Then, Alex. The boy from the labs. He has the mark of the procedure, but he's different, somehow. And he knows Lena...has seen her before and wants to be friends.
She doesn't know why she says yes to his invitation to meet him. But she does.
After, nothing is the same. ________________________________________________
My thoughts - Delirium shook me to the core. No, really, my hands were shaking and my breathing was coming fast.
But first, I must rewind to the beginning. At the beginning, within the first ten pages, my jaw dropped. This is quality literature, I told myself, sucking in those pages without delay. The writing. The characters. The atmosphere. Picture yourself sitting, surrounded by the white halls of a hospital. Everything smells clean, sterile, and you can't help but notice the faint echo, as though life, real life, is outside the walls that surround you. Everything looks shiny. Everything is bright. You have a headache. You've had tests done, and now you are waiting. Waiting for the verdict. Waiting for someone, someone in draped in more white, to come and tell you your future. Will you live, or will you die? Your fate rests in his hands. The verdict that will change your life forever is about to be revealed to you.
Well, this is what the beginning of this book reminded me of. The waiting, the endless waiting, as though your whole life is just a waiting game. What else is there but what's in front of you?
While reading the first fifty pages or so, I was, in fact, reminded of the color of this book's cover. That light turqoise, like a piece of the ocean. But flat and sterile, like in a hospital. And then, as the story progressed (while I continued to drop my jaw in amazement at the beauty of it), I realized that every scene is defined by a color. The party was black, with bright neon of blues, pinks, and oranges. The picnic was golden, like a piece of sunshine. The star scene was navy blue. And throughout every scene, the color turqoise was laced, as though reminding me of the impending danger of the procedure.
When I had forty pages left, I sat down and finished the story. My hands shook and I could barely turn the page. I was amazed, pained, scared for what would happen... And then - the end. Oh....I cried. Actually, I sobbed. And I don't throw that word around lightly. There are some books that cause me to shed a few tears, but only a few, a rare few (Sapphique, Inkspell, Jane Eyre, Uncle Tom's Cabin, the three books of the Circle Trilogy, and The Silent Boy, to be specific), cause me to lose it completely. This, my friends, joins that list, my crying list, my epic list.
And, mind you, this is coming from the perspective of someone who didn't want to read this book. I wasn't sure about it. I'd heard a lot of good and some bad, and I still didn't have a good feeling about it. Well, I was wrong. Like, really really really wrong...
Character notes - Immediately, I cared for Lena. I felt the pain she felt, and I wanted to help her, or at least see her happy. To see her free of the lies of her society. I wanted to comfort her about her mother and be the best friend she needs. She seemed strong to me, despite the sadness she felt. All she needed to do was realize it was all a lie. Only then could she break free.
And she needed someone special to help her with that. Someone who would pull her out of her own troubles and show her the world around her for what it truly is - a beautiful world, full of deceived and deceiving people. That person took shape in Alex. Alex seemed...different. Right from the start. Not only does he stand out in that strange world, but he stands out in literature, too. He's not your typical boyfriend, either. When Lena needs someone strong, he is strong. When she needs someone kind, he is kind. He always protects her. He loves her genuinely and selflessly, always thinking of her first, what she loves and wants to do. When Lena begins to fall into a self-pity craze, he's tough with her, but only because he wants her to see the truth - because he loves her. I cannot tell you how stinking impressed I am with his character. The amount of selflessness and care and respect and beauty put into the love he has for Lena surprised me. I was not prepared for this quality of a love story. I have a feeling that my opinion of many love stories I read in the future will be colored by this one, just because it was so incredibly amazing to me. I also love that Alex is the color of autumn. At least, that's what he reminds Lena of, and it's stuck in my brain now, too. His hair is the color of autumn leaves. His eyes are the color of amber. He's just warm and...wonderful. Like, really truly wonderful. Quality.
Story notes - This is something else that surprised me: the perfect smoothness of the story. Like, it was incredibly smooth. There were times when I felt the pace could have gone out of whack - but nope!! It went smooth, like Lauren Oliver has never done anything else in her life except write smooth stories. And the story itself... Twists and turns and creepy Crypts and love. Lots of love. It's powerful. NOT your easy, light read that you can put down and say, "Yay that was happy, now let's move on!" When I finished it (during my good, long cry), I had to think. In fact, I don't exactly want to pick up a book right now because I just want to let this one rest a bit on my mind before I dive into another story.
One word/phrase to sum up this book (and final thoughts) - There are quite a few words that come to mind when I think of Delirium... Powerful, colorful, LOVELY, quality, coherent...flipping amazing! But I really think the best word (actually, phrase) to describe it is breath-takingly beautiful. When I reached the end of the book, I kind of did lose my breath. There's so much going on, so much to learn about these characters and experience in this deceived world. And there's so much love. So, so much, that it got me thinking about my life. My loves. How do I love those around me? How can I take advantage of this freedom? And the choices I have...it's amazing compared to the world of Delirium. This, I take advantage of too much. What better choices can I make in the future? Really, this was quite a life-changing, thought-provoking book for me. I hope everyone will give this book a shot - literature as quality as this deserves a majorly huge spotlight. :)
For the parents: Some brief strong language. (F**k, b**ch, d**n, s**t...) A short scene (less than a page long) where Alex sees Lena without a shirt on (it's implied without a bra as well), and he tells her she is beautiful. They don't have sex but they kiss a lot. Not super descriptive.(less)
Gooooshhhh... The hard reality, the gritty truths, the tough choices and the fervent passion: Anne Perry's trademarks that never ever ever FREAKING EV...moreGooooshhhh... The hard reality, the gritty truths, the tough choices and the fervent passion: Anne Perry's trademarks that never ever ever FREAKING EVER get old.(less)
There are only a few books in the world worthy of me staying up till 3 AM to finish. This book was one if them. IM FREAKING OUT OK?! That was perfect....moreThere are only a few books in the world worthy of me staying up till 3 AM to finish. This book was one if them. IM FREAKING OUT OK?! That was perfect. PERFECT. Every detail, every moment, was careful and planned and yet totally unexpected!! What even.(less)
I absolutely love love love Galen. He's by far my favorite. And in this book I love how Galen grew so much. And how Carys's inner struggles have such...moreI absolutely love love love Galen. He's by far my favorite. And in this book I love how Galen grew so much. And how Carys's inner struggles have such an impact on the book.
"What is it?" Harnor whispered. "I don't know. But Galen will." "Who's Galen?" he began, but then he stopped, staring over her shoulder, his face set in sudden agony of terror. She spun around. Far down the halls, up through the open trapdoor, something dark and long, endlessly long, was slithering.(less)
Requiem by Lauren Oliver Book 3 in a trilogy 5/5 stars Some spoilers!
Can I just cry right now???? This book was epic. (It was my Best of the Bunch choice...moreRequiem by Lauren Oliver Book 3 in a trilogy 5/5 stars Some spoilers!
Can I just cry right now???? This book was epic. (It was my Best of the Bunch choice for March!) I know it received a lot of questionable reviews...I saw some where the reviewer said, "5 stars for the first 3/4th, 1 star for the last 1/4th." I had NEVER seen that in all my 3 years of book blogging, so I was really nervous to start this.
Fortunately for me, I'm one of the people in this world who believes it deserves 5 stars from beginning to end. I don't really know how to describe what it did for me - my heart was broken and whole all at once. Everything made sense. If it had happened any differently, I don't know...maybe I would have liked it, but it wouldn't have had that shocking, real-life kind of feeling it gave me.
By real life, I mean this: Things happen. Our stories are played out in our lives. Once one battle is won (or lost) your life doesn't just stop. It keeps going. It's not the end. Some things are left unsaid. Some things aren't finished. Some questions you won't have the answers to. Sure, that sucks sometimes, but it's life. Requiem earned my absolute respect and all my love because of this: It doesn't "end". I feel like there is more that will happen, so much more. I also think that...it had to stop sometime. There was sooo much work to be done after the climax that it could have gone on and on and on.
Basically, I loved where she left it. It had me gasping. For those of you who have read it, highlight this: OMG I'M SO HAPPY WHO SHE ENDED UP WITH YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!! That was ALL I ever REALLY wanted for this series!! ;) (End spoiler.) And on top of that ^^ the character development left me breathless, and the gorgeous prose was like a lullaby. And Hana...a;sldfkja;slgj;askldjf!!!! I just. I mean. UGH. It was, to say the least, beautiful.
Anyways. If you loved the first two, PLEASE give this one a try. Sure, it's a daunting one to pick up, but trust me, it's WORTH IT. And I feel if you're prepared for the ending, it won't be as much of a bummer as it was to some people.
This book reminds me of... Forests Rivers Danger Sacrificial love (my favorite kind) Growth in character Searching for beauty, especially in the unexpected LOVE (because that's really what it's all about)
Summary (Spoilers for the first 2 books!) They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past. But we are still here. And there are more of us every day. Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight. After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor. Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings. Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better off without it. But we have chosen a different road. And in the end, that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose. We are even free to choose the wrong thing. Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.(less)
Grand Fenwick is a little known country near France, a small duchy that has flourished for centuries because of their popular wine company. Recently, however, the wine business has failed to bring in enough money to live on. There are those who wish to dilute the wine, and others who are against this notion. Both parties continue to argue over the outcome until a grand scheme is devised: small, itty bitty Grand Fenwick will declare war on the U.S. - attack, lose, and then receive all sorts of benefits for their trouble, as they had seen happen to every nation who lost a war to the U.S.
But of course, this isn't at all what happens. In fact, Grand Fenwick, the smallest nation in the world, wins this war. And becomes the most powerful nation in the world.
My thoughts - I looked forward to reading this book for nearly 9 months before I finally got to read it for school. It most definitely did not disappoint and I want to say right off the bat that everyone should give this a try! :)
For one, this book is hilarious. Everything about it - the characters, story line, and dialogue - has some sort of humorous tinge to it. I laughed and giggled through the whole thing.
Yet, at the same time, there is a strong sense of seriousness and peril, as well as great honor, throughout the entire story. I couldn't help but follow along to discover what would happen, knowing I wouldn't be disappointed.
Character notes - I loved all the characters in this book. From the Duchess of Grand Fenwick to Tully Bascomb; from the President of the U.S. to the Russian Commissar. Even if they weren't the most in-depth characters in literature (because this story wasn't exactly meant to focus on character), they were fascinating and realistic all the same. I actually think the U.S. President is my favorite, with Gloriana (the Duchess) coming in at a close second. I respected them both and loved the way they handled the sticky situations they were put in.
Story notes - This story really focuses a lot on politics - with a mixture of action, silliness, romance, and character history on the side. I was quite taken with the story line from the start of the book. I cared about Grand Fenwick and their financial struggles and wanted them to find the solution. Then, when they proposed war, the action started. Then more politics...then suspense...and so on. I loved the perfect trap the U.S. walked into, and the perfect set-up to win the war that the warriors of Grand Fenwick had. And neither side knew it. Quite a way to set up an unexpected ending to an already hilarious (and intriguing) story!
One word/phrase to sum it up (final thoughts) - Uproarious! I loved it all, even if it wasn't super deep or life-altering. A bit of silliness, romance, and war mixed in with political disagreements of all different kinds makes for a lovely story and enjoyable read!(less)
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (#1) Pages: 404 Release Date: August 2nd, 2012 Date Read: 2012, July 11th-13th Received: ARC via NetGalley (OWN) Rating: 4...moreThrone of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (#1) Pages: 404 Release Date: August 2nd, 2012 Date Read: 2012, July 11th-13th Received: ARC via NetGalley (OWN) Rating: 4/5 stars Recommended to: 14+
SUMMARY - Celaena Sardothien, feared assassin, trained to kill without hesitation. Ruthless, sarcastic, strong. By the prince's command, she has been captured by the captain of the Guard. She has been offered freedom - if she wins a competition and works for the king for four years. But what cost will Celaena pay? The lives of every contestant is on the line, especially when the ruthless, disturbing killings begin. And hard-hearted Celaena may have a reason to love again. But nothing - nothing - must stand between her and freedom.
MY THOUGHTS - I really, really enjoyed this book! The feel to it is awesome - I mean, female assassins are WAY cool. The writing sometimes fell short, but then made up for it with some awesome fight scenes and descriptions.
I'll admit, for the first half of the book, there were some prominent things that really stood out to me, as annoying. More on that later - but I was considering 3 stars. Good thing it really really made up for it! Besides, months after I've read it, I hardly remember those things and had to look at my notes. They're not super important, but they are there.
One thing I didn't love was the shifting POVs. So random, and often unneeded, I felt. They would have seemed more vital if they had shown, rather than told. They got better as the story progressed, but at first they irked me.
CHARACTER NOTES - Celaena was....unstable. Let's put it that way. She was insane one moment, angelic the next. A bit inconsistent, I felt, but only in the beginning. Then, mid-book, she seemed more....crazy, like her year in the mines had sent her over the edge. Then, after being around people and building friendships, her mind seemed to heal. So while I had some issues with her, I still loved her character all around and felt that most of her actions were totally normal for a trained assassin trying to gain her freedom. And her flaws made her all the more real to me! She proved to be a very worthy MC in the end.
Crown Prince Dorian, one of the love interests, was...well, he grew on me. I don't think he's the one for Celaena, not at all, and I felt sorry for the poor love-struck chap, but...no. He kind of annoyed me at first, like he was too cheesy. But then he got better. Definitely friend material, but not strong enough or dedicated enough for me to adore him like I adore....
Chaol. This guy is so wonderful I want to write an epic poem proclaiming my love for him - or something along those ridiculous but totally realistic lines... ;) He's such a man - and that's just it! He's responsible, strong, hard-working, terribly gorgeous, and just fantastically incredible on every level. He is strong and steadfast, where Celaena is wild and unpredictable. That is what makes him perfect for her, among other things. The way he pushed, encouraged, stayed strong, was a rock for Celaena in a world where her next move could be her last.... I love him. I love him. I love him. I love him. I love him. Etc, etc, etc.
I really loved Nehemia. She's strange, forceful, like Celaena. Their friendship was really a great dynamic for the story.
THE BAD GUYS. WERE. NASTY! They scared me...seriously they were so radically EVIL. I don't want to say names 'cause I feel like that would be a bit spoilery. But for reals - assassins are crazy! Twenty-three criminals competing for a title? Crazy!
STORY NOTES - Reading the story about an assassin is new to me, but...I want more! Now! Like, when's the next book coming out?! (And can the cover please feature Chaol, PLEASE?! *Sigh*)
So, the story starts - and never slows. Not once. Fast fast fast! I loved that about it. Always something happening, a new twist, a new development!
And welcome to the land of NO INSTA-LOVE! Congratulations, Sarah! You win the award of perfectly drawn out love story development, and two different kinds! For Dorian, it started out as very physical, because he's been a bit of a womanizer (to say the least), and while I believe he loves her, in his own way, I think someone else's love (coughcough!) is deeper, greater...
Chaol's love develops not through physical attraction, but through time spent together, a connection through working hard together, through laughing together. It was beautiful to see his progression of feelings from hatred to....WOW. Very powerful emotions. :D
I'm also so happy that Celaena didn't kiss both boys and act all confused about her feelings. She was very level-headed in her feelings toward the boys. But now...now...I'm highly anticipating Celaena and Chaol's first kiss! Like - hurry up already, Sarah! ;)
The book ended with a bang. Stunning! The last part of the climax - "Get up!" sent my heart pounding away. My knuckles turned while. My breathing paused. Wow.
SUMMING IT UP - Starts good and ends really really great! Sarah, please hurry up! Your fans are dying in anticipation! I bought Throne of Glass and had it signed by the lovely author and now I hope to do the same for Book 2! :D
For the Parents - Some minor cussing; a few kisses with little detail. Very violent - sometimes gory. Reference to faces being ripped off, brains getting cut up, etc. Recommended 14+.