Sunday, January 9, 2011

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Release Date: February 1, 2011
Rating: 5 Stars

SUMMARY FROM AMAZON: 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.
REVIEW: Delirium was one of my favorite books I've read this year, which isn't saying a lot considering it's only January 9th. However, I think that by December it will have remained one of my favorites. Lauren Oliver is one of the best living writers. her control over language and dialogue is really excellent, and she writes very naturally and fluidly. Nothing seemed forced, and there were some very profound lines in this book. Also, the story was so creative, and the characters were vibrant and vivid. I really enjoyed reading about Lena's transformation from a strict rule-follower to someone who finally realizes what the world around her has become. The love story between Alex and Lena was believable, and the ending was heart-wrenching. Though I would have appreciated a little more world building and some backstory on what caused the widespread denouncement of love and its effects, there are two other books to come in the series, so I hope they will have more information. Even without all of the details, I thought this book was enjoyable, and I cannot wait for the next one.

Favorite Quotations: (I read this as an e-galley, so the page numbers might be off a bit)

"Hearts are fragile things. That's why you have to be so careful." p. 14

"That's when you really lose people, you know. When the pain passes." p. 183

"Love, the deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it, and when you do not. But that isn't it, exactly. The condemner and the condemned. The executioner and the blade; the last-minute reprieve; the gasping breath and the rolling sky above you and the thank you, thank you, thank you, God. Love: It will kill you and save you, both." p. 273

Review: Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien

Released: March 2010
Rating: 4 Stars

SUMMARY FROM AMAZON: In a dystopian world of the future, apprentice midwife Gaia, who has served the Enclave faithfully along with her parents, is thrust suddenly into a crisis. She delivers her first baby independently of her midwife mother and takes it to the Enclave inside the Wall as the first of her monthly quota of three newborns. Then her parents are arrested and she learns that they will soon be executed. Gaia springs into action and smuggles herself into the Enclave to rescue them. What follows is an exciting, almost breakneck adventure, as Gaia tries to discover what information the Enclave wants from her and her mother and tries to save both of them from prison.
REVIEW: Birthmarked was an interesting and thought-provoking read. Though at first I wasn't really invested in the characters or their struggles, as the story moved on I became intrigued by what was going on with Gaia's parents and how the book was going to unfold. I knew from the moment Leon appeared that he would be important, and that took away some of the suspense, but with other developments I was completely in the dark. I liked that Gaia was willing to take risks, and she was an excellent main character. I wish that we had gotten to know her parents a little bit more in the beginning, and I would have liked to know what led up to the Enclave and the building of the wall, but I thought the world Caragh M. O'Brien created was believable and I felt for her characters. I enjoyed that the characters had depth and were flawed, and I am truly excited for the next one in this series.

Favorite Quotation:

"There are many ways to be a criminal or a hero. Don't forget that." p. 230