I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.
Once again, Oliver delivers a ride like none other. Unlike the first in her dystopian trilogy, Delirium, this second installment focuses on survival, growth, and rebellion rather than the discovery and immersion of love.
The book is dividing into then and now to illustrate the development of Lena’s character. She describes herself as reborn in the Wilds, hardening with work, hunger, and violent weather. The thens are filled with survival tactics. Oliver delves into the pain of heartbreak and grief without becoming melodramatic. The reader learns with Lena just how the people in the Wilds (or rather, “the other side”) live off remains and help from sympathizers. The nows jump to the future, almost a year after Lena’s escape, to her immersion back with the cureds in New York City. She works as a double agent of sorts, and falls into a trap, a scheme, that leads her to another boy, Julian.
This is where the second book fell short of five stars and suffered the Middle Book Syndrome. Of course, because it’s YA and dystopian, there needs to be a love triangle. Sure. Fine. And maybe, realistically, this would happen to Lena if she truly believes Alex is dead. Even still, the romance seemed forced, far too rushed considering the time frame in the now lasted roughly two weeks at most. However, it certainly sets up for an explosive ending in the third book: politics, the definitive rise of rebellions, plus a little love war in the midst of it all.
I’m really looking forward to Oliver’s next installment in the Delirium trilogy!
Rating: ★★★★ of 5
Goodreads: 4.25 of 5
I am now over halfway completed with my 50 Books Challenge!