Friday, January 28, 2011

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

"Love. It kills you both when you have it and when you don't.

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn't understand that once love--the deliria--blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold.

Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Haloway has always looked forward to the day when she'll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with 95 days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love."

Imagine a world without love. Husbands and wives are matched, but only after they're cured of the deliria nervosa. Parents are scolded for showing any love or compassion to their children. Opposite sexes are segregated until they are cured. It is a world without pain--for those who don't know what they're missing.

Oliver's second novel is absolutely compelling. We meet Lena as she is preparing to take her boards. They will decide the rest of her life--what college to attend, what job to have, and her approved matches to select a husband. She is 95 days away from her cure, and counting down the days until she doesn't have to worry about catching the deliria or aching every time she thinks of her mother.

Her mother--the one who couldn't be cured, the one who comforted her when she scraped her knee, the one who shuttered the curtains and danced with her girls, the one who took her own life rather than lose the memories of love, and the one who Lena's terrified of becoming. 95 days to go when fate intervenes.

A chance meeting introduces Lena not only to a boy named Alex, but to an entire world that has been hiding from her view. She just was not willing to see it before. Spurred on by her rebellious friend, Lena finds herself at illegible parties with outlawed music, dancing between uncureds, and a boy who the Government says does not exist. Born in the Wilds, Alex is an Invalid who has learned to live in Lena's loveless world.

He reveals the cracks and lies in Lena's carefully constructed world. He opens up her eyes, but more importantly, he opens up her heart to the possibility of a different world--one where love has a chance, where they have a chance. Suddenly, the days until her cure are passing too quickly and her chance to live a passion-filled life is passing her by. Will Lena and Alex be able to hold onto love in a "disease-free" world, or have their fates already been tragically sealed from the start?

Reading Rating:
I loved, loved, loved this book. (No pun intended.) It's a really unusual concept--a world without love of any sort. Lena's friend, Hana, says it best: "You can't really be happy unless you're unhappy sometimes." I simply devoured this book--gasping and sobbing in all the right places. Highly recommend for fans of Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series and all of you Shakespearean romantics!

Reviewed by: ch3rrybl0ss0m
Note: This was an advance readers' copy. It will be released on February 1, 2011. Put your copy on hold NOW!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Jacinda is a draki, a descendant of dragons, who can shift into human form. Her talent as a fire-breather is a rare gift within the pride. She is treasured for her unique ability but when she rebels and is almost caught by hunters, her mother takes them to live a normal life among humans. Jacinda feels her draki slowly drifting away as time goes by and it’s not until she meets Will that a new fire ignites inside of her.

“My heart pounds in my chest as he draws closer. I know the precise moment he
sees me. He freezes, stills in the water, sinking low, his lips brushing the
waterline. We stare at each other. It will happen now. He will call the others.
They will swarm on me like hungry predators. Then he moves, swims closer in an
easy glide. A muscle feathers the flesh of his jaw, and something flutters in my
belly. He doesn’t look hard, as I’d imagined. He doesn’t look evil. He looks …

Looking for something with a different twist to read? Firelight by Sophie Jordan is my recommendation. Jacinda’s flair and daring bravery add to the great characters and fantastic world-building which make this a popular start to a brilliant new series.

Reviewed by: Lostnthestacks

Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

In Iron King, Megan’s life is turned upside down when her little brother is stolen and she has to enter the world of fey to get him back. Turns out that Megan is a faery and her father, Oberon, is king of the Seelie court. As she searches the Unseelie court for her brother, she meets Prince Ash. When he’s not trying to kill her or trick her, he’s captivating her with his icy charm. In Iron Daughter, Megan has to go up against the Iron Fey when they steal the Sceptor of the Seasons which causes a war between the courts. In book three, Iron Queen, the stakes are higher than ever. Megan finally realizes the full extent of her powers and the sacrifices that she will have to make to save the ones she loves.

I can’t believe I waited so long to read these books; the Iron Fey series is fantastic! Kagawa spins adventure, enchantment, and romance together in a perfect story that fans of faery lore must read. My favorite moments have to be those between Megan and Ash as their romance blossoms. These action-packed, fast-paced books had me hooked from the start.
Reviewed by: Lostnthestacks


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