Friday, January 28, 2011
"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?
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!!