by Lauren Oliver

Cover Beauty Score: 8 out of 10
Goodreads Score: 5 out of 5

Plot Blurb: Lena Haloway lives in a future where wars have ravaged the country and everyone lives in walled in cities that are surrounded by electric fences to keep the wild ones out. The totalitarian like government propagates that love is a disease and they have developed a cure for it. When Lena turns 18, she will receive the treatment and live out her life the way the government assigns it to her. A few scant months before her 18th birthday, she meets a boy who isn't like any of the other "cured" citizens and she realizes what being cured of the "disease" will actually mean. She's thrown into a spiraling situation once she begins to feel something real for the first time in her life. And she has to choose between two lives.

My Reaction: Wow... Lauren Oliver is an absolutely fabulous writer! What a refreshing change to see someone who has a serious talent for weaving words together. You know that I'm a sucker for some prose that masquerades as light poetry, and Oliver does an absolutely amazing job with this. Just take a look at this:

“Love: a single word, a wispy thing, a word no bigger or longer than an edge. That's what it is: an edge; a razor. It draws up through the center of your life, cutting everything in two. Before and after. The rest of the world falls away on either side.”

or this one:

“I said, I prefer the ocean when it's gray. Or not really gray. A pale, in-between color. It reminds me of waiting for something good to happen.” 

Right? I mean... this book is full of gems like this one. I could go on typing up quotes for you all day, but I won't. So beyond Oliver's fabulous writing, what else did I like about this book?

It's very different from other ones I've read the genre. Lena is a real character with some real issues and her pov was interesting to get into. Her relationship with Alex is seemingly simple at first and becomes complex as the story develops. Lena really comes into her own as a character. Her relationship with her bestie, Hana, was particularly realistic. The dynamic here was great, and I just think the way Oliver handles the developments of the characters is phenomenal. There's growth on all sides, and Lana leads the way with her transition from the beginning to the end.

And the ending! Gahhhh I don't want to give any spoilers, but it will leave you salivating to rip open the next book in the series and get through it. Alex is a hero that is strong in his own way, but he encourages Lana to develop her own strength and make her own decisions. He leads her to find her own path, which is incredibly admirable.

If you haven't read this one yet, go out and do it right now! If nothing else, you'll begin to see what real writing looks like. Well done, Lauren Oliver. You've made a fan out of me! :-)

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