[Review] Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium 
(Delirium #1)
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 441 (Hardcover)
Genre: YA – Dystopia, Romance

Summary

They say that the cure for Love will make me happy and safe forever.

And I’ve always believed them.

Until now.

Now everything has changed.

Now, I’d rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie.

Lena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life, until ninety-five days before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, when she falls in love.


Review

If I could use one word to describe Delirium, then that would be: Beautiful. I’m serious. It’s beautiful in any way. The writing, the story… This book basically lived up to my expectations! And I warn you, this review is long (and possibly pointless), so if you can’t stand reading these kinds of review, just skip this. xD 

The concept is quite interesting if you ask me. In a world where love is a disgusting disease, we’re introduced to Lena, a seventeen-year-old girl eagerly waiting for herself to be “cured” from love. While I appreciate Lauren Oliver for giving the world backstory, I thought it was a bit too info-dump. But, that doesn’t matter to me, really, cause there are plenty of things about this book that totally rocks!!!

So, Lena. She seemed real but I felt that she was a bit pathetic at times, yet at some point, I want to see her grow too. And she does change throughout the book and I noticed that Lena in the end was different from Lena in the beginning. She realizes that the society and governor aren’t right. She becomes braver and I liked the positive change, but I wouldn’t say that she’s a badass MC for the time being. (Well, let’s see in the second book, Pandemonium. And yeah, I will buy it for sure!! :D)

Okay, so let’s jump to the parts which make this book amazing! The romance is surprisingly believable for me, even though it could almost be classified as insta-love. I could feel that it was real, that Lena and Alex were in love and the chemistry between them is so well-described. This is one of the best romances that I ever read in a YA book, in fact. I think I’m absolutely fine with this believable kind of insta-love. And Alex is one hell sweet guy. I think I pretty much understand Lena for getting “infected” by him.

The writing! Delirium is gorgeously written. Actually, I’m not surprised about that cause I’ve read Oliver’s other books and I admit that they’re beautifully written, though I didn’t quite like them. Seriously, she writes like poet, but that doesn’t make the book boring. Instead, I could say that Delirium strongest point is its gorgeous and descriptive writing. I was hooked from page 1. (Okay, I know that I’ve said it before, but basically, there are no other words that could describe this book other than gorgeous.) Every page, I was kept in awe and wondering. The words just flow smoothly and Lauren Oliver makes simple things beautiful!

What I also loved in Delirium is how real Lena and Hana’s friendship. They hang out together, they run together, but they also argue. Their interactions felt natural and Lena might not realize it before, but she definitely loves Hana. What I also found helpful are the quotes or passages at the beginning of each chapter. Through them, we get to know the world Ms. Oliver’s created better.

Yes, I’m completely aware that I have minor problems with Delirium. Maybe this time, I’ll rate this book emotionally cause this book touched me deeply most of the time. I’m totally recommending this book to anyone who’s looking for a gorgeously-written, believable, romantic dystopia.


Rating: 
5 Gorgeous Chocolate Cake!!

[Review] Crossed by Ally Condie

Publisher: Speak
Pages: 367 (Hardcover)

Summary

In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky – taken by the Society to his certain death – only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia’s quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander – who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia’s heart – change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.


Review

Matched was a decent book for me, so I didn’t expect much from Crossed, aside that I hoped I didn’t completely waste my time on this book. I was about to rate this book two stars – due to things I will mention below – but near the end it gets really enjoyable and I actually liked the last 100 pages.

Crossed begins with a slow pace to my liking. I remember that I was constantly yawning for the first few chapters because nothing actually happens. The first half of the book felt like a drag for me and I was really bored and didn’t enjoy it. And the writing. I like beautiful writings but this one is too poetic, I think. It was hard to enjoy the first half of the book, particularly with the poetic writing. I love books with switched POVs but this time, it just didn’t work for me. Ky and Cassia’s voice sound almost the same and I got confused almost all of the time after they’re reunited. I had to flip back to the first page of the chapter just to know who’s narrating the chapter over and over.

Hmm, I’m not a huge fan of the silly kind of romance; that is once after the MC confess her/his love for the love interest in book one, they spend the entire book two making out and saying “I love you” nearly every page. Uh, no. Just no. I prefer them having a fight, because relationship isn’t always perfect in real life. (It’s not like I hate happy romance. I think I was sick of their kissing and hugging and I-love-you-s already ._.) Well, that happens for a while right after Cassie reunites with Ky. They literally kiss and confess their love nearly every time they have the chance to and I think those words will lose their meaning if oversaid. I don’t hate people who say they love someone lots of time, but I just don’t like unnecessary said things. I know it sounds creepy, but I was actually waiting for their fight, which does happen later in the book. Well, this “silly romance” problem was nothing compared to the love triangle (or maybe a love square??) and the insta-love. How can you love someone if you have only seen his/her picture? No offense, I’m just a quite realistic person 😛

But, BUT, right after something actually happens, I was enjoying Crossed more than I did. The second-half was much better, I thought. And I was quite glad that I managed to put up with the first-half. The writing didn’t really bug me anymore and I was definitely paying attention for the last 100 pages – which I didn’t really do before. I can’t believe it took 200+ freaking pages for something to happen. The pace increases to my taste and yeah, I admit that I ended up enjoying this book anyway despite all those negative things I mention.

Well, there are some things that I didn’t enjoy due to personal taste, but I might have loved Crossed more if there hadn’t been an insta-love inserted and, not to forget, a possible love square.

Rating:
3 Chocolate Cakes!

[Review] Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperTeen)
Pages: 525 (Hardcover)

Summary
One choice can transform you–or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves–and herself–while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable–and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

“New York Times” bestselling author Veronica Roth’s much-anticipated second book of the dystopian “Divergent” series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

Review
It was an awesome book, seriously, even for a second book. I really enjoyed reading Insurgent, though the after-effect after I finished it was not as crazy and hysterical as how I acted right after I reached the last page of Divergent. But, still, this book is freaking amazing to me cause I never like a second book as much as this one.

As for the plot, it’s still fast-paced. Lots of action, betrayal and of course death. I was impressed by Ms. Roth’s dauntlessness to kill characters and at the same time devastated by their deaths. The book ends with a bad cliffhanger (I’m not sure it can be classified as cliffhanger, but it left me hanging so it’s a cliffhanger for me) and I can’t believe I have to wait until fall 2013 for the third book.

I found myself loving almost all of the characters. Zeke, Shauna, Lynn, Marlene, even Fernando who only lives for a few chapters. I liked how Tris struggles to stand up for the truth and how she acts as her relationship with Four takes some twists and turns. I even learned to like Peter after that “life-saving” act he does. But most of all, I loved Uriah even more than the first book. <3 Here, he gets more part and I liked how funny and faithful he is to his friends. He is such a supportive guy and I just hope he doesn’t die in the third book… Please Ms. Roth, just give this awesome boy a happy ending.

Besides those things, I also noticed that there are lots of angst in this book. And Tris’s relationship with Four in Insurgent may not be the sweetest romance which ever happens in YA world. But I honestly didn’t hate that. Because nobody’s perfect and that imperfectness actually makes these characters more realistic.

Insurgent is an amazing sequel to Divergent. It doesn’t lose its predecessor’s quality even though I honestly liked Divergent a bit better.
Rating:

5 Chocolate Cakes!!

[Review] Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Publisher: Square Fish (Feiwel and Friends)
Pages: 288 (Paperback)

Blurb
WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE

In Deuce’s world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed ‘brat’ has trained into one of three groups–Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember.

As a Huntress, her purpose is clear—to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She’s worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing’s going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce’s troubles are just beginning.

Down below, deviation from the rules is punished swiftly and harshly, and Fade doesn’t like following orders. At first Deuce thinks he’s crazy, but as death stalks their sanctuary, and it becomes clear the elders don’t always know best, Deuce wonders if Fade might be telling the truth. Her partner confuses her; she’s never known a boy like him before, as prone to touching her gently as using his knives with feral grace.

As Deuce’s perception shifts, so does the balance in the constant battle for survival. The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat only due to their sheer numbers, show signs of cunning and strategy… but the elders refuse to heed any warnings. Despite imminent disaster, the enclave puts their faith in strictures and sacrifice instead. No matter how she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she’s ever known.

Review
Oh where do I begin?? I know that this book seems like a rip-off from other dystopia books and I admit that there are a few similar things. However, Enclave is the first dystopia that I truly enjoyed after Divergent! The worldbuilding, though I seriously don’t want to live in a tunnel, fascinated me a lot and it felt so real. Apparently, the author did a lot of researches to write this book and I appreciate that. The plot is fast-paced to my liking, there’s not a single time I was bored of reading it!

Deuce is a likable protagonist who’s tough yet soft at the same time. Every action she makes intrigued me and she always tries to be strong, even when things are difficult. She’s willing to sacrifice and endure the pain for her friends. Fade is a mysterious bad boy type (but not too bad) with difficult past. Okay, so maybe not all of you liked him, but to me, he’s very interesting and strong. Not too forget, he cares a lot about his friends.

The romance is not so prominent in this book, but there is definitely something blooming here. Enclave is written in Deuce’s POV. I enjoyed the writing very much and the actions are well-depicted. I also loved when Deuce is being curious about new objects or words she spots and I thought Ann Aguirre gave the right amount of descriptions.

Fast-paced and action-packed plot combined with strong characters and a hint of romance, Enclave was an amazing book that left me wanting to read Outpost really soon!!

Quotes

“My body was a machine, plain and simple. I worked it to stay strong; I fed it to keep it running.” – page 39

“A Huntress didn’t crack under pressure. She might bend, but she could handle anything.” – page 67

“He touched my cheek very lightly. “I have your back. I didn’t mean only when it’s easy. All the time.” – page 76

“There were different kinds of strength. I knew that now. It didn’t always come from a knife or a willingness to fight. Sometimes it came from endurance, where the well ran deep and quiet. Sometimes it came from compassion and forgiveness.” – page 244

Rating: 

5 Chocolate Cakes!


[Review] Divergent by Veronica Roth

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 487 (Hardcover)

Summary

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series–dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.





Review
Describing Divergent:

Action-packed. Fast-paced. Thrilling.

It took a long time for me to pick up this book and I didn’t buy it at first sight, but once I started reading it, this book really drove me into its world. And I’m glad that I bought it. Despite the fact that I finished reading it weeks ago, I haven’t written a review yet. So this is what I think:

What attracted me first was its epic-blazing-cover. It reminded me to The Hunger Games movie poster (you know, the burning Mockingjay thing). But I have to admit that Divergent cover is way more awesome and eye-catching than The Hunger Games. In my opinion, this is the best dystopian book cover that I’ve ever seen so far.

Speaking of dystopian, in the past recent years, a myriad of dystopian books were released following the success of Hunger Games trilogy and starting a new trend among YA readers. Almost all of them have a rebellion element and so does Divergent.

The first two chapters were interesting enough for me to enjoy this book. And of course, it’s written in Tris POV. Even after the tense increased, I found myself still paying attention to every sentence, excited about what was happening in the story, and anxious about how it would end. Veronica Roth definitely has done a great job for keeping me hooked even in fighting scenes.

As a Dauntless, Tris does dangerous and adrenaline-rushing things (such as: jumping off a train to a roof and sliding a zip line from a 300-meter-tall building). The idea of jumping from a train sounds stupid for me, though. She meets new friends and then falls in love with Four/Tobias.

One of the most inseparable elements in YA books is romance. I have to admit that the romance in Divergent is not suck at all. Slowly but surely. Tris isn’t being annoying by complimenting Four’s appearance in every of her inner thought. And Four isn’t playing with the word “love” – he decides to say that he loves Tris after he is sure about his feelings. He trusts Tris’s ability even in her weakness and he never underestimates her even once. A rare type of boy, isn’t he? The point is: It’s not an ordinary love-at-first-sight romance.

Tris easily becomes one of my favorite characters throughout the story. Her inner thought is very interesting; I liked how she reveals things and comments about what happens around her. She develops into a strong character. Veronica has written the dialogues nicely, too!

But, my number-one-favorite character is the funny, easygoing, friendly URIAH! I fell in love with him at once.

Overall, Divergent is truly an amazing book. It has fascinating plot, like-able characters and slow-paced-love-story. It’s fabulously written and also I learned a lot from this book.

Certainly one of my favorite book and so far the best dystopian book I’ve ever read. This is recommended for those who love dystopian books and action-packed story.


Rating:

5 Chocolate Cakes!