My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book is absolutely amazing! I cannot applaud Lauren Oliver enough on her story telling abilities. Everything from the premises to the prose is wonderfully beautiful. Her use of descriptive words and metaphors paint a perfect picture without being overly wordy making this book very enjoyable to listen to.
I love how Lena’s character builds throughout the book. She starts off disgusted by the “love disease.” Even in the opening passage she talks about how she can almost feel it pumping through her veins, and how she cannot wait for her turn to get the cure. She has been mentally counting down for a good portion of her life, a countdown that is ever present (but, thank GOD, is not the beginning number to every chapter or anything like that) throughout the entire book at first as something to look forward to, but eventually as ticking bomb. The truth of the matter is, there is no wishy-washyness about this character at all. There is no unrealistic “epiphany” that happens, and all of the sudden Lena changes her mind. Even as she slowly begins to unravel the lies and deceptions of the government, Lena slides quickly back and forth between finding safety with Alex and his ways, and finding that same security within the walls and rules that she has had fed to her from the very beginning.
Alex is just a tiny bit too perfect, but the absolute best (and favorite) kind of guy you want to read in a book…well, at least a book like this (I mean…everyone loves a bad boy now and then…). He was extremely understanding and supportive. Never pushy, and was able to take his time and let Lena come to her own opinions and conclusions. I don’t know very many people who would actually be able to practice such great will power…not to mention the amount of making out they supposedly did; he never made a wrong move…not once. I did like that he wasn’t over bearing, or over protective, but at times he was able to take command and calm Lena down or get her to understand when something was important. I wish we could have seen more of him and his chameleon act, he seemed very good at it, and it would have been nice to have seen more of it than the little bit we saw in the crypts.
I loved Lena and Alex together, of course. But for this being the first time Lena has ever allowed herself to experience love, it was so nice to “experience” that gittyness through her, and as I mentioned earlier Lauren Oliver is the master of description – it was as if you felt what Lena was feeling. I have to admit, the Plain White T’s Rhythm of Love song was playing through my head for a good chuck of the middle of the book. I have been playing it on my iPod as well when I wasn’t listening to the book, and it really is the perfect love song for this book. You should listen – pay attention to the lyrics.
Hannah was the hardest character for me to figure out. I continued to expect things out of her, and then she wouldn’t do what I expected. I was surprised, and then understanding about her very teenage rebellion fit, but then, just like Lena did a bit, sliding back into the safety of her life. Even though my imagination took Hannah’s character to so many different angles and events – she turned out to be an amazingly good friend to Lena.
BTW, while there isn’t much to say about her…I loved Grace. I want to see more of her. Please?! Since this is a trilogy and all, and I have to wait an ENTIRE YEAR (yes, I know it’s normal…but it’s still sooo hard) for the next book.
One question I have to ask….why did Lena never tell Alex that she didn’t actually stand him up on their first “meeting?” Did I miss this somewhere??