So, I heard this book was amazing. And I also heard this book sucked. So I went into it open minded, and I hope with an unbiased opinion.
So Lena lives in a society where love is seen as a disease, so the society choose who you marry, how many kids you have, etc. If you fall in love, you’ll probably end up dead. And then Lena falls in love. And that’s about it.
Seriously, that’s really all that happens (I won’t ruin the ending of the book, which is probably the best part of the book).
It was just so… boring.
So Lena meets Alex, they fall in love. Hana starts going off to parties. She tries to escape with Alex. Big ending. Done.
NOTHING HAPPENS. I am not the type of person who doesn’t have to have constant moving action, but it has to be interesting. The dialogue was boring, but that could have been heightened by a good plot. The plot was boring, but that could have been good with witty banter and interesting characters. Instead, everything was so bland.
They have hardly any personality
They really don’t. None of them have any standout qualities that make me interested in them. They’re just all.. flat. So boring. So underdeveloped. (Not as bad as Aislinn from Wicked Lovely, but no Hazel from The Fault in Our Stars). Lena liked to run (which is a really common thing with all YA girls for some reason. Lena, Amy from across the universe, other Lena from City of Ember…) Maybe it’s to show the girls are sporty without being all aggressive and screaming, and tackling each other to the ground.
Alex was boring as well.
Hana was less boring than the other two, but still not much personality there. She, at least, was kinda interesting, but not enough.
There was no conflict
When Lena fell in love with Alex, Hana wasn’t annoyed.
When Lena met her to-be husband, he was ugly and mean that she didn’t like him over Alex.
There was so much potential for fights and conflict and everything, and there just… wasn’t. There was no real argument anywhere. I wish Lena had argued with Alex at least once (which I don’t think she did…), but no. They’re just a perfect couple, which is really hard to believe.
Why did Alex fall in Love with Lena over Hana?
He said it was because she used to jump around and be filled with joy, but Hana did that as well. It was a group thing. So why was he only interested in Lena, when Hana is obviously prettier and has a personality. I’d understand if he knew them both better and was like “Yeah, I like Lena more because I know her and prefer her personality (or lack of personality)”, but he barely knew them and immediately went to flirting with Lena. Maybe she was just closer. I guess we’ll never know.
I absolutely love the writing in this book.
The first line of the second chapter (the first one is introducing the whole love-is-a-disease) thing:
“The smell of oranges has always reminded me of funerals.”
That’s awesome writing. I love that.
The part when they find Lena’s mum’s room
Geez. That was awesome. And so creepy. At first I’d thought she’d clawed the words with her nails, not the dagger. But just imagining that was so creepy. The room. The words everywhere. I love that. The entire image of the scene would be great in a movie or something. Except the word was love, not like KILL or BLOOD or DIE ANGELS DIE. Which is like Love is the most disgusting thing you could ever write. I just loved it (no sorta half-pun intended). But the whole thing about carving the “O” into a hole. That’s a lot of carving, and it takes far too much effort to try to work out how exactly that would work.
How awesome is that idea? The whole love is a disease thing is really interesting, though I feel that Lauren Oliver could have taken it further. There is a lot more potential stuff to write about it. That’s me being really picky, though.
Well that was interesting. And sudden. And exciting. I really shouldn’t have liked the ending, but I did. And now the second book will be really predictable. Either Lena will be a shrivelling, crying pathetic flower of a girl (which I doubt), or a bold, fighting type who is crying on the inside (a lot more likely). And then we’ll just have to wait for the third point of the love triangle which will almost definitely appear. They always do.
- “Sometimes I feel like if you just watch things, just sit still and let the world exist in front of you-sometimes I swear that just for a second time freezes and the world pauses in its tilt. Just for a second. And if you somehow found a way to live in that second, then you would live forever.”
- “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.”
- “My stomach gets that hollowed-out feeling. It’s amazing how words can do that, just shred your insides apart.”
I’d say 3 shuriken stars. It was good, just not as good as I hoped. Too bland, too stereotypical, not enough happening. But I still do love her writing style. She just makes the words flow. I would recommend it, just don’t expect too much. It’s good, but not great. But only go for it if you enjoy romance and can pass over certain annoying clichés and no conflict. Apart from the ending. Man the ending was awesome.