Monday, March 18, 2013

Short Story Reviews: ANNABEL, HANA, RAVEN and Alex (Delirium Short Stories) by Lauren Oliver

In which I attempt to review all of the Delirium short stories in one post :) 


ANNABEL
(Delirium #0.5)
by Lauren Oliver
Release date: December 26th, 2012
Published by: Harper Teen
Genre: Young Adult - Dystopian
Format read: eBook

SUMMARY

Lena's mother, Annabel, has always been a mystery—a ghost in Lena's past. Until now.

Discover her secrets in Lauren Oliver's brilliant original digital story set in the world of New York Times bestsellers Delirium and Pandemonium.

Lena Halloway's mother, Annabel, supposedly committed suicide when Lena was only six years old. That's the lie that Lena grew up believing, but the truth is very different. As a rebellious teenager, Annabel ran away from home and straight into the man she knew she was destined to marry. The world was different then—the regulations not as stringent, the cure only a decade old. Fast forward to the present, and Annabel is consigned to a dirty prison cell, where she nurtures her hope of escape and scratches one word over and over into the walls: Love.

But Annabel, like Lena, is a fighter. Through chapters that alternate between her past and present, Annabel reveals the story behind her failed cures, her marriage, the births of her children, her imprisonment, and, ultimately, her daring escape.


MY REVIEW

Annabel's story is very similar to the way Pandemonium was told in that it takes place in the present - Annabel's time in the crypts and her escape - and then flashes back to the past - when Annabel fell in love and then was cured, and then how she continued to love - to help us understand why Annabel was the way she was, what she went through for love, and freedom.
Annabel's story is filled with such sadness. And after all the things that she has gone through, Annabel still believes and will fight for the right to choose, for the right to be able to love freely.
The similarities between Annabel and Lena's story to survive and thrive really surprised me. It was amazing to see how much Lena's personality coincided with her mothers; although Annabel did seem a but more innocent and naive, even though she had more street experience than Lena.

It was great to get to know Lena's mother more. It helped me understand why she did the things she did throughout the series. I suggest that Annabel be read after Delirium. I'm glad that I did because everything just made more sense.

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HANA
(Delirium #1.5)
by Lauren Oliver
Release date: February 28th, 2012
Published by: Harper Teen
Genre: Young Adult - Dystopian
Format read: eBook

SUMMARY

Lauren Oliver's riveting, original digital story set in the world of her New York Times bestseller Delirium.

The summer before they're supposed to be cured of the ability to love, best friends Lena and Hana begin to drift apart. While Lena shies away from underground music and parties with boys, Hana jumps at her last chance to experience the forbidden. For her, the summer is full of wild music, dancing—and even her first kiss.

But on the surface, Hana must be a model of perfect behavior. She meets her approved match, Fred Hargrove, and glimpses the safe, comfortable life she’ll have with him once they marry. As the date for her cure draws ever closer, Hana desperately misses Lena, wonders how it feels to truly be in love, and is simultaneously terrified of rebelling and of falling into line.

In this digital story that will appeal to fans of Delirium and welcome new admirers to its world, readers will come to understand scenes from Delirium through Hana's perspective. Hana is a touching and revealing look at a life-changing and tumultuous summer.


MY REVIEW

After Lena and Hana have their evaluations and get matched, they start to grow apart and their relationship starts to deteriorate. In Hana's story, we get to see what Hana went through in Delirium.
Hana is a lot more outgoing, vibrant and free-spirited than Lena. She has been having her doubts about the cure and what is expected from her. Hana's life isn't as perfect as Lena made it out to be. Just because someone is more privileged, it doesn't mean that they don't have the same worries or dreams.
Hana and another school friend decide to check out these underground parties. She loves music. And, she meets a boy.
Does he love her? Has she been infected? Does she love him?
Will it be worth to lose herself in the disease?

I really liked being able to see what Hana went through while Lena was spending time with Alex and trying to figure things out for herself. It was great to see that Hana wasn't as perfect as everyone thought she was.

Hana should be read after Delirium. There is a lot that I wouldn't have understood if I read it prior to it.


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(Delirium #2.5)
by Lauren Oliver
Release date: March 5th, 2013
Published by: Harper Teen
Genre: Young Adult - Dystopian
Format read: eBook

SUMMARY

This captivating 50-page digital-original story set in the world of Lauren Oliver’s New York Times bestselling Delirium series focuses on Raven, the fiery leader of a rebel group in the Wilds.

As a teenager, Raven made the split-second decision to flee across the border to the Wilds, compelled to save an abandoned newborn—a baby girl left for dead and already blue from the cold. When she and the baby are taken in by a band of rebels, Raven finds herself an outsider within a tight-knit group. The only other newcomer is an untrustworthy boy known as the Thief until he finally earns himself a new name: Tack.

Now she and Tack are inseparable, committed to each other, the fledgling rebellion, and a future together. But as they both take center stage in the fight, Raven must decide whether the dangers of the revolution are worth risking her dreams of a peaceful life with Tack.

As her story hurtles back and forth between past and present, Raven transforms from a scared girl newly arrived in the Wilds to the tough leader who helps Lena save former Deliria-Free poster boy Julian Fineman from a death sentence. Whatever the original mission may have been, Raven abides by a conviction that she believes to her core: You always return for the people you love.

By turns surprising, revelatory, and poignant, Raven’s story enriches the Delirium world and resonates with a voice that is as vulnerable as it is strong.


FAVORITE QUOTES

"Lies are just stories, and stories are all that matter.
We all tell stories. Some are more truthful than others. 
Maybe, in the end the only thing that counts is what you make people believe."
~ Raven


MY REVIEW

Raven can be read after Pandemonium; but I chose to read it after Requiem, and, I couldn't stop crying for quite a while. Raven's story is heart-breaking. But, I wouldn't change it for anything - everything that she went through is what made her into the Raven that we got to know and love... we see a totally different side to Raven. We actually get to find out what she was thinking and going through in the last half of Pandemonium. Everything that she did makes so much more sense now. 
Also, I really liked that we got a peek into Raven and Tack's relationship - got to see how they met and how they ended up together. We also get to see how she found Blue and the special relationship and bond that they shared... my heart aches for all three characters, so very much.

In my honest opinion, in order to get the full effect of Raven's story - really feel for her - I would definitely wait to read it after you have finished reading the series. 


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And don't forget! You can get all three short stories in one paperback now!!!

by Lauren Oliver
Release date: March 5th, 2013
Published by: Harper Teen
Genre: Young Adult - Dystopian

SUMMARY

For the first time, Lauren Oliver's short stories about characters in the Delirium world appear in print. Originally published as digital novellas, Hana, Annabel, and Raven each center around a fascinating and complex character who adds important information to the series and gives it greater depth. This collection also includes an excerpt from Requiem, the final novel in Oliver's New York Times bestselling series.

Hana is told through the perspective of Lena's best friend, Hana Tate. Set during the tumultuous summer before Lena and Hana are supposed to be cured, this story is a poignant and revealing look at a moment when the girls' paths diverge and their futures are altered forever.

Lena's mother, Annabel, has always been a mystery - a ghost from Lena's past--until now. Her journey from teenage runaway to prisoner of the state is a taut, gripping narrative that expands the Delirium world and illuminates events - and Lena - through a new point of view.

And as the passionate, fierce leader of a rebel group in the Wilds, Raven plays an integral role in the resistance effort and comes into Lena's life at a crucial time. Crackling with intensity, Raven is a brilliant story told in the voice of one of the strongest and most tenacious characters in the Delirium world.

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Bonus: Alex
(found in the first hardcover prints of Requiem)
by Lauren Oliver
Release date: March 5th, 2013
Published by: Harper Teen
Genre: Young Adult - Dystopian

FAVORITE QUOTE

"Maybe, the hope said. Maybe."
~ Alex


MY REVIEW

Alex. If anyone truly knows how to love, it is definitely Alex.
I don't know how Lauren Oliver was able to channel Alex, so deeply, moving, without falling into depression and hiding in a cave for a month. This boy brought me to my knees and I cried through his whole story.
Alex tells us about what happened to him at the end of Delirium. And then proceeds to explain what he went through in Pandemonium. How he miraculously survives and what kept him going. His need to find out if his love survived the wilds, or not.
There was never a doubt in my mind that he didn't love Lena. And this proved it.

Your going to need a box of tissues when you read about Alex. Don't say I didn't warn you. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Lauren Oliver

Lauren Oliver comes from a family of writers and so has always (mistakenly) believed that spending hours in front of the computer every day, mulling over the difference between “chortling” and “chuckling,” is normal. She has always been an avid reader. 

She attended the University of Chicago, where she continued to be as impractical as possible by majoring in philosophy and literature. After college, she attended the MFA program at NYU and worked briefly as the world’s worst editorial assistant, and only marginally better assistant editor, at a major publishing house in New York. Her major career contributions during this time were flouting the corporate dress code at every possible turn and repeatedly breaking the printer. Before I Fall is her first published novel. 

She is deeply grateful for the chance to continue writing, as she has never been particularly good at anything else.


4 comments:

  1. ALL of these stories sound so good! I want to read them all.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wonderful! Thanks for sharing about all these. :) I'm going to have to add this series to the ever growing list. ;) Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. where can I read the Alex story? I can't find it anywhere! ): thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex's story can be found in the back of the first hardcover prints of REQUIEM :)

      Delete

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