February 2011, Hodder & Stoughton,
400 pages, Hardback
Young Adult, Dystopian
Highly regulated society, strict law and punishment, odd medical procedures, evaluations, surveillance, teen romance (occasional & moderate), rebellion, tragedy, family secrets, friendships, betrayal, tissues are needed.
Summary from Hodder & Stoughton
There was a time when love was the most important thing in the world. People would go to the end of the earth to find it. They would tell lies for it. Even kill for it.
Then, at last, they found the cure.
Now, everything is different. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Haloway has always looked forward to the day when she'll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.
But then, with only ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable
I don't mind admitting that I tried to read this, and had to put it down. I didn't like it. I gave my copy to the lovely Cat Clarke, who adores Lauren's work. I kept thinking about it, because everyone was raving about it. I did wonder whether I was wrong to give up on it. That's why when I was offered the chance to review the hardback, I said yes. I wanted to give the book a second chance. The first time of reading, I know I probably wasn't in the right mood for it. You do have to be in the right mood for books/films, otherwise you don't enjoy them.
I skim-read the chapters I'd originally read, then carried on with the rest of the book. Overall it was ok, but for me nothing special. Lena's world is exciting with all the restrictions in place. I've read similar books before, and unfortunately Lena's life lacks a special something. I kept expecting there to be more interference with the resisters, more opposition for the illegal activity she gets involved with. I did like her relationship with her friends, and how hard it was when she lived with her family. There are a few family secrets, and I did want Lena to feel happy and be loved for who she was.
The last few chapters of the book held all the drama and thrills that I'd hoped for the whole novel (ok, there was one incident which was really good on the action side about half way through). My heart was beating very fast a lot of the time and I kept hoping my family wouldn't need me for anything until I finished it. The actual end was a little predictable, and has left me wanting to know what happens next to Lena. Her life has only just begun.
I'm glad I gave this book a second chance. It doesn't zing for me, but I liked the concepts explored in it. I hear there is probably going to be a sequel, which I'm eager to read.
Matched by Ally Condie, A world where couples are paired up by the authories, an awesome start to a new trilogy.
Across the Universe by Beth Revis, more confinement and intrigue in this sci-fi dystopian novel.
Last is one of my favourite series of all time, the one what got me into dystopian fiction: Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series. I plan to read and review these at the end of May. They blew my mind away. (Don't worry, I managed to collect all the pieces and cram them back in my head)