Annabel by Lauren Oliver


Title: Annabel

Series: Delirium, Book 0,5

Author: Lauren Oliver

Published: December 26th 2012,  HarperCollins

Edition: ebook, 50 pages

Genre: Dystopia, romance

Age group: Young Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Annabel (Delirium, #0.5)

Lauren Oliver’s Dystopian book series ‘Delirium’ is one of my most favorite of this genre. The idea of a world where love is forbidden and is actually considered a disease, which can be cured, is very unique and therefore appealing. Besides, what can be more romantic than a love story developing in such an environment?

The ‘Delirium’ books (as probably known to everyone already) tell a story of a 17-year-old Lena Haloway, who is only a couple months away from her cure procedure. This is mandatory for every 18-year-old, as it rids them of any passionate feelings (not only love in the romantic kind of way, but also parental or friendly love and affection) and that’s what makes them stable and approved citizens of the country.

The cure is something Lena is looking forward to, as she wants to become normal, controlled, not like her mother Annabel. From what was gathered from the first two books of the series, Lena’s mother was cured, but for some reason it didn’t work, and her feelings took hold of her, resulting in her being put in prison for life.

Lena was separated from her mother at the age of six, and all her memories of Annabel are about how loving her mother were. Grown-up Lena understands that her mother wasn’t cured, and one part of her is terrified of ending up just like her, to never be cured and be considered dangerous to the society. But the other part of her can’t help remembering the love and care her mother gave her, how different it was from the indifference of all the other adults in her life Lena has now.

The short novella from Annabel’s point of view lifted the veil from her persona, as she was sort of an enigma before, her image built from Lena’s vague memories of her childhood. Despite the length of the story Lauren Oliver manages to give a very clear portrait of Lena’s mother, as just like ‘Pandemonium’ it’s written in the same then/now pattern. We get to see Annabel both as a teenager, when she runs away from home as a protest to getting cured, and as an adult having to spend day by day locked in a cell.

Teenage Annabel was rebellious and brave, ready to fight for her feelings and against the world where they are forbidden. And when she is put in prison with no escape, she doesn’t lose hope. She plans to escape and continue fighting.

In a way, I was a little disappointed that the story was a bit too short. But at the same time maybe it was just enough material, considering there’s the last installment of the series, ‘Requiem’, to come out this year, so maybe all the answers will be given in it. So as an additional guide to the series and a way to get by while anticipating on the continuation, this was a good read. Besides, Lauren Oliver’s writing is really beautiful, and she really does make this world seem real, which is a must in a Dystopian book for me to like it.


2 comments on “Annabel by Lauren Oliver

  1. Lucy says:

    I recently bought a copy of Annabel but haven’t had a chance to read it yet. I didn’t realize that we would get to see Annabel as a teenager – interesting! I’ll try to fit it in before Requiem. So excited to see how the series ends! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Annabel. I’m more interested in reading it now.

    • Oksana says:

      It’s a great story, but I really wish it was longer. But even then I found out Annabel’s story is just as interesting as Lena’s. I hope Requiem will give all the answers.

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