Raven by Lauren Oliver

16089223Title: Raven

Series: Delirium, Book 2,5

Author: Lauren Oliver

Published: March 5th 2013, HarperCollins

Genre: Dystopia, Romance, Drama

Age group: Young Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Raven (Delirium, #2.5)

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.

Review:

‘Raven’ is yet another short novel inside of the ‘Delirium’ series by Lauren Oliver, and this one tells a background story of Raven, one of the prominent characters of the second book ‘Pandemonium’.

Anyone who is familiar with the series knows, that these books are about a Dystopian futuristic world, where love and any affections are considered a disease preventing the society’s proper functioning. So every citizen at the age of 18 has to undergo a cure to get rid of the virus called Amor Deliria Nervosa. This procedure has been functioning for many years and appears to be succeeding. But, of course, things are not what they seem, and aside from all these cured and emotionless people, living in their guarded, isolated cities, there are also rebels, or invalids, living in the Wilds, who try to sabotage this whole system.

When the main character of the first book ‘Delirium’, Lena, escapes to the Wilds, she sees this other, free world and meets people, who also managed to get away. Among these people is Raven, who has already spent years in the Wilds. Raven is a tough and strong girl, who at first doesn’t show any weakness or emotions. But as time goes, Lena learns that, just like her, Raven cares very much about her future and people she loves.

I generally like all the short additions to this series, primarily because they don’t focus on Lena, as she has now three long books dedicated to her solely, and her story is thoroughly explored. Instead, it’s nice to get to know more about other characters as well, as they too, naturally, have to survive in the same world as Lena, they also have their struggles with finding what’s wright and wrong.

‘Raven’ is definitely my favorite among the others (‘Hana’ and ‘Annabel’), and this mostly has to do with the story’s total changing of my impression of Raven. I didn’t like her in ‘Pandemonium’, even though she obviously didn’t have it easy, with so many bad stuff happening to her. But she was a closed book to me, and I didn’t have that clear picture of her in my mind, as I have of Lena’s.

This short novel is told from Raven’s point of view, and it finally opened up to me Raven’s inner world. It’s now understandable to me, why Raven is the way she is, and I consider her the true image of an Invalid, a person who continues fighting for her beliefs, no matter how hard and heartbreaking it may turn.

‘Raven’ also turned my attention to another character, mostly overlooked by me in ‘Pandemonium’, Tucker. I didn’t care much about him before, but now I’d love to learn more of his background story. And also Raven and Tucker’s romance was so beautifully written, that now I’m just as worried about their future as I am about Lena and Alex’s.

This is definitely a book worth reading to any fan of the series. It’s pretty short, but it’s quite informative and sort of prepares the reader before continuing with the final installment ‘Requiem’.

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Annabel by Lauren Oliver

15820492

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.