Monday, March 25, 2013

Mini-Reviews: Delirium Stories: Hana, Annabel & Raven by Lauren Oliver

ISBN: 9780062267788
Publisher: HarperCollins
Released: March 2013
Series: Delirium Trilogy (#0.5, #1.5, #2.5)


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.


     HANA (#0.5):
     I felt very comfortable reading Hana, since Requiem was half-told in her POV. I'm glad I read this (and all of them) short story after reading the trilogy instead of before them or in between each one. Its interesting to look back, knowing what you know, you can see all of the little secrets and surprises Oliver gave us, such as the fate of several background characters in Delirium. One thing that I keep thinking is that I never felt any connection with Hana in Delirium. She was totally flat - but so were all of the characters in my opinion in the first book. But in Requiem and Hana, even though she was not a GOOD person, she finally did something and meant something, and I think it was good that she had her own story and a chance for us to know what was going on on the other side. The end of her story is especially powerful, where you can feel the ugly feelings Hana feels pulsing through the pages. Though the story was just a way for readers to hold on a little longer, I still loved it. Great job, Lauren, and thanks for the wonderful story!

     ANNABEL (#1.5):
     From the very first page of this story, it was exactly what I was hoping for. An insight into Annabel's life before Lena. Not because I particularly cared but because it also gave an insight into what the world was like when the cure came about, which I find very interesting. I also like how Oliver used the "then" and "now" chapters like she did in Pandemonium. This is also a short story that doesn't move the trilogy forward in any way, but it gives insight to the mystery woman missing from Lena's life for so long. This story mostly served to make me sad, and feel pity and heartache for Annabel, a woman who loved deeply and couldn't be loved back, not the way she deserved. Annabel also made me wonder: Oliver talks about how the cure wasn't mandatory in the earlier days and and people "flocked to it." You tend to wonder if that would happen in real life. If they all of a sudden offered us a way out of the pain, the hurt, the feeling, would people do it?. I think people would do it. I honestly do. Hell, I might even think about it if something like that were to ever happen. But I guess you don't know what you have until it is gone, including the freedom to love. Again, though this one didn't do anything for the story itself, it was a great addition and added some depth to an otherwise static character.

     RAVEN (#2.5):
     Raven was just what I expected - sassy and sarcastic right from the beginning. Straightforward and to the point, just like the star of this short story. One thing I have to say after reading this short story is that Oliver is an amazing writer. I mean, I knew this, but this just cements it. Many times, an author has one voice and tells different stories from different POVs with the same voice. This is not the case with Lauren Oliver. You can always tell the difference between who is speaking at any given time, especially with Raven because she is such a strong character. I was engrossed in this story, having just read the final installment in the trilogy. The way Oliver ties everything together with this last short story.... I cant even explain to you the emotions going through me while reading this last story. I wanted to laugh, cry, hit something, hug someone. All of it.
I remember reading a few reviews about the ending of Requiem and how Oliver left some readers feeling bereft, empty. I beg to differ. I read Requiem and I was not thrilled with the ending, but I got through it okay. After reading Raven, I'm done. Emotionally DONE. I now feel EMPTY. I literally just want to lay down and cry. I wish I could go into more detail because there is so much more I want to say. Even thinking about it right now makes my heart literally ache in my chest, and I almost cant take it. This short story was slightly more beneficial to the trilogy and helped with learning about where Raven came from, why she was the way she was, and learning about the beautiful love she shared with Tack that we don't learn too much about in the main books.

Thank you Lauren Oliver for a few GREAT ADDITIONS to a fantastic trilogy.

Oh, but there is a bonus:

     We wont rate this story on a star system because it was an addition to Requiem only in the first printings and it was 10-15 pages long at best (I don't know exactly). All I can say is that this little addition shows why Alex was acting that way when he returned in Requiem. Also, I think this story helped me understand Delirium a little better. I never felt a connection with Lena and Alex in Delirium and I think its because Delirium didn't give me enough to go on. I felt like I never got a chance to see WHY Lena loved Alex so much. This story showed me their relationship in a new way that I can appreciate and maybe I can see why some people are on Team Alex and not on Team Julian. I'm not changing my mind though. But....maybe Alex isnt all bad.

Thank you Lauren Oliver for an amazing ride!! I might not have loved Delirium that much but after reading the rest of the trilogy and these wonderful add-ons, I am sad to say goodbye. Though I felt the first two stories didn't serve much purpose, they were still a great way to add some depth to the characters that held some mysteries.

Have any of you read these? What did you think?


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