Author: Lauren Oliver
Goodreads Rating: 4.23
Lena joins the resistance effort against the oppressive government and fights for freedom.After escaping from Portland, Lena makes it to the Wilds and becomes part of an Invalid community. Weak and grieving for Alex, Lena fights to survive. And then she fights her oppressors.As the viewpoint shifts between Lena's time in the Wilds and the present day, which is set in Brooklyn, Lena transforms into a warrior for the resistance. In New York City, the grass-roots movement for a Deliria-Free America (the DFA) is gathering strength, and its leader, Thomas Fineman, recruits more supporters by the day. His son Julian--as-yet uncured--heads up the DFA's youth organization. Lena is tasked with blending into the DFA's rallies; she seems to be a supporter yet she is really a spy.
Even though I’ve had this book for months, I only just got to reading it now, and that’s because Lili asked me to read it for the YA trivia scavenger hunt. I as a little late finishing it which was most unfortunate because it was a super quick read. I was able to fall into the world that Oliver created almost seamlessly. I will admit that I was a little thrown because of the flip flop in time, but I was still eager to dive into the story.
As I said, there was this flip flop between the Now Lena who was a part of the resistance who was working hard to stop the “DFA” and the Old Lena who had just escaped Portland. I was a little confused, but once I realized what was happening, it was a really great way to keep the story moving. Rather than go in chronological order, we could see where she wound up and a little bit of how she got there. There were parts that didn’t need to be gone over because there was this nearly two months time span that went from when she escaped to when the camp started to move.
I liked that it was a throwback to how the Native American’s and other cultures had to live during the winters and how they had to migrate to keep warmth and to keep finding food and to survive. I loved that Raven pushed Lena to be the best that she could be and to not be a big baby about leaving Portland. I was somewhat irritated by Lena at the start of the book. Although it was tragic for her to have lost Alex, I was somewhat annoyed by how she just lamented over him rather than take advantage of the life that he gave her.
I was also annoyed by the Instalove. And yes, there was instalove, not the worst case that I have seen by far, but Lena has this whole Stockholm syndrome with Julian after they are taken captive together. I will also admit that we don’t know how long they are together, but they start using the L word, (And I’m being generous) by week 3. For someone who was grieving over Alex for months, the fact that she got over him so fast was incredible. I would say she was more lonely than she was in love. Even when she tried to fight her feelings for Julian by thinking about Alex, it hardly does anything for her. I would hardly want to be in a relationship with Lena because it seems she drops you like a hot cake when someone new talks to her.
I’m interested to see where this is going to go for book 3. There was a lot of dissent and a lot of fighting that was prompted for the next book, but I’m not sure that its going to be enough to tear down the entire Deliria Free world. I’m also interested to see if there is going to be a flash forward like Suzanne Collins did for Katniss, so we could see what type of an impact that she and the rest of the resisters had on the world and the “cure.”
The Courts Decision: