Friday, September 16, 2011

The TBR Back Burner Challenge: Round 8 Reviews

I've heard so many wonderful things about both of Lauren Oliver's books and they both just happen to be mocking me from my TBR pile so I decided that now would be the perfect time to buckle down and read them. So this month I'll be taking on Before I Fall and Delirium. Join me, won't you? 

EvilEva reviews...... Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver.
Sam Kingston's life is pretty golden. She has a tight knit group of friends, a hot boyfriend and she's popular! But one night one small moment changes everything. There's an accident and Sam is thrown into a sort of limbo. She has to relive the same day, her last, over and over. Has Sam been given a second chance to right her wrongs? If she can figure out how to repair the things she's done can she change her future? Or is Sam destined to live in a loop, stuck in that fateful February day forever?  

Truthfully, I didn't know if I was going to like this book. In the beginning Sam and her friends are the popular, mean girls that rule the school and have something snarky to say about everyone that isn't in their little clique. It was actually kinda hard to like Sam at first. But as the story progresses so does Sam. 
She starts to see that the people she thought were losers/sluts/freaks actually aren't that bad. In fact, they're pretty great. 
And she realizes that some of the people she's chosen to surround herself with aren't really as awesome as she originally thought. 
I liked learning these different characteristics of the various people in Sam's life right along with her. So I liked that she relives each day differently. Everyday she wakes up, she's frustrated or angry or euphoric or resigned to her Groundhog's Day-like fate. Some days she really wants to change and others she just says Fuck It. 
I thought that made the book really interesting, seeing which path Sam would choose. Would she have nice moments with her family or would she argue with them? Would she break up with her boyfriend or spend first period making out with him in the parking lot? Would she tell Lindsay to stop making fun of people or would she laugh right along with her? Would she finally see what an awesome sauce catch Kent is or would she continue ignoring him? 
There were so many possibilities and so many ways the story could (and did) go. And I think Lauren Oliver handled each really well. I enjoyed her writing style (and thus can't wait to begin Delirium!) 
And even though the chapters and the book were long it never felt that way. It all added up to a really great, interesting book. 

The Scale of Judgment says...... 4 and a half.

EvilEva reviews...... Delirium by Lauren Oliver. 

Love is a disease. Now known as amor deliria nervosa, love has been outlawed.
Lena can't wait for the day she turns 18 and is able to be cured. She fears she'll end up like her mother, infected with the sickness and willing to give up everything for it. Lena is certain the cure is just the thing she needs to save her own life. 
And then she meets Alex. 
And she starts to have feelings that scare her, feelings that go against everything she's been taught.
Lena is falling in love.
And now that she realizes love isn't a sickness, it isn't something to be feared, there's no way she can go back to her normal life with her neatly mapped out future. 
Lena has to find a way to be with Alex. She has to find a way to make it over the fence that encloses the city, and into the Wilds where she and Alex can be together, free of any rules. 
But the regulators are always watching.
And anyone caught showing signs of being infected are sent away to the Crypts, locked up for the rest of their lives. 
Or worse--- immediately put to death. 
But love is worth the risk. And Lena has to try.

I got the deliria...... for this book! Oh my God, y'all! I LOVED it! Go out right now and Buy This Book! And then when you get back from your Delirium-gettin' boot up the ol' computer and preorder Pandemonium cos you're gonna wanna know what happens next. I do! I just finished reading Delirium and already wanna read it again. It is sooooo good! I don't even know if I'll be able to pull off a decent review because of my overabundance of fangirling right now. 
Alright, calm down, girl and explain to the nice people out there why this book is so fanfuckingtastic.
Ok, so it's a dystopian setting but it's not so dystopian that people have crazypants names and are on the verge of quite possibly having to eat each other for dinner. In Lauren Oliver's future craphole cars and electricity are luxuries. There are labs where you go when you turn 18 to be cured of that pesky little thing called love. Everything in your life is dictated to you. Your college, your major, your job, your mate, where you'll live and even how many children you should have. Love is completely forbidden. You can't so much as hold hands with someone unless you wanna be hauled off to the Crypts. You are taught that love is bad for you.
The whole premise is so interesting to me because when you begin the story you think (or at least I did) that this is just gonna be about sexytimes love and how these crazy kids can't live without it. But the author delves into the concept even deeper, what it's like for a parent to have a child and feel not love but indifference toward them, not to hold them when they fall or when they're scared or when they cry. So it leaves you feeling like the adults are kinda Stepford-y. Everything is either black or white, there is no gray area. There's wrong and there's right. The cure is right and falling in love is very wrong.
And this is how Lena feels or rather how Lena is taught to feel. Then she meets sexypants Alex and her whole world, everything she knew and all of her beliefs are shaken to their core. This is what makes Lena such a great character. She's conflicted by her sudden and unexpected love for Alex and also by her duties to her family. 
And speaking of Alex, he is so super swoontastic! I wanted to jump the fence into the Wilds with him too! He definitely gets Book Boyfriend status on this blog!  
Even the secondary characters were great and memorable. I loved Hana, Lena's bestie. She was totally there for Lena and aided in her rule-breaking.
And even though she wasn't in the book that much, I LOVED me some Gracie! Lauren Oliver made her seem so sweet and fragile and I just wanted to snuggle her up and keep her in my pocket. 
Delirium, much like love itself is a roller coaster ride of emotions. It's so epic and wonderful and tragic and amazing and I can't say enough good things about it. Y'all, for serious, Get This Book. You won't regret it. 

The Scale of Judgment says...... 5!      

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