I'm not really sure as to what the hype was all about with this book. Even after finishing the book I'm still not quite sure what they hype is. I liked this book but I didn't. I can think of several reasons why I didn't like it, yet there's a balanced number of reasons why this book was good.
I liked this book because of the writing, and the character development. I enjoyed reading how Lena develops and learns how to fall in love. The plot, although slow moving and it's a fairly big book in YA standards, was good and it had all the characteristics of a dystopian society. There was so much lack of emotion (until Lena falls in love) that you can actually 'feel' bland and expressionless (almost like a drone) throughout the book. It's what takes up most of the theme through the book until love comes in. I liked the contrast though. You have the dark bland background, and then Lena comes in, blossoming like a flower with her new emotions. It's a really effective and interesting way of writing and I really did like that aspect of the book.
I really liked the storyline featuring Lena's mother and her mysterious death. It's left a dark mark on Lena's life so much it's no wonder she was looking forward to the 'cure'. The mystery surrounding her mother was really interesting and when you find out what really happened you feel the shock and awe through Lena.
The romance between Lena and Alex dominates through the book, and it was all right. I'm not much of a romance fan, they do have some type of chemistry however I still can't quite see them together though, they're not perfect by all means but it's not like they're wholly mismatched either. I liked the friendship Hana and Lena had together. I wonder why Hana chose her outcome that way, and I wished she would have come along for the ride it could have made a whole different plot. There was just something about her that made her so likable. She was so friendly, kind, she seemed like such an easy person to get along with. It's hard not to like her.
The main reason why this book didn't really grab me (aside from the bland pace of the plot) was Lena. I did not like her. There were so many moments where she made me grind my teeth, the moments - during her exam for example, where I literally had to stop and make a facepalm. Oh Lena, why can't you just smarten up when you need to be? why do you have to be so utterly daft at times? There were moments where I went to smack her upside the head for her stupid moments. Even after finishing this book I still can't begin to like her.
Aside from that, I can think of no other reason to dislike this book. I'd have to say it's still a good read and the ending nearly had me in tears. Although the idea of love being illegal may not be new, the writing in this book is superb and is worth the read. I most definitely recommend this for YA lovers, and those that love dystopian fiction.