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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on March 20, 2012
While the premise was interesting, overall I found the plot derivative (1984 and Equilibrium) and predictable. By the end of chapter one, I knew exactly what was going to happen, and wasn't surprised at all by the ending. While Ms. Oliver's writing style has potential, her use of similes is distracting to the point where it was an effort to keep reading. They are either strange (a bay surrounded by shore, like a belt cinching a waist) or cliché ( a stone), and are found on nearly every page - sometimes as many as five per page. The one interesting side plot (Grace) is not developed.
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on August 17, 2014
What you're in for: Lies. Romance. Forbidden love. Near emotionless society. "Invalids". The "Crypts". Deception. Rebels. Brutality. Friendship. Love in a loveless society.

My Thoughts:
A good and captivating read with a crazy ending that makes you unable to not read the sequel! I enjoyed this book. It definitely had similarities to other dystopian novels. The way the adults who have undergone the procedure (to "cure" them from the disease of love) act reminded me of the way the people act after surgery in the book Uglies. A mindless, uncaring, everything-is-right-in-the-world, complete-and-utter-trust-in-the-government kind of attitude. Though, this story did break apart from other dystopian stories and had a uniqueness of its own.

One thing that surprised me most about this book was the quality of Lauren Oliver's writing. I have read her other two stand-alones (Before I Fall and Panic) and never understood what all the rave was about this author. She's okay and everything, but what's with everyone thinking she's so amazing? I just didn't get it. Now, however, I'm beginning to understand. I thought the writing was MUCH better in this book than her two stand-alones! This is the genre she should be writing and she should stick with it. I was surprised just how much better the quality of her writing was in this book. It seems she's meant to write this genre.

I would recommend reading this book. I liked it and I could not wait to read the sequel. Hopefully the rest of the series is just as good, if not better!
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on October 28, 2015
If you like YA Dystopian Worlds you should enjoy this, but it will not be your favorite as it is not original, and the premise is unrealistic - people en mass would never volunteer for brain surgery (lobotomies) with a one percent chance of death, so that they could no longer feel love, friendship, and emotional pain. And then there is no way that would become mandatory for the whole population. Also, because the story has been told time and again (1984, Brave New World, Uglies,Matched, etc. etc.) the story line was very predictable.
But it is always interesting to see how the writer will create a dystopian world, with all the little details. I found the writing good with interesting details. The scenes were vivid and felt realistic. The love story was okay. The plot was a bit slow but I still kept wanting to read on.
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on January 26, 2013
This book is okay and it's a creative idea but I find it kind of slow to follow and I have a hunch about what's going to happen and it just seems like it's taking forever to happen causing me to lose interest slightly but not enough to want to stop reading it.
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on May 2, 2011
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.
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on January 19, 2014
The book is so beautifully written. I could not put it down and can't wait to start the next one. Also, the story gives a lot to think about. Amazing!
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on March 8, 2014
this is a great book and it was delivered quickly :-) chose it for book club and all the other girls were jus like me - couldn't put it down!
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on April 2, 2014
I was totally satisfied by what I tought this book would be and it is PERFECT! I adore everything about it, really recommend it.
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on March 27, 2013
AMAZING!!!!!!!!!! ahh this was soo good!! incredible in capturing the views of hana annabel and raven :) <3333 luved it !
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on August 26, 2014
What kind of ending is THAT? That book was a total waste of my time. Does she find her mom? Does Alex die?
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