Pandemonium

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Book two from Lauren Oliver, in the DELERIUM series, PANDEMONIUM. I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. When I read DELERIUM, I couldn’t put it down, I couldn’t stop listening. But book two… meh. It was good, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t as page turny as the first. Well, up until the last page. That last page forces me to read book three. But overall, my book two theory takes hold for another crushing win.

Lena is back and the world is as dangerous as ever. In the second installment, Lena is in the Wilds and a part of the growing resistance. She’s left her old self behind in Portland, with Alex, the boy who she fell in love with, who was shot down, murdered in front of her. Grief sucks her and almost swallows her whole. Surviving in the unregulated Wilds is hard and the leader, Raven, is not about to let her slack off.

Lana is sent on a mission that takes her to observe 18-year-old Julian Fineman, the prominent son of a cured in New York. He hasn’t undergone the cure yet because of previous surgeries due to a brain tumor. On the day of Julian’s cure, Lena and Julian end up imprisoned together. A bond forms and although I personally don’t know how I feel about it, it’s sweet.

PANDEMONIUM alternates between “Then” and “Now” chapters taking place roughly six months apart. I wasn’t sure I liked it at first but Oliver does a seamless job and I don’t think it would have had the same impact had the story been told from beginning to end.

I think I’ll have a final decision on the Lena front after I read book three. I will have to know how this ends. Considering what’s happened in books two, book three will be a storm.

 

Delirium

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What if Love was outlawed? In Lauren Oliver’s book DELIRIUM, Love is a disease and there is a cure. All citizens of the United States must take the cure at age eighteen and be rid of the disease once and f28664211896or all. City’s are fenced in to protect the citizens from the Wilds where love sympathizers lurk. Lena is less than three months away from her cure date. She’s counting down the days until she’s matched with her future husband and is ready to be out from under her aunt’s thumb. Everything changes when she meets Alex. He’s a guard with secrets. Secrets and a wild past. What would you do for love?

I enjoyed DELIRIUM so much. I went in hesitantly. Unbelieving that O266964fe496904d37f5340c14a35a689.jpegliver could write yet another mind blowing book. Can she continue to produce amazing books? Is she flawed? Maybe but I didn’t see it in in this book. I’m a sucker for a good dystopian book. And the premise of LOVE being outlawed = Mind Blown. I loved how she managed to keep a lot of the book grounded around a semi-normal society. It wasn’t like THE GIVER or MATCHED or even DIVERGENT. It takes place in Portland and could easily be mistaken for a normal city. Minus the regulators, fences, and every person over the age of eighteen walking around like happy zombies.

I’m excited to take on book two. I don’t even feel the need for a break between books, like I often do in series. I’m ready to delve feet first and find out what happens to Lena and Alex. The cliffhanger ending is impossible to walk away from. 9f5a03023528442320b1ce8605b3d8f6.jpeg

More Happy Than Not

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I think most readers of Adam Silvera’s MORE HAPPY THAN NOT, probably don’t remember Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but I do. Silvera’s first novel brings this idea of erasing bad memories, to a new generation. A rollercoaster of emotions have wrecked havoc on my emotional state while reading this book. I kept hoping for a happy ending, for the book to go a certain way and it never did what I thought it might. It’s hard to surprise me in a book and so for that, I’m thankful.

MORE HAPPY THAN NOT is about a boy who is considering a memory altercation procedure to help him forget that he’s gay. He believes that living a life as a straight teenager would make him happier and ultimately be easier on himself and his friends. Silvera himself says this book is about, “…science versus nature, friendship, sexuality, and a quest for happiness.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

I’ve lost two people in my life to suicide, one of them just over a year ago. It breaks my heart that Homophobia still exists. That there are those who go out of their way to hurt another human over love. I’ll never wrap my head around that kind of hate. I teach at a middle school and I watch teenagers self-harm because they feel no one in the world understands what they’re going through. Books like these must continue to authored and must continue to be read. If all else, to give a ray of hope to those who are suffering, that they’re not alone.

Silvera’s book is unforgettable, painful, beautiful, and so many more words I can’t conjure at this moment.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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Dear Shea,

I’ve thought about you often over the years. I was only 13 when we met but I knew even then that we’d be friends. You were always a bit aloof in a crowd, only back then I thought you were too cool for school with your shades on and spiked hair. This might be easier if I’d only had a single bad memory to hold on too. It might make the pain a little easier to swallow if I had some hate. Only I don’t. No rose colored glasses, just you.

I never told you but when we were in the 10th grade I had the biggest crush on you. We’d both been apart of The King and I, and long days and nights meant getting to spend more time with you. Silly shinanagins and makeup disasters. I was always too scared to tell you of course. Life at 15 is all highs and lows, life and death. Only it wasn’t, was it. Life was in so many ways, easier.

The past 2 week you’ve weighed heavily on my mind. Maybe I should have listened to that. I have this crazy memory, we were 16 and a group of our friends and I all snuck out of our houses or played the “I’m staying at so and so’s” game. The group of us all had one plan in mind that night: rescue Shea from his house. You had been grounded for some reason and we all thought it was a travesty. The mission was an utter failure. We had the cops called on us by your dad, who we mistakenly thought was you in the darkness that 3am while attempting to open bedroom windows. I’ve thought about that night with found memories over the years, and although you were not there, I still always think of you and smile. I think of when I told you about our crazy night, how you rolled your eyes and laughed. Your dad called us hooligan assholes. Maybe that’s weird. I don’t know. I also think about the time we did spend together and the memories we made. You are in so many and maybe you didn’t know, maybe I didn’t tell you enough but you’ve always held a special place in my heart. Because you were special. You were kind and honest and funny.

Suddenly and without my say years passed. And then two months ago I found you on a social networking site. I was over the moon to reconnect with you. We were going to get coffee and catch up next time I was in town. You didn’t know this, but you made the list of 3 people from high school I wanted to re-connect with but never did. I was going to tell you that when we met up in person. Not to say I didn’t try over the years, you just weren’t an easy man to track down. I heard through other friends you’d moved around quite a bit. But that was all in the past because I’d found you again. I was going to see you again.

Today I found out that you took your own life. Today my heart broke and I can’t stop crying. Tears that have a mind of their own and shed without my permission. I’m mad at you, and I’m sad for you, but most of all I miss you. I wish I’d been there for you. I wish we could have had that cup of coffee. So many wishes only no one to hear them now.

I hope that you’re able to find peace Shea. I hope the pain stopped. I hope that someday in a very distant future we will see each other again and I can tell you all these things I never got to say. Hopefully there is coffee in the next life, because I miss you I’d been looking forward to seeing you. Maybe you already know all this, I guess I’ll never know. I just wanted to say it anyways. I needed too try and tell you, even if only to the dark void of the interwebs. You’d probably roll your eyes at me right now but I’d take that eye roll in a heart beat over the hole you left.

You will forever have a place in my heart dear old friend.

Love,

Miranda