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"There is no before. There is only now, and what comes next."
The book begins with Lena looking back at the burning fence and Alex on the other side. After Lena must run as far from the Portland boarder into the Wilds as fast as possible. When she can no longer run she walks. When she can no longer walk she crawls, then drags herself. When Lena feels she can"t push herself any longer she lies down and waits to die. In this time she goes through a "rebirth" process where she leaves the old Lena back in Portland. She is save by Raven who is the leader of one of the homesteads in the Wilds. Lena is nursed back to health but is weighed down by Alex's death. She has constent nightmares and can't seem to let go of the past. At the Homestead Lena does little to help besides cleaning dishes and sweeping. The only people that seem to be nice are Hunter, Raven, and Sarah. Tack another leader at the homested, feels Lena is a waste of a good bed. Raven makes Lena choose is she will help them prepare to migrate North or stay at the settlement alone during the harsh winter. It is after she chooses to help that the story takes off!
Lena is now in the New York approved town. She is a member of the resistance and is living with Raven and Tack. Undercover as a high school student, Lena's job is to follow DFA and attend all the meetings. A huge rally is planed and trouble is stirring from the scavengers. Lena is given the job to watch Julian Fineman son of Thomas Fineman the founder of DFA, at all coast. Once the scavengers attack chaos erupts and Lena must follow Julian into the old subway lines only to be captured. Stuck in a cell with Julian, Lena must work with him if they want to escape the scavengers.Lena will learn the truth of the resistance and how far people will go to succeed. Will they survive? Can Lena learn to love another after a tragedy with Alex? Will she ever meet her mother?
I found this book so much more interesting and faster paced then Delirium. This book is written differently, as if the style changed just like Lena. It goes in a past versus present meaning one chapter is in the past and the next is in the present. It was easy to get into and flows beautifully! The change Lena goes through is great and the entire time you learn more about her and the inner conflicts she has. Many new characters are introduced and all of them have good stories. Many of your burning questions from the previous book are answered. You also learn of the different people that don't "fit" in the DFA's system. Be prepared to inter the world of war and love!
Usually I write reviews in a sort of "royal-Books-Inc.-we" kind of voice. But this time, I had such a personal reaction to the book that I felt like I owed it to the content to write a personal review. Hi, I'm Maggie, and if you come to the NYMBC events you know me as the rambling, babbling emcee who usually doesn't say the right thing before the authors start being awesome. I run NYMBC because I love YA, and this new novel from John Green is exactly why. I loved The Fault in Our Stars. Sixteen year old me is PISSED that grownup me got to the be the one to read it first.
Rather than explaining what this book is about, I'd rather tell you why it's worth reading. Again and again. And then passing to a friend, and telling strangers to read, and then giving it as a gift to all the cool people you know.
In a genre that is currently pretty light on realism, John Green presents the reader with a story that is so unflinchingly real that it left me bawling. On a plane. On the flight home from New Orleans. With a bunch of hungover people who really didn't care that the crazy lady next to them was bawling. My boyfriend and supplyer of tissues was concerned. "Are you ok?" he asked. And I didn't know what to say.
In the novel, the two main characters are obsessed with a fictional book called An Imperial Ailment. It's so formative for both of them, that they feel as though it predicts the way they feel, that it is somehow speaking only to them. I remember reading Slaughterhouse Five when I was that age and feeling the exact same way. There is, incidentally, a "So it goes" in the narration, much to my delight. What is amazing about this book, is that I imagine it will do for many readers what Slaughterhouse Five did for me, what An Imperial Ailment did for these characters. It will pull back the curtain of consciousness, which can be so isolating, and remind us: You are and you are not alone. Life is cruel and beautiful, and then it is over. I kept thinking of Billy Pilgrim's headstone as I read this book:
Everything was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt.
So go read The Fault in Our Stars. Then share it with someone who matters to you.
Did you miss the fabulous Tahereh at the Dark Days event? Shame. She was awesome, and she had the coolest purse I've ever seen in the history of time, and I thought about mugging her for it but that seemed woefully unprofessional and so I didn't, even though I'm pretty sure the law would have been on my side. I guess we all have regrets. Well, anyway, check this awesome review written by local bloggers GIRLS ON THE WEB. We met this fabulous blogger at Tahereh's event, where we did not mug Tahereh for her purse but thought very seriously about it. Check this *fab* review:
Me is a thrilling book full of adventure, superpowers and love. In this
book the protagonist, Juliette, starts out in an asylum with nothing but a
broken pen and a notebook. She is not in this place because she is crazy, but
rather because she is considered a threat to the human race. After almost a
year, she sees someone again-they have sent her a roommate. Why have they sent
her a roommate, she wonders? It turns out, it is because they want to use her as
a weapon. Will she let them or will she rebel? Read the book to find out. This
book was absolutely amazing! You don’t have to like superheroes to like this
book. I couldn’t sleep until I finished it. Recommended for ages
Shatter Me is the first novel by Tahereh Mafi and is expected to be the first book of a trilogy. Mafi’s writing style is unique allows the reader to get to know the characters better. This book is truly one of a kind." --Girls on the Web