I started reading this book yesterday’s evening and finished it tonight about half past three. Reading a book in one night means two things, when it comes to me. One, it means I didn’t want to put it down. Two, it means that I thought I could get through it fast(er).
(for here on, my review will contain spoilers)
I loved the whole idea of a world without love (oh, sense the irony in that sentence). It’s an original idea, though the dystopian world itself definitely isn’t. It’s a very complex thing to image a world without love, because so many kinds of love we just take for granted. In the book, it’s portrayed how parents don’t love their child or how a dog just gets shot because it ‘might have fleas’.
As impressed as I was with the world that was described, I wasn’t as pleased with the story. I thought Alex’ and Lena’s romance was a bit superficial and I would have liked them to get to know them a bit better together. They spent a whole summer in an abandoned house, but their romance still didn’t seem to get really layered until Alex took Lena out into the wild and read her a poem. That was a moment I really liked, with the poem and the stars. And, I have to say, I was glad it didn’t turn into a sex scene. It could easily have been, but it wouldn’t have added anything to the story at that point. I kind of thought it would happen and was glad when it didn’t, so yay for Lauren Oliver!
A thing about the story that I did like, however, was Lena’s growth. She starts off as someone who fits in and just wants to be cured, but in the end she’s running off to the Wild. She’s started to ask questions and she’s doubting the world she’s lived in all her life. I get that it’s also thanks to her mother that she’s questioning things, because her mother was different, but she could have also chosen to ignore that and just live a normal life, like Rachel.
So in the end I loved the idea of the book and the development of some of the characters, but I think the romance between Alex and Lena could have been better, especially taking into account that it’s a pretty big and important part in the book. And getting back to reason number two why I read it in one night: I didn’t expect too much from this book. It seemed relatively short and easy, but it turned out to be better than I had expected!