When Delirium first hit the shelves in 2011, I was taking a hiatus from dystopian despite the fact that I really enjoyed Oliver's first book, Before I Fall (not dystopian). None of my students asked for it so I never put it on the shelf. Someone must've discovered it recently, because I started getting requests for it, so I put it on the shelf and borrowed the audiobook from the public library and started listening.
The story is narrated by Lena Haloway. She's ninety-five days away from her cure and she cannot wait. Love, aka deliria nervosa, has been outlawed. When children hit eighteen, they undergo a procedure that removes those foolish, impure and distracting impulses. Lena lives in Portland, Maine, which is surrounded by an electric fence that separates the population from "the Wilds." The government is brutally suppressive and Lena lives in constant fear of interrogation. Not so her best friend, Hana. She is wealthy and fearless, constantly breaking curfew and daring Lena to do the same. But Lena is damaged goods. Her mother's cure didn't work, requiring multiple procedures. She died during her last one.
Sarah Drew's performance made Delirium a better book than it was. She was fantastic; although I didn't love her male voices, especially Alex's. I was able to appreciate why my girls love this book. I did like Lena's voice and her awakening and I thought Hana was a hoot. Then, there were inconsistencies that brought me out of the story. I just couldn't buy into this regime that was supposedly so repressive, yet teens were constantly breaking curfew and holding illegal parties.
Still, the cliffhanger ending kept me interested enough to continue reading with my ears.
In Pandemonium, Drew changes the pronunciation of Hana's name from Han-na, in book one to Ho-nah. Again, the ease with which Lena and her cohort are able to elude the regime continued to be unbelievable. Also, Julian came off as way young. Not sure if it was the voice that Drew chose or the way he was written. Possibly a combination of both but enough interest remained to plow on to the conclusion.
Requiem was underwhelming. Here, the first-person narrative switches between Hana and Lena. There are some surprises. There is some suspense. The coincidence of them ending up in the same place at the end was a bit much to swallow. The love triangle? Meh. Can we please put a moratorium on heroines who might be kick-ass but whose naivté, denseness, cluelessness, thickness, or whatever makes them assume, "I'm ugly," or, "He doesn't love me," or, "He hates me!"? Enough!
And, what's with the chick on the covers surrounded by flowers? Lena's on the run and filthy for most of the second two books. Flowers and make up?