Monthly Archives: June 2011

Down-to-Read with Daniela: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Age Group:
Young Adult

Adventure, Coming-of-age, American, Fiction, Dystopian, Mystery, Science Fiction

Imagine a world in which love is a disease to be cured of, a world in which you are stripped of the choice to love against your will. This is the America that young protagonist Lena finds herself living in.

Lena is looking forward with anticipation to the surgery that will prevent her from contracting the ‘deliria.’ She’s witnessed first hand the dangers of not being cured after her mother committed suicide. She is determined not to suffer the same fate.

Everything’s going on schedule for Lena. But then she meets Alex, an Invalid from the Wilds, who teaches her that life is better with freedom and choice. When they discover an eerie truth about Lena’s mother, Alex and Lena realize their lives will never be the same.

My Thoughts:
This is a strong second novel from author Lauren Oliver. The novel’s plot is an interesting concept and one that is easily explored from many dimensions. The ability to love, and with it, to experience great sorrow and overwhelming passion is the source of many a great fictional tale.

Oliver provides a unique and stunning twist to the traditional narratives, forcing readers to imagine a world stripped of strong emotions and immense joy. The reader must decide for themselves which world is more threatening: the safety, peace and calm of routine, or the floodgate of feelings stirred by love.

A great spin-off choice for fans of The Hunger Games, borrow Delirium from your local Vaughan library today!

Share: Is it just me, or who else is excited about the upcoming Hunger Games movie? Sooo pumped!

What’ll it be? – Princess of Glass

Last year I read Jessica Day George’s book Princess of the Midnight Ball, which I really enjoyed.  Princess of Glass is a sequel that features one of Rose’s younger sister, with a Cinderella twist.  After spending years dancing the entire night in the court of the evil King Under Stone, Poppy isn’t interested in dancing anymore but has learned a number of skills from her brother-in-law, like playing cards and knitting. 

In an effort to rebuild relationships with surrounding countries, the King is sending his younger daughters on an exchange to visit other countries.  Poppy is sent to Breton, where she stays with her mother’s cousins.  During one of the many parties the family attends, Poppy meets the Prince of Danelaw and both find the other intriguing.  But not long after they met, a mysterious young lady appears on the scene and seems posed to steal the Prince away.  But Poppy, wearing magical protection, recognizes her as the clumsy maid in her cousins’ household and realizes that Ellen, who at her parents’ death lost her inheritance, is being used by an evil ‘fairy godmother’ but for what purpose?

This was another enjoyable read by this author.  I liked the fairy tale twist and I really hope she’s going to write another story about one of the other sisters.

Mondays are murder

The Gracelings are born different from others.  Gracelings are born with a skill – a talent, a gift, an exceptionality – that sets them apart from others.  It might take some time before their Grace demonstrates itself, but its presence is indicated early by the eyes – one each of different colours.

cover image

Katsa has one green and one blue eye.  She is employed in her uncle’s court as King Randa’s chief enforcer.  For, unusually (and especially for a girl), Katsa’s Grace is killing.  But Katsa is not satisfied just to act as the long arm of the King against his enemies, real or perceived.  She has grown weary of punishing insignificant underlords for petty sleights and violations.  She has begun to use her skills to the benefit of others, through the work of The Council.

However, on a Council mission to rescue the kidnapped father of a neighbouring king, Katsa will meet someone who changes everything.  For there is another Graceling, his Grace is fighting, who might just prove to be her match.

I read this YA fantasy novel at the behest of my lovely wife.  And I am glad (yet again) that I succumbed to her suggestions (as I should always do, for it usually works out well for me!).  Katsa is a fascinating creature – all the prickles and angst of an adolescent female, coupled with a set of skills that would fare well in a martial arts film!   If you are looking for a strong female character, in a complete and well-drawn fantasy universe, check out Graceling by Kristin Cashore.