Hana by Lauren Oliver - WARNING! I cannot review this book without spoiling the others in the series. Read no further if you're planning on reading this series and don't want it spoiled for you.
In the world of Delirium, love is a disease. And like all eighteen-year-olds, Lena and Hana must take the cure. At the start of their last summer of freedom, they were the closest of friends. Until Hana made a decision that tore them apart . . . In Delirium, we heard from Lena. Now, Hana gets to tell her side of the story. And nothing is what we first thought. Hana is a powerful, moving and beautifully told original eBook short story, with a shocking twist that will leave you with your heart in your mouth. From Amazon UK
I am a huge fan of Lauren Oliver's Delirium series, so when I heard this short story eBook was being released just before Christmas last year, I had to get it. Anything set in this world - hell, anything written by this author is something I need to read. And wow! Complete shocker.
Hana is Lena's best friend, and this short story runs alongside the events of Delirium, telling certain events from Hana's point of view. In Delirium, Lena and Hana fall out when Hana is being too risky, going to underground illegal parties, and Lena worries about getting caught. This story takes place during that period where they are no longer talking, and shows us what Hana got up to while apart from Lena.
I found it fascinating! Hana is going to these illegal parties and experiencing attraction to boys for the first time. And there is a boy. But Hana is so unsure, it's hard to shake off what you have been taught your whole life, and no matter how good things feel, she is constantly questioning what is happening and what she feels, and worrying about what will eventually happen. And she is seriously missing Lena, and desperately wants to talk about everything she's feeling, but Lena seems to not want to know anymore.
I found it interesting to see how in this dystopian society lust and love can still be separate (as well as one, I suppose) before the cure. Teens are experimenting at these parties, and it was strangely surprising to see that these parties mostly fueled lust more than love. I just assumed there would be a lot more love appearing when it was so wrong.
Also, I loved how the question of how the people of this society thought/felt about gay people. It's just scary to think that the cure can remove so much, that you can go from being gay to feeling completely indifferent to the fact you will end up in a heterosexual relationship, when that is just not who you are. It's just wrong. It's sickening. It's like the cure isn't just stopping people from loving, it's also "fixing" them. It disgusts me that in this society, where love of any kind is wrong - familial love or romantic love - those who are gay are "Unnatural". Oh my gosh, it makes my blood boil. You would have thought that in a world where love is despised, everyone who loves, no matter what their sexuality is, is bad, but no, there are levels, and to love your own sex is even worse. That is wrong. I also want to point out that it's quite clear, through Hana's opinions, that these aren't the views of Oliver, it's the views of the awful society that these characters live in, and it's treated well. It's a very small section of this story, but my reaction was overwhelming, and I'm sure many people would react the same - the way Oliver intended.
The ending of Hana's story almost killed me! This story covers Hana and Lena's friendship getting back on track, and stops before the end of Delirium. But the end of this story is almost as shocking as the ending of Delirium! I literally gasped out loud! I would never have guessed what was to come. I cannot BELIEVE what I read. It has changed my entire view on Hana! It's just... wow. I seriously hope we see Hana in Requiem, the third book in the series, because it would be incredible! It's going to be anyway, but with Hana back in the picture, it would be unbelievable! Oh, I am so excited for the third book! Fans of this series, you definitely have to read this story, because the twist... you need to read it! Brilliant story! Highly recommended to fans!
Published: 19th December 2012
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Buy on Amazon US
Lauren Oliver's Website
My other reviews from the series:
Delirium (Delirium Book 1)
Pandemonium (Delirium Book 2)