Monday 31 December 2012

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Review: Annabel by Lauren Oliver

Annabel by Lauren OliverAnnabel 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 spoilt for you.

Lena's mother, Annabel, has always been a mystery - a ghost in Lena's past. Until now. Discover her secrets in Lauren Oliver's brilliant original digital story set in the world of international bestsellers Delirium and Pandemonium. Through chapters that alternate between her past and present, Annabel reveals the true story behind her failed cures, her marriage, the births of her children, her imprisonment, and, ultimately, her daring escape. From Amazon UK

I was so excited to hear that Annabel was having a short story of her own, that we would get to meet this woman, this mother that was so full of love in a world that forbids it. And now I've read it, I got a lot more from the story than I expected.

Because it's Lauren Oliver, and because it's set in the Delirium world, I didn't bother reading the synopsis before I bought it. I bought it on the trust that I would love it - and I did, so much! But I didn't expect the alternating chapters of Then and Now, like with Pandemonium. I didn't expect to see both Annabel as a young girl, and Annabel in prison day after day. It was brilliant to see who this woman was, the spirit she had, the enormous love she felt for her children and her husband. And, in contrast, to see what 11 years in the Crypts had made her. A woman who was kept going by the love she felt and the hope that she would see her family again.

Annabel was around when the cure first became mandatory, and it was such an eye-opener. How quickly things change; Annabel is Lena's mother, and to think of how Lena's world is, to know that when Annabel was a child, her world was much like ours, if only starting to make the scientific and political changes that led to love being defined as a disease. That's two generations, and the whole world - or at least America - was turned upside down.
'But that's the problem with love--it acts on you, works through you, resists your attempts to control. That's what made it so frightening to the lawmakers: Love obeys no laws other than it's own.
That's what has always made it frightening.' From Chapter 4.
We got to see Annabel fall in love with the man she would marry, the father of her children, and it's just as beautiful as when Lena fell for Alex, but without the fear. It was complete and utter joy. Despite the fact he had already been cured. She reveled in the fact that her own cure failed, which she is completely certain of the moment she know that one of her matches is the man she has loved for so long. This all encompassing love she feels has to be kept secret, and you can't help but feel sorry for her, yet inspired.
'But from the beginning , I knew that in a world where destiny was dead, I was destined, forever, to love him. Even though he didn't--though he could't--ever love me back.' From Chapter 10.
Finding out what life was like inside the Crypts was also awesome, in such a depressing way. Again you are in awe of her, this woman who's life has been taken away from her, yet who's fire has yet to be quashed, who has determination, and hope, and fight. Brave, courageous and fearless, Annabel is a woman to admire.

Annabel is a perfect addition to the Delirium series, and a brilliant, beautiful story of the strength of a woman who loves.

Add to Goodreads

Published: 26th December 2012
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Buy on Amazon US
Lauren Oliver's Website

My other reviews from the series:
Delirium (Delirium Book 1)
Hana (Delirium Short Story 1.5)
Pandemonium (Delirium Book 2)


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