Monday, February 11, 2013

Review: Annabel (A Delirium Story) by Lauren Oliver

Title: Annabel (Delirium #0.5)
Author:  Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: December 26, 2012
Purchase:  Amazon B&N

My Rating: ★ ★ ★   

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 New York Times bestsellers Delirium and Pandemonium.

Lena Halloway's mother, Annabel, supposedly committed suicide when Lena was only six years old. That's the lie that Lena grew up believing, but the truth is very different.

 As a rebellious teenager, Annabel ran away from home and straight into the man she knew she was destined to marry. The world was different then—the regulations not as stringent, the cure only a decade old.

 Fast forward to the present, and Annabel is consigned to a dirty prison cell, where she nurtures her hope of escape and scratches one word over and over into the walls: Love.

But Annabel, like Lena, is a fighter. Through chapters that alternate between her past and present, Annabel reveals the story behind her failed cures, her marriage, the births of her children, her imprisonment, and, ultimately, her daring escape.



Even though I’d only had glimpses into the kind of person Annabel was through Lena’s memories of her mother... I loved her. I couldn’t wait to read something from Annabel’s point of view. We don’t get as much of her as I would have preferred, but I definitely reveled in what I read -- even if Lauren Oliver does what she does best: leaving me wanting so much more!

It’s not surprising to realize that Lena’s beautiful ponderings and reflective thoughts are inherited from her mother. This novella is no exception when it comes to Ms. Oliver’s lovely writing. Her stories read like poetry, and I’m easily swept away by the lyrical quality of her words.

“Is it possible to tell the truth in a society of lies? 
Or must you always, of necessity, become a liar?”
“Amazing, how hope lives. 
Without air or water, with hardly anything at all to nurture it.”

I was very curious about Annabel’s first meeting with Lena’s father, Conrad -- it was unexpected and amusing but also beautiful.

“That’s the easy thing about falling: There is only one choice after that.”

My favorite passages are those that show the love Annabel has for her youngest daughter and the incredible bond they share.

“I love you. Remember. And someday, I will find you again.”

After Annabel’s short story, which is told in the then-and-now format such as Pandemonium, there is a sneak peek at Requiem from Lena’s POV, followed by a new POV from Hana. I would definitely recommend this novella to fans of this series who, like me, can never learn enough about these characters. There aren't any huge revelations here and nothing that is a must-read before beginning Requiem, but the details of Annabel’s escape were something I felt I needed. I was very pleased that this novella didn't leave me with an unbearable cliffhanger. It was more of a look into the characters’ lives that serve as a reminder to how much I love this series and how excited I am for Requiem.

“Love obeys no laws other than its own.”


Thank you to Christie at Christie's Book Reviews for buddy-reading this novella with me and for sharing my love for this series and its amazing characters. 


  1. Although I've had a bit of a rocky journey with this series at times, I do really like Oliver's writing and hope I can try this story one day. Lena's mother is a character I have always wanted to know more about. I love the quotes you picked! Brilliant review, Michele. :)

  2. I hope you have your new laptop. I will send an email soon. I am so far behind today. Anyway, I know you are a HUGE fan of this series and I truly want to check it out especially now that the final book is out and I can avoid the cliffhangers. I adored the quotes you shared!

  3. I love this series but I haven't read the novellas yet. I always forget that they exist. This sounds like it is a great addition to the series though. I've always been curious about Lena's mom. Thank you for reminding me that I'm a dummy and need to read this. Lovely review!

  4. Oh i so need to read this, I am reading Requiem right now, and its not going like I thought.

  5. I just finished reading this one out loud to sandra! I can’t get enough of the mother-daughter love bond, and love the way you pulled out all the quotes I bawled at!! It’s more than just a coincidence that you’re my own Mama “Bells.” : ) CAN NOT WAIT until March for number 3!!! xoxox

  6. Great review! And your blog looks gorgeous! Love the colors :)

  7. I have this! a close friend of mine randomly gifted it to me on my kindle. I got her obsessed by with these book. I have to read it soon. I'm anxious for Requium. Kinda scared though. lol.

  8. Nice review! I have only read the first book so far. Isn't this the series they are going to make a television show out of? I really need to read the rest of the books to.

    1. It is! I'm pretty nervous about it, though. I always worry when they mess with a favorite of mine ;)


Thank you for stopping by our blog! We don't participate in blog tags, and this is an award-free blog; but we do love making new bookish friends. Happy Reading!