Thursday, March 14, 2013

Review: Raven (Delirium #2 .5) by Lauren Oliver



Title: Raven (Delirium #2.5)
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Published: March 5, 2013

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My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

 As a teenager, Raven made the split-second decision to flee across the border to the Wilds, compelled to save an abandoned newborn—a baby girl left for dead and already blue from the cold. When she and the baby are taken in by a band of rebels, Raven finds herself an outsider within a tight-knit group. 

The only other newcomer is an untrustworthy boy known as the Thief until he finally earns himself a new name: Tack.


 Now she and Tack are inseparable, committed to each other, the fledgling rebellion, and a future together. But as they both take center stage in the fight, Raven must decide whether the dangers of the revolution are worth risking her dreams of a peaceful life with Tack.

 As her story hurtles back and forth between past and present, Raven transforms from a scared girl newly arrived in the Wilds to the tough leader who helps Lena save former Deliria-Free poster boy Julian Fineman from a death sentence. Whatever the original mission may have been, Raven abides by a conviction that she believes to her core: You always return for the people you love. 

By turns surprising, revelatory, and poignant, Raven’s story enriches the Delirium world and resonates with a voice that is as vulnerable as it is strong.

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I’m always a stickler for reading books in order -- including their novellas -- but it was really hard to keep myself from diving into Requiem first.  Especially because Raven wasn’t exactly one of my favorite characters.  I’ve said it before, but so many times it’s true: the book you expect to like the least will end up being the one you love the most.  Raven was my favorite of the novellas from The Delirium Series.  I have a whole new opinion of this head-strong, fiery character; and her relationship with Tack led to some extremely beautiful moments in this short story:

“So we've made up our own language, in the way we press chest to chest and the way we touch noses when we kiss.  I get to say his name - his real name.  A name that brings a taste of sunshine, and of sunshine raising mist from the trees, and of mist reaching toward the sky. His secret name, which belongs to me, and to him, and to no one else.”

The details in the ‘then and now’ of Raven’s life were extremely captivating. I loved seeing the more vulnerable side of Raven, and there were several revelations that brought me to tears. 
“… when I knew we’d both been saved – that night, I thought I knew God, just for a second.”

Raven’s backstory intermixed with the accounts of what happened at the end of Pandemonium but told from her perspective was not only enlightening but a great recap before beginning the next book.  It refreshed the details for me and put me in the perfect place to begin the final book. 
“Lies are just stories, and stories are all that matter.  We all tell stories.  Some are more truthful than others, maybe, but in the end the only thing that counts is what you can make people believe.”

I’m so glad I read this first, because there is a particular piece of information included that is never brought to light in Requiem.  A detail that really impacts the way a certain moment in Requiem affects the reader.  Even if you didn’t read Hana or Annabel or if you’ve already read Requiem, this short story is not to be missed.  It’s a stunning reminder of ‘never judge a book by its cover’ and of just how extraordinary Ms. Oliver’s writing is!
“That’s what you do for family.  Anything.”

chelesiggy

8 comments:

  1. Great review my friend! You have me very curious about this one. I really want to know what this detail is you are talking about. Once I get brave enough to read Requiem I shall make time for this first!

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  2. Ugh. Everyone needs to stop posting about this series. It's making me want to read it so bad, but I don't have the time yet. Quit teasing me! :D

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  3. Glad you ended up enjoying this one! I need to read past the 1st, but I know I have good stuff waiting for me.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  4. What a review! I will have to read this one. :) I haven't started the series- yet. So glad to have read this first.
    ~Stephanie

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  5. I totally agree with this review. I didn’t read them in order, but wish I had for that crucial insight! Like you, Raven wasn’t my favorite character, but I’m so happy this novella dug a little deeper into her perspective and relationships. Great review!

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  6. I really need to start this series. I saw where she had posted a video about the reason why she ended the last book the way she did. I didn't watch it yet, because I've only read the first book. I am looking forward to finding time to finish the series. Great review!

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  7. Ahh. I've got to read the novellas for this series - and now hearing how fantastic of a character Raven is. I wish I'd read this before Requiem.

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  8. I'm so glad we read this first! It was so good and I was upset that that piece of information didn't come up in Requiem. This was also one of my favorites and we shared the same point of view and expectations :) Lauren Oliver is amazing, she just knows how to write, even a short story to leave you breathless! Great review!

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