Love kills. It's a good thing that there's a cure.
Lena can't wait til her eighteenth birthday when she can undergo the government-mandated cure for Amor Deliria Nervosa, the condition that goes hand-in-hand with love. According to The Safety, Health, and Happiness Handbook (more commonly referred to as The Book of Shhh) love is dangerous primarily because it "affects your mind so that you cannot think clearly, or make rational decisions about your own well-being." Deliria is the reason Lena's mother is dead, and she's counting down the rest of the 95 days left until her procedure. "The cured, incapable of strong desire, are thus rid of both remembered and future pain." No pain = happiness. Therefore, delirium of love = unhappiness.
But what happens when Lena begins to test the limits of what she's been told by society? What happens when she begins to question everything that she's been raised to believe? What happens when she decides that she wants to feel passionately and freely. Isn't the pleasure of love worth any amount of pain and sacrifice?
Heart-wrenching, thought-provoking, and absolutely enthralling, Lauren Oliver's sophomore effort is recommended to all high school readers. And when you're finished reading this one, check out Before I Fall, too.
Call number: YA OLIVER (Teen Room)
Reviewed by kate the librarian.
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