Book Review: Delirium Stories by Lauren Oliver

Delirium Novellas CoverBook: Delirium Stories: Hana, Annabel & Raven by Lauren Oliver

Published March 2013 by HarperCollins|208 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the paperback from the library

Series: Delirum # 0.5 (Hana), 1.5 (Annabel) and 2.5 (Raven)

Genre: YA Dystopia

Blog Graphic-What It's About

For the first time, Lauren Oliver’s short stories about characters in the Delirium world appear in print. Originally published as digital novellas, Hana, Annabel, and Raven each center around a fascinating and complex character who adds important information to the series and gives it greater depth. This collection also includes an excerpt from Requiem, the final novel in Oliver’s New York Times bestselling series.

Hana is told through the perspective of Lena’s best friend, Hana Tate. Set during the tumultuous summer before Lena and Hana are supposed to be cured, this story is a poignant and revealing look at a moment when the girls’ paths diverge and their futures are altered forever.

Lena’s mother, Annabel, has always been a mystery–a ghost from Lena’s past–until now. Her journey from teenage runaway to prisoner of the state is a taut, gripping narrative that expands the Delirium world and illuminates events–and Lena–through a new point of view.

And as the passionate, fierce leader of a rebel group in the Wilds, Raven plays an integral role in the resistance effort and comes into Lena’s life at a crucial time. Crackling with intensity, Raven is a brilliant story told in the voice of one of the strongest and most tenacious characters in the Delirium world.

Blog Graphic- What I Thought

I randomly saw this at the library and thought it might be interesting to read!  This one is the three novels set in the same world as Delirium trilogy, and I loved Hana but thought Annabel and Raven were okay.

Hana is definitely my favorite of the three.  I liked seeing Hana on her own, and something about her story really struck me.  Maybe it’s because she really just needed to have her moment of rebellion before going back to her life.

Annabel’s story was okay, as was Raven’s.  I could care less about Annabel, but we do see her life now and through flashbacks, but I’m so ambivalent about her that I can’t outright hate her story.  And Raven’s was just re-hashing what we already knew about her.

I’m not sure if the individual stories were published as the series was coming out, or if they were all published later on, but having read all three after reading the series has come out, I wasn’t super into it.  They didn’t really add much in terms of world-building, and other than Hana and Annabel, I feel like we don’t learn a lot about the characters. Annabel and Raven’s stories are also pretty forgettable, because I’m writing this several hours after reading Annabel and Raven, and not much has stuck.

I don’t know if re-reading the series would have made a difference in liking it more, or if, at this point I just don’t care.  And while I liked the series overall, I’m not sure if I liked it enough to read the novellas…which I did because I was curious.

Blog Graphic- My Rating

2 stars.  Overall, it’s pretty forgettable, especially if you haven’t read the Delirium trilogy in a while.  And for me, it didn’t add a lot to the series or the world.

Novella Round-Up #4: Beautiful Creatures: The Untold Stories

I’ve read a few novellas, and when I’ve read a few, I do one big post of novella reviews- they’re usually too short for me to do one review, but at the same time, I want to review them, so I figured it was easier to talk about several of them in one post!

Today’s novellas are the short stories set in the Beautiful Creatures universe!  All three novellas are written by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

The Mortal Heart CoverNovella #1: The Mortal Heart (Beautiful Creatures: The Untold Stories #1)

Published March 2015 by Little, Brown|51 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Genre: YA Paranormal

What It’s About: Everyone in Gatlin has a story…

Before she met and married Mitchell Wate, the beautiful and brilliant Lila Jane Evers was an honors student at Duke University. Studying late into the night in the rare books library, she is captivated by a single line of text on an old piece of parchment: “In the Light there is Dark, and in the Dark there is Light.”

What can it mean?

Then one night, Lila Jane meets a mysterious young man who may have the answer. His name is Macon Ravenwood, and for every secret he reveals, he is hiding another. With Macon’s help, Lila Jane uncovers the wonders of the Caster world–the Light and the Dark. But a romance between the Incubus who is fighting his own dark side and this fiercely independent Mortal is doomed from the start. The closer Lila Jane and Macon become, the more her life is in danger.

What I Thought: I liked it!  I’m glad they’re doing short stories on some of the other characters in the Beautiful Creatures series, and I loved seeing Lila and Macon fall in love.  Given how much he still seemed to love her, I wanted a little bit more of their romance.  I know it’s a novella, but I expected more to it, especially given how much I liked Dream Dark (Beautiful Creatures 2.5) and Dangerous Dream (Dangerous Creatures 0.5).

It felt good to be back in this world, but I really was hoping for a little more to this one.  Maybe I need to re-read the original Beautiful Creatures books before re-reading this one.

My Rating: 3 stars.  I liked it, and I think fans of Beautiful Creatures will enjoy this novella, but I also wish there were a little more to it.

The Seer's Spread CoverNovella #2: The Seer’s Spread (Beautiful Creatures: The Untold Stories #2)

Published July 2015 by Little, Brown|38 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Genre: YA Paranormal

What It’s About: “Fate is a powerful thing…”

Ethan Wate is still grieving the loss of his beloved Amma when he receives an unexpected gift–the old, yellow Whitman’s Sampler box that held Amma’s most closely guarded secrets. “One day I might let you have a look under that lid, Ethan Wate,” Amma used to say. “But today isn’t the day.”

Now it’s time for one of her greatest secrets to be revealed. In a long-lost letter, Amma tells Ethan the story of growing up as a young Seer with a remarkable gift for reading cards. But with a power that far-reaching comes responsibility, and Amma has been honoring her mission since before Ethan was born–to protect the Wate family at any cost. So when Lila Jane Evers enters Mitchell Wate’s life, bringing the whole Caster world with her, Amma turns to her cards. This time, it’s the reading that will define the rest of her life–and Ethan’s.

What I Thought: I really liked The Seer’s Spread!  I think I liked it a little more than The Mortal Heart, but Amma is one of my favorite characters, so I might be a little biased.  I loved seeing how she became a part of Ethan’s life, and how much she cared for him.  I loved seeing her do whatever she could to protect Ethan and his dad, while all respecting the fate that she saw in the cards.  More than any other character, I wish we got to see more of her life.  It just makes me love her more.

My Rating: 3 stars.  I loved getting more of Amma’s story, but I wish it were longer!  It’s a great addition to the Beautiful Creatures world.

Before The Claiming CoverNovella #3: Before The Claiming (Beautiful Creatures: The Untold Stories #3)

Published November 2015|42 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Genre: YA Paranormal

What It’s About: “You can’t hide from fate…”

While looking through her grandmother Emmaline’s keepsakes, Lena Duchannes comes across a little blue book with a big history–a book that changed Macon Ravenwood’s life and saved Lena’s.

When Lena was a baby, Seer and gifted card reader Amma Treaudeau saw a terrifying future in the cards that sent her to Emmaline’s door. When a powerful Dark Caster sets fire to Lena’s house with baby Lena and her father trapped inside, Amma, Emmaline, and Macon vow to protect the child. Lena’s grandmother and her Uncle Macon whisk Lena away, protecting her and moving her to a new place at the first sign of trouble. But a Caster can only hide for so long, and Macon must rely on the teachings in an ancient book to control his Dark nature. Ultimately, it will be his job to protect Lena–and keep her from surrendering to a Dark fate.

What I Thought: Of the three, this one is probably my least favorite.  I did like seeing more of Lena’s relationship with Ridley, and how connected her family is with Amma.  I enjoyed it, but it didn’t have something the other two had, especially The Seer’s Spread.  I did like seeing Lena before she moved to Gatlin.  Like the other two, I know they’re short, but they were too short, and I really wish they were a little longer!  Still, seeing how involved their families were was interesting, and I wish we saw more of that.

My Rating: 3 stars.  I liked it, but not as much as the other Untold Stories.  I am curious if they’re doing another short, and what it would be about.

Some Random Thoughts About All Three:

I really am wondering if there are going to be more, because I would like to see what else they’d write.  At the same time, though, what I loved about Beautiful Creatures (and the Dangerous Creatures spin-off) seemed to be missing in these stories, and I don’t know if it’s the length or the fact that I just haven’t been in the mood to read lately or that maybe the Beautiful Creatures universe would have been fine without these stories.  It doesn’t seem like overkill (unlike anything set in the Shadowhunter world), and I did enjoy the stories but I didn’t enjoy them like I thought I would.  Maybe because it’s my first time reading, and not listening to them?  I wonder if that was part of it.

Basically, I enjoyed them…but I think I might have been fine not reading them because it didn’t really add anything to the world.

Novella Round-Up #3: Radiant and Iron’s Prophecy

I’m never quite sure what to do with novellas- I want to talk about them but they’re so short that doing a full post for one tiny novella seems weird…so I’ve decided to do a novella round-up after I’ve read a few.

Today’s round-up features Radiant, from the Unearthly series, by Cynthia Hand and Iron’s Prophecy, from the Iron Fey series, by Julie Kagawa.  You can find Cynthia Hand on Twitter and her website, and you can find the Unearthly series on goodreads. You can also find Julie Kagawa on twitter and her website and you can find The Iron Fey series on goodreads.

Radiant CoverRadiant (Unearthly #2.5, you can find Radiant on goodreads)

Written by Cynthia Hand

Format: e-book/Nook store

Published December 2012 by HarperCollins

Pages: 76

Summary: Clara is desperate to get away—from the memories that haunt her in Wyoming and the visions of a future she isn’t ready to face—and spending the summer in Italy with her best friend, Angela, should be the perfect escape. . . .

For as long as she can remember, Angela has been told that love is dangerous, that she must always guard her heart. But when she met a mysterious guy in Italy two years ago she was determined to be with him, no matter the costs. Now she must decide whether she can trust Clara with her secret, or if telling her the truth will risk everything she cares about.

Alternating between Angela and Clara’s perspectives, Radiant chronicles the unforgettable summer that will test the bounds of their friendship and change their lives forever.

I’ve had Radiant for a while. but never got around to reading it until recently.  I liked it, and I liked seeing Angela and Clara in Rome.  We met Phen in this novella, and while he makes an appearance in Boundless, I only have vague memories of him (which totally means I need to re-read Unearthly again, and probably should have re-read it before Radiant but oh well, too late).  Still, I liked seeing Phen before the events of Boundless and how Angela met him.  Actually, Angela’s chapters were really interesting because we do see her remembering some things and we’re in her head a little bit.  The narration by Angela and Clara…I liked it, but I will say that I was much more intrigued with Angela’s story, since the series is about Clara’s purpose. Actually, Clara and Angela are so tied together because of Boundless, so I was actually glad I read it after the fact, because I enjoyed it knowing what was going to happen.  Still, I wish I had read the series so I wouldn’t be so fuzzy on the details.  Radiant gets 3 stars.

Iron's Prophecy CoverIron’s Prophecy (The Iron Fey #4.5, you can find Iron’s Prophecy on goodreads)

Written by Julie Kagawa

Format: e-book/nook store

Published September 2012 by Harlequin

Pages: 85

Summary: Meghan Chase is finally getting used to being the Iron Queen, ruler of the Iron Fey. Her life may be strange, but with former Winter prince Ash by her side at last, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

But when they travel to the Summer and Winter courts’ gathering for Elysium, the oracle from Meghan’s past returns with a dire prophecy: “What you carry will either unite the courts, or it will destroy them.”

Now Meghan faces a devastating choice that may determine the future of all fey–and her and Ash’s unborn child…

I love the Iron Fey series so much, and since I’ve read the other two Iron Fey novellas, it makes sense I would also read this one!  I actually liked this one a lot better than Winter’s Passage and Summer’s Crossing.  I think a big reason why is because of how things turn out in her Call Of The Forgotten series, which is the Iron Fey spin-off.  Well, how things turned out in the first two books.  Having read every single book in the series so far (and loving them) I really liked reading Iron’s Prophecy to see how the two series connect.  It really does bridge the gap between the two series really well, and it really does lead into Call Of The Forgotten so well.  I liked seeing Meghan and Ash go to the Winter Court and how they deal with the Oracle coming in during Elysium and interrupting things.  And with the prophecy that the Oracle reminds Meghan of.  Iron’s Prophecy gets 4 stars.

Novella Round-Up #2: The Shatter Me Novellas

I’m never quite sure what to do with novellas- I want to talk about them but they’re so short that doing a full post for one tiny novella seems weird…so I’ve decided to do a novella round-up after I’ve read a few.  Today’s round-up focuses on the novellas in the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi.  You can find the Shatter Me series on goodreads and Tahereh Mafi on Twitter and her website.

Destroy Me CoverDestroy Me (Shatter Me #1.5, you can also find Destroy Me on goodreads)

Written by Tahereh Mafi:

Format: e-book/Nook store

Published October 2012 by HarperCollins

Pages: 101

Summary: In Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me, Juliette escaped from The Reestablishment by seducing Warner—and then putting a bullet in his shoulder. But as she’ll learn in Destroy Me, Warner is not that easy to get rid of…

Back at the base and recovering from his near-fatal wound, Warner must do everything in his power to keep his soldiers in check and suppress any mention of a rebellion in the sector. Still as obsessed with Juliette as ever, his first priority is to find her, bring her back, and dispose of Adam and Kenji, the two traitors who helped her escape. But when Warner’s father, The Supreme Commander of The Reestablishment, arrives to correct his son’s mistakes, it’s clear that he has much different plans for Juliette. Plans Warner simply cannot allow.

After reading the Shatter Me series, I knew I had to read Destroy Me because so many people seemed to like Warner after reading it.  I wasn’t super-into the romance in the series, though I did warm up to Warner by the end it, and I was hoping Destroy Me would magically change my feelings towards Warner.  Which it really didn’t.  I mean, I understand Warner so much better after reading it, and what it was like for him after the events of Shatter Me.  But I didn’t fall in love with Warner the way I thought I would.  I’m not sure if it’s because I maybe over-hyped it a bit or if it’s because I read the entire series before reading it when I really should have read it after reading Shatter Me (but before reading Unravel Me) or something else entirely.  I did like it, and I liked seeing things from Warner’s perspective.  Destroy Me gets 3 stars.

Fracture Me CoverFracture Me (Shatter Me #2.5, you can find Fracture Me on goodreads)

Written by Tahereh Mafi

Format: e-book/Nook store

Published December 2013 by HarperCollins

Pages: 67

Summary: As Omega Point prepares to launch an all-out assault on The Reestablishment soldiers stationed in Sector 45, Adam’s focus couldn’t be further from the upcoming battle. He’s reeling from his breakup with Juliette, scared for his best friend’s life, and as concerned as ever for his brother James’s safety. And just as Adam begins to wonder if this life is really for him, the alarms sound. It’s time for war.

On the battlefield, it seems like the odds are in their favor—but taking down Warner, Adam’s newly discovered half brother, won’t be that easy. The Reestablishment can’t tolerate a rebellion, and they’ll do anything to crush the resistance . . . including killing everyone Adam has ever cared about.

I knew I’d also want to read Fracture Me, because I was hoping I’d understand Adam better.  Which I did, and I liked that all he wanted to do was protect his brother James.  But I actually found him even more irritating in this novella, which made me glad I waited until I had finished the series before reading this one.  Because if I actually had read Fracture Me before Ignite Me?  I think I would have MAJORLY disliked him.  And he really isn’t the one for Juliette.  I also liked this novella, not just because I got to see his relationship with Juliette from his POV, but also because we get to see the battle in Unravel Me from a different perspective.  And because we get to see the aftermath instead of just hearing about it.  Fracture Me gets 3 stars.

Some More Thoughts On Both Novellas:

Destroy Me is definitely the one that everyone seems to be talking about in regards to the Shatter Me novellas.  I’m not quite sure what I expected for either novella when I started reading them, but I think a part of me was wishing that I would have warmed up to either Adam or Warner after reading them.  As much as I love romance, and as much as I think that Warner really is the better guy for Juliette…I’m still finding that I don’t particularly care about the romance in this series.  I know it’s really important for Juliette, given that she has this ability to hurt/kill people just by killing them.  But…I still really am more interested in her journey and her being okay than I am with her relationships with Warner and Adam.  I definitely feel like I understand them better and I liked both novellas…but…I think I would have been just as fine having not read them.  If that makes any sense.

Novella Round-Up #1: Dream Dark and Dangerous Dream

I’m never quite sure what to do with novellas- I want to talk about them but they’re so short that do a full post for one tiny novella seems weird…so I’ve decided to do a novella round-up after I’ve read a few.  This round-up is for Dream Dark, which takes place between Beautiful Darkness and Beautiful Chaos, while Dangerous Dream is a prequel novella to the Beautiful Creatures spin-off that will be the Dangerous Creatures series.

You can find Kami Garcia on her website and Margaret Stohl on her website, and be sure to check out the Beautiful Creatures website!

Dream Dark CoverDream Dark: Beautiful Creatures #2.5 (You can find Dream Dark on goodreads!)

Written by: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, narrated by Kevin T. Collins

Format: audiobook from audible.com

Length: 3 hours, 23 minutes

This all-new story focuses on the fan-favorite character Link who undergoes a heart-racing transformation. Wounded during a climactic battle, Link slowly realizes that being bitten by a Supernatural does more than break the skin—it can change a person, inside and out, turning him into a creature more and more like the dark creature who injured him.

I really liked Dream Dark, and it’s nice to see what’s going on with Link after he becomes a quarter incubus.  I always liked Link, and it was nice to see him talk with Macon, who explained everything to him.  It’s narrated by the same guy who narrated the rest of the series, and he did great, but it was hard to see it as truly Link’s story when all I could think about was how Ethan (because really, that’s who he is to me) was telling Link’s story.  I get it’s probably for continuity reasons, but it would have been to have someone different for Link to really come through.  

I did go in knowing it was a short story, but it felt super-short and I wish we saw more of what Link went through right after becoming an incubus.  Honestly, I’d rather have a longer novella if it meant there was no sneak peek of the next book in the series, but I think that’s because I’m reading it after the fact.  

Still, I like that you see how Ridley’s adjusting to being a mortal and how Lena’s decision to claim herself has consequences that you see in this short novella.  It’s definitely a sign of things to come.  

Overall, I really liked it, and Dream Dark gets 4 stars.

Dangerous Dream: Dangerous Creatures #0.5 (You can find Dangerous Creatures on goodreads)

Written by: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, narrated by Kevin T. Collins

Length: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Catch up with Ethan, Lena, and Link as they finally graduate from high school and get ready to leave the small Southern town of Gatlin. But when Dark Caster Ridley makes an appearance, the sometime bad girl can’t resist picking a fight with her sometime boyfriend, Link. Angry and rebellious as ever, Ridley ends up alone in New York City and becomes entangled in the dangerous underground Caster club scene, where the stakes are high and losers pay the ultimate price.Where’s a Linkubus when you need him?

Dangerous Dream CoverSpin-off series always make me a little hesitant but I liked the Beautiful Creatures series enough to give this novella a try.  I like that it’s about Link and Ridley, who are two of the more interesting characters in the Caster Chronicles, and I like that this series focuses on them.  I really liked that we saw what happened after the Caster Chronicles ended, and seeing what’s going on with Ridley and Link.  I’m definitely looking forward to reading Dangerous Creatures.

I went with the audio book for Dangerous Dream (because I can’t imagine “reading” the series any other way) and while I really like Kevin Collins as a narrator, it’s hard to see him as Link because he really is Ethan to me, and not Link.  Especially because this is going to be a different series, even if it is set in the same universe, and it would be nice to have someone who’s not Ethan to me.  At the same time, though, it’s hard to imagine anyone else narrating the series, so I have some mixed feelings about this.  

Overall, I really liked Dangerous Dream as well, and I can’t wait to read/listen to Dangerous Creatures. Dangerous Creatures gets 4 stars.