June 10, 2013

Annabel by Lauren Oliver - Novella Review

Publisher's summary: 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.

My take: I don't know if it was all that necessary for me to read Annabel's story, other than it allowed me to enjoy a little more of the Delirium world.

In this Novella, Annabel's story is told in the same way that Pandemonium was written, with the chapters alternating back and forth between "Then" and "Now." The "Then" chapters followed Annabel along in her past when she fell in love, and they described what it was like for her in a world where a law was passed that required everyone to get the cure. The "Now" chapters followed Annabel during her very last days of being in prison. So that is why this story was so interesting.

There was only one thing that I struggled with while reading Annabel's story and that was the affection she showed toward her daughters. It was very clear throughout the story that she had love and affection toward Lena, but (at first) I got the feeling that she didn't even like her oldest daughter Rachel. I kept thinking that it was weird that she had negative feelings toward Rachel before her daughter even got the cure. But then I realized that maybe Annabel actually loved and admired Rachel exactly because of her stubborn character traits...at least I hope that's the case.

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1 comment:

Natalie Aguirre said...

Sounds like a great novella. Thanks for sharing it.

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