- Published: New York : HarperCollins, 2011.
- Year Published: 2011
- Edition: 1st ed.
- Description: 441 p.
- Language: English
- Format: Book
- Lexile: 920
- Government, Resistance to -- Fiction.
- Family life -- Fiction. -- Maine
- Orphans -- Fiction.
- Science fiction.
- Maine -- Fiction.
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Call number: Teen Fiction
Available Copies: Malletts Teen, West Teen
Lena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life, until ninety-five days before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, when she falls in love.
The premise is an alternate United States where everyone gets a surgical procedure done that makes love impossible (without love, there is also no hate and so war is abolished). Lena, the narrator, is 17, only a few months from her procedure, and a complete believer in the system. And then, of course, she gets the deleria and falls in love.
I definitely don't buy the premise of the book. This country is too independent ever to allow the government to mandate an action like this story requires. I mean, we have children dying from preventable diseases because we allow parents to opt their children out of vaccines... do you really think we'd let the government remove our capacity to love? (And no, I don't think the government should mandate vaccines... I think good science and social pressure should make all parents of healthy children get their kids vaccinated!)
If you think soccer moms want to protect school funding, do you really think they'd allow the government to remove their ability to love their children? Never.
But if you allow the premise of the book,... it's really well done. Seen through a 17 year old believer's eyes, the system is beautiful and makes sense. Her discovery of an alternate, parallel community of dissidents shakes her, challenges her, and eventually sways her. It's a story beautifully told about friendship, your place in the world, love, and sacrifice.
I did get to the end of the book and feel like it was the wrong story, in a way. This is the story of Lena making a decision, but in the end I'm far more interested in how she lives with that decision than with how she made it. But it turns out this is only the first book of a trilogy, so really it's just that I read the wrong book. I'll be reading the sequel when it comes out.
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