Author: Lauren Oliver
Year Published: 2012
Synopsis: Lauren Oliver's riveting, original digital story set in the world of her New York Times bestseller Delirium.
The summer before they're supposed to be cured of the ability to love, best friends Lena and Hana begin to drift apart. While Lena shies away from underground music and parties with boys, Hana jumps at her last chance to experience the forbidden. For her, the summer is full of wild music, dancing—and even her first kiss.
But on the surface, Hana must be a model of perfect behavior. She meets her approved match, Fred Hargrove, and glimpses the safe, comfortable life she’ll have with him once they marry. As the date for her cure draws ever closer, Hana desperately misses Lena, wonders how it feels to truly be in love, and is simultaneously terrified of rebelling and of falling into line.
In this digital story that will appeal to fans of Delirium and welcome new admirers to its world, readers will come to understand scenes from Delirium through Hana's perspective. Hana is a touching and revealing look at a life-changing and tumultuous summer.
I've read this story twice now (once when it was available to read for free, and then again more recently when I bought the Delirium Stories collection), and I think I liked it better the first time. Maybe because I read Requiem and it give a better description of Hana's thoughts and feelings, or maybe because I already knew about Hana and why she does what she does. Either way, I still enjoyed the story.
I really love when authors write short stories from the perspective of characters other than the main one(s), so I was pretty excited when I found out that Oliver was going to be writing four short stories. The first time I read Hana, I had just finished Derlirium, and I thought it was really interesting to find out who betrays Lena and Alex, and why. And to see how Hana feels during the summer before she and Lena are cured. We already know how Lena feels, and why she thinks they're growing apart, but Hana see things happening very differently.
Although we don't really gain too much new information about the world or about what's going on, I think it's important to know some of the details Hana gives us in her story about her life. Especially for Requiem. Although she recaps a little bit, I felt like I had a better sense of her and why she feels so guilty and even why things don't go according to plan for her. And I never really liked her, but I feel like I understand her better.
I would definitely recommend this novella to anyone who has read any of the Delirium books. I think the better you know the minor characters, the better you get to know the protagonist. I would definitely recommend reading this before Requiem, or right after Delirium. I think it packs a bigger punch then. I would give this a 3.5/5, since I enjoyed it so much more the first time I read it.