Normally I would put a picture of the book cover here, but seeing as the only picture I could find (okay so I may not have looked beyond the first few images in the Google image search I did) was… not to my taste, I haven’t this time. If I had liked the book more, I might have made more of an effort… (this bodes well eh?)
I wrote about the previous two books in the series here and here. For anybody who has read all three you can probably tell that it’s a bit of a mixed bag so far… I sort of enjoyed the books but then… hmm. This post may be a bit spoilery so if you don’t want to be spoiled about anything you can have my general feelings about the book now: Meh.
It’s been a while since I read the book, and to be honest not much of it has stuck with me, apart from frustration at the ending. It ends in a stupid unsatisfying place, and I sort of don’t mind when more… serious(?) fiction does that, but when I’m reading something as a light easy read, I want closure dammit!!!)
The other thing that annoyed me was the unnecessary love triangle.
At some point I really need to read some YA which does not have any kind of love triangle, or hint of a love triangle in it. I HATE love triangles. I might have enjoyed it when I was 14 and knew nothing about what actual relationships are like. But now I would much prefer to read about relationships which actually seem real to me, and love triangles just don’t ever seem that realistic. I’m sure that they are something that happens in real life, but surely not to the extent that they’re featured in fiction. It would be nice to see someone in an honest, trusting relationship at some point, who isn't also secretly madly in love with someone else. To be honest, this may be more of a reflection of the kind of completely drama free relationships that I've been in, maybe if you haven't had such a calm love life as I have then this kind of relationship drama might seem more realistic.
The main problem that I have with love triangles is that whoever is at the centre of them (and it seems to be the girl a lot of the time) sort of ends up seeming like a bitch. In this book, Lena is forced into a love triangle that she didn't really do anything to create, but she does NOT deal with it in a good way. That's not to say that how she deals with it is unrealistic, but it completely made me lose sympathy for the character for long stretches of the book, and that was something that I feel that I would have needed to enjoy this more. I feel that the book could have explored the situation in much more interesting way, but just... didn't.
Anyway. The ending is stupid. Love triangles are stupid. I didn't actively hate this book when I was reading it, and I wouldn't say I hate it now, but looking back on the whole trilogy… I’m not sure that I would recommend reading it. If you are actually in the intended audience for the books you would probably enjoy them more than I did.
On the positive side though, I do think that the books were all nicely written, and although I'm not sure I'll ever pick them up and re-read them, I will keep an eye out for the next Lauren Oliver book.