Tag Archives: lauren oliver

I Got into Grad School! Also, Thoughts on Before I Fall

After submitting 15 applications, traveling to a new state every weekend for a month, and taking a lot of time to deliberate, I have accepted an offer to attend a renowned Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program in the D.C. metro area! I almost cannot believe that I started this blog as a sophomore in high school, and now, seven years later, I write this post just a few months before graduating from William & Mary and beginning a doctoral program in August. In addition to sharing this good news with everyone, I also want to reflect on a few ideas inspired by the film Before I Fall, which I saw a few nights ago and loved.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

I am also in shock that this book came out in 2010 and that I read it in high school, so many years ago. Image via goodreads.com.

This intense application process and film both made me ask: why do we do what we do? Continue reading



Filed under Personal

Panic by Lauren Oliver

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 2.5/5 stars.

Panic: a game played by graduating seniors in the dead-end town of Carp, where all contestants must face their worst fears – and each other. Heather never thought she would participate in Panic, but when her broken heart finds a new cause to fight for, she readies herself for the ride of her life. Dodge, on the other hand, does not feel scared of Panic; he wants revenge, and that thirst will drive him throughout the game. Amidst the near-death experiences thrust upon them by the judges of Panic, both Heather and Dodge will discover new things about themselves, each other, and those around them. Even though Panic entails a cash prize, every contestant, including Heather and Dodge, wants something more.

Panic possesses a compelling concept and an enticing book jacket, but I found the content lacking. Continue reading


Filed under 2.5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars.

Every book has its beginnings. A fresh protagonist to fall in love with, a new world to explore, a story to watch play out. By the end of the book, it’s time to say goodbye to what we’ve come to know – not only the settings that have taken root in our minds or the characters who have made their way into our hearts, but the lessons we’ve learned. With series, I find this more difficult; with several books and hundreds and hundreds of pages to entrench ourselves in, it should be more gut-wrenching, more bittersweet. But when I put Requiem down, it wasn’t as devastating as I wanted it to be… it wasn’t anything at all, really. Continue reading


Filed under 3.5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

Pandemonium, the second book in the Delirium series, delineates Lena’s fight to free herself from a society in which love is illegal and passion is proscribed. She meets new friends, new foes, and in the process paves the path to meeting her new, stronger self.

There is no doubt that Lauren Oliver has a lovely way with words. Her writing is controlled, yet beautiful – it’s not over the top or overbearing, and effectively conveys Lena’s emotions and describes the setting so that readers can practically see it themselves. Here’s one quote that I liked: Continue reading


Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Cover via Goodreads

Rating: 4/5 stars.

A powerful story of a dystopian world where love is a disease, and that at the age of eighteen everyone undergoes a procedure to have love removed from their bodies. While the surgery is not full proof and something could go wrong, it is better than falling victim to amor deliria nervosa.

Lena has accepted this fact at a young age. She saw the destructive effect of love first-hand, bearing witness as it tore her mother apart and took her away. Now she eagerly awaits her own procedure and the promise of normalcy it entails. Then, the unthinkable happens: she becomes infatuated with a boy only a little older than she. Love has infiltrated Lena’s once impenetrable world, and the worst part is that she cannot get enough of it.

I enjoyed this tale where love is illegal and any display of affection is an illicit act. Oliver shows her multifarious authoring abilities as this book was definitely different from Before I Fall. In both, however, she utilizes stylistic devices that set her apart from other young-adult authors: like the little excerpts at the beginning of each chapter, or her beautiful description of setting. Her writing is fantastic but not florid, compassionate while remaining concise.

I am looking forward to the next installment in the Delirium series. The plot in this one was a little slow-moving, but possibly because it serves as a buffer for the next two books.


Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books