I’ve heard a lot about Lauren Oliver’s Delirium and I wanted to see for myself if it indeed was as good as everyone said it was. I had quite a clear picture of what the story was about and actually how the world looked. Turned out I was wrong, at least at the last part.

Delirium is the first out of three books about Lena Haloway, a seventeen, soon to be eighteen, year old girl living in Portland, United States of America. She is a normal, ordinary girl who just can’t wait until September third. Her eighteenth birthday and also the day she gets cured. Because up until that moment Lena has always been uncured, like everyone else who hasn’t had the procedure, and thus in danger of being infected. Infected with amor deliria nervosa. Love. In her world, love is a disease and the only cure for it is the procedure, which you will go through as soon as you’re eighteen. Lena can’t wait. She counts the days and has for so long. But in those last weeks before she lies down on the operating table, Lena slowly starts to realize that life as a cured might not be as perfect and wonderful as she’d hoped.

It is quite a strong book about how love is a disease, a very dangerous disease, and everyone who has it will get cure immediately. And if it doesn’t work, you’ll probably be sent away to the prison/mental institution to live out the rest of your life there. It was horrible to read the story and to see how the people in the book were so afraid of something that today is wonderful and beautiful. They treated it like a contagious, infecting disease that would kill them all if it wasn’t contained. But it wasn’t just that. With the cure they didn’t just get rid of feelings that would make them love, but also to feel pain and be happy. They got rid of everything to walk around the rest of their lives like some kind of robots. And that was truly terrifying.

Like I said, I had a picture of how the world looked like in the book even before I started reading it, but it turned out to be wrong. I imagined some kind of city far into the future with lots of metal and glass and concrete, but Portland is quite soft and sweet with its ocean smell and hot summer days. That somehow made everything worse. It was so real, so truthful, that it might as well happen today or tomorrow or the day after that. It was like two worlds collided, the softness of summer and everything happy and the coldness from the cure, the disease and the constant feeling of being watched. Surrounded. Locked in.

It definitely was a good book and it left me with a lot of thoughts and wonders, but I still feel like I was missing something. Like there was something that wasn’t there but that I wanted, that I longed for. I’m still not sure what it was. Maybe I just expected something slightly different, scenery wise, and couldn’t entirely let that go throughout the book. Maybe I just wanted something more out of the writing in itself. But despite that, it was good. Not so good that I’ve already decided that I want to read the second one, but it definitely wasn’t a waste of my time.

Red seas under red skies

There is always a deep, hollow feeling in your chest when you’ve finished reading a book you’ve longed for and that did, indeed, live up to the expectations. This is exactly what I’m feeling now, that I’m done with Red seas under red skies. A book that I looked forward reading and that I cherished so much that it took me the better part of the month to read it. I wanted to take it nice and slow to make it last longer and it was definitely worth it.

This is the second book by Scott Lynch in the Gentleman Bastard sequence. Con-man, thief and priest of the nameless Thirteenth Locke Lamora and ever so faithful sidekick Jean Tannen has left their home of Camorr to seek new adventures in Tal Verarr. After spending an awful lot of time coming up with a new plan to trick a sack full of golden coins out of people, they get to work at the legendary Sinspire. Though not everything goes exactly according to plans and before they know it, Locke and Jean are captain and first mate of a pirate ship setting sail towards the Ghostwinds. Not quite sure how to get out of that one, Locke and Jean soon realizes that two land lovers like themselves are not made for the sea and that pirates can be a real tricky bunch. Though the biggest problem is still waiting for them back ashore.

As I said, I’ve been waiting and longing for reading this book and I was a little afraid that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. It did, however, and more than that. The world in which Locke and Jean live is so special and amazing, it never stops to amaze me. It is one of those books and one of those stories that most definitely will take you away from reality and to a place where anything and everything is possible. Lynch’s style of writing is excellent in every aspect, it’s witty and fun. The characters are so strong and powerful and even though you’ve gotten to know both Locke and Jean over the past two books, there are still so many secrets yet to be reveled. I feel like all the characters in the stories are great oceans with new things coming up to the surface all the time but there’s still so much hidden down there in the deep. And that makes for wonderful reading.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I started reading Red seas under red skies, I was worried it wouldn’t be as good as I’d hoped and so forth, but it turned out that I didn’t have to worry about that. Though, it did start much like its prequel The lies of Locke Lamora, I can’t say it was stiff, but it certainly was a bit slow. Though then, when I really got into the story, I ended up in a situation where I had to ask myself, Do I want to finish this off in a day or two or do I want to salvage this till the very end? I ended up taking the slow path and I don’t regret that, not at all. Red seas under red skies was worth the read by a mile and Scott Lynch is one amazing writer whom I wish won’t stop letting me and so many others into his head, to see the world that lives in there. Because it truly is something extraordinary.