Annabel is a prisoner in pretty much the most awful, terrible, no good very bad jail ever. This place makes Orange is the New Black look like some kind of Spring Break party movie.
Okay, it might look like that anyway, but I’m talking srsbzns here; isolation, disgusting conditions, neglect, fear, abuse… thank god that she has an ally, but I don’t want to give too much away about that part.
Her crime, according to her society, is the most hideous possible crime that exists.
“That’s what made it so frightening to the lawmakers: Love obeys no laws other than its own.”
Annabel loves. She loves her late husband.
“But from the beginning, I knew that in a world where destiny was dead, I was destined, forever, to love him. Even though he didn’t – though he couldn’t – ever love me back.”
She loves her two daughters. She loves all kinds of things about her life, and love in her society is a disease that must be cured. The problem? The cure doesn’t seem to work on Annabel, and therefore she has to be locked away.
This is a great stand-alone novella. I read it before any others in the series, and it had a great plot all on it’s own. The world building is good, but not great. I found parts of it to be a little hard to wrap my head around, especially how “The Cure” would work. It’s obviously some sort of brain surgery, but a bit more explanation would have helped. (At the time of writing this review, I’ve gone on to read book 1, 1.1, and 1.5 and am partway into book 2. So far, no explanations have been forthcoming). I just found myself faltering a bit in my suspension of disbelief whenever I really started to think about exactly how “The Cure” would work, physiologically.
Being that this is meant for a YA audience, I’m probably not meant to think about it as much as I have. Can’t help that, though.
The world-building was enough, though, to convince me to read more into the series, obviously. As was the main character of this story, Annabel. I’m not sure how much she is going to feature in the rest of the series, but she captured my heart with her indomitable spirit and love for her daughters, and it became imperative that I knew what happened to her!
This is a fun dystopia read. I’d recommend it even if you don’t intend to read the series.