Book Review – Hana

Hana (Delirium, #1.5)Hana by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

Ah, Hana. Finally time for your side of the story.

“I don’t know exactly what to wish for: to be safe or unsafe, for things to change or for things to stay the same.”

Hana is another “between books” novella in the Delirium series. As much as I adored Annabel and Alex, I’m a little less taken with Hana. I’m not sure if it’s because I had a bit less sympathy or interest in her character after the first book, or because the book is a little less interesting/exciting than the others. To some extent, this was a re-hashing of some scenes, from Hana’s point of view. And as spot-on and fascinating as I found that part in Alex, I was less interested in Hana’s. Maybe because one scene in particular had already been done twice – in Delirium and Alex, and seeing it a third time just kind of annoyed me. I got it already! Pivotal moment in the lives of all the characters! Omgosh, all three in one place at one time and it changes their lives! Okay already.

Hana was the party girl of the revolution. For her, in Delirium, it was all about the music and the parties, and that is still true in her own tale.

“Time becomes a stutter-the space between drumbeats, splintered into fragments, and also endlessly long, as long as soaring guitar notes that melt into one another, as full as the dark mass of bodies around me. I feel like the air downstairs has gone to liquid, to sweat and smell and sound, and I have broken apart in it. I am wave: I am pulled into the everything. I am energy and noise and a heartbeat going boom, boom, boom, echoing the drums.”

And much of Hana’s tale is about the parties, the music, and the people involved in bucking the system just a little bit – not going to war, but not giving up all of the freedom that they love either.

“As Steve draws me closer to the band, all I can see is a frenzied mass of seething, writhing people, like a many-headed sea snake, grinding, waving their arms, stamping their feet, jumping. No rules, just energy – so much energy, you could harness it; I bet you could power Portland for a decade. It is more than a wave. It’s a tide, an ocean of bodies.”

There’s more to it than that, for Hana, though. We get to see behind the perfect-rich-family curtain a bit, and see the kind of future Hana might have in store for her after the Cure. It isn’t necessarily pretty, though it’s a lot prettier than the futures of the lower echelons of society have ahead. I’m not sure if the revelations were supposed to inspire pity or just understanding, but really? They ended up leaving me a little sad, not for Hana, but for the rest of the society – in part because they lose so much creativity and inspiration by curing those like her, who might grow into free spirits that create art or music that changes the world.

Of course, the world doesn’t want change.

“There is only what you want and what happens. There is only grabbing on and holding tight in the darkness.”

I don’t know if we’ll see Hana again in the same way in this series. I have a feeling not, so this was a bit of a goodbye to her spirit. It isn’t an exciting story, like Alex’s, and it isn’t hugely character developing, like Annabels, but it’s sweet, and a last glimpse to say farewell.

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