There are some story worlds readers just don’t want to leave behind. This has happened to me oh so many times: I race to the end of book, breathlessly finish, and then feel totally abandoned. I read the acknowledgements, the author’s information, and then I sit, staring, wishing there were more.
With Delirium Stories: Hana, Annabel, & Raven (HarperCollins, March 2013), it seems Lauren Oliver anticipated this reader response. Published simultaneously with Requiem, the third book in the Delirium series, Delirium Stories revisits the world of Delirium with a focus on the internal experience of three secondary characters: Hana, Annabel, and Raven.
All three have stories inextricably linked to Lena’s, allowing the reader additional insight into some of the situations in Delirium and Pandemonium while also adding more flesh to the world. Hana, Lena’s best friend from Portland, tells of her seventeenth summer and her flirtation with danger, boys, and amor deliria nervosa — that most dangerous of all diseases, love. The story of Annabel, Lena’s mother, jumps between her youth and the early days of the cure and her present moment, imprisoned in Portland’s Ward Six. And Raven, the tale of the leader of the uncureds Lena finds in the Wilds, explains her beginnings and tells a part of Lena’s story from a very different point of view.
The three voices are much the same — first person, feminine, introspective, and emotional — but their accounts are interesting and they allow the reader to revel in the world of Delirium for a little while longer. This book is lovely but best enjoyed as a companion to the series. An excerpt from Requiem, a list of romantic literature banned in the world of Delirium, and a personality quiz are appended.