Thursday, August 4, 2016

Novella Review: The Book of Shhh

Title: The Book of Shhh
Series: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: May 17, 2016

A perfect companion to Lauren Oliver’s bestselling Delirium trilogy, The Book of Shhh expands on excerpts included in the original series. Lauren Oliver delves deeper into the world created in the Delirium trilogy and provides fans with an in-depth look at the terrifying society that her characters live in. This free novella includes case studies, exercises, invocations, quotes, proverbs, and detailed information on amor deliria nervosa.

The Book of Shhh, or the Safety, Health, and Happiness Handbook, describes the perils of amor deliria nervosa. In today’s society, thanks to the cure and its enforcement, our citizens are more productive and committed to their jobs, political organizations, and social impact than ever before. The following excerpts are meant to give portability to a small portion of its materials so that elements of its wisdom may be available for reference on the go.

Do not rely on the following excerpts to diagnose, treat, or address evidence of amor deliria nervosa. Should you believe that you or someone in your family might be infected, call the National Health Services hotline immediately, or seek the care of a professional physician at once.

My Review

I was really excited when I heard that Lauren Oliver was writing a companion novella to her Delirium trilogy. The Delirium trilogy, Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem, were some of my favorite books. I loved the dystopian setting and the uniqueness of the plot that revolved around romance and love as a disease. Naturally, I thought it would be fun to dive back into that world and see things from Lena's world through the eyes of the government that controls them. 

While I was excited about The Book of Shhh, I was a little skeptical. What if it wasn't all that I wanted it to be? What if it just didn't fit in with the rest of the books and novellas? Well that's the risk I took by reading it. To be honest, it wasn't the best, but it really was an interesting look into Ms. Oliver's dystopian world.

The novella reads like it should - as a handbook for people living in Lena's world where love is a disease. While it's interesting to see what is expected of people in the post-deliria world, it reads as a bit stuffy and dull. I know that if it were a real handbook meant to govern my life, I would make the same choice as Lena and leave.

All in all, I'm glad that I read The Book of Shhh. It provides a level of insight that I didn't really know I needed about being in Lena's shoes. I also liked that this companion novella could be read before, during, or after reading the three books in Oliver's trilogy as it doesn't spoil any details from the books.

Lauren Oliver is the New York Times bestselling author of the YA
novels Replica, Vanishing Girls, Panic, and the Delirium trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem, which have been translated into more than thirty languages. The film rights to both Replica and Lauren’s bestselling first novel, Before I Fall, were acquired by AwesomenessTV; a major motion picture adaptation of Before I Fall was announced by Open Road Films in 2016.

Lauren is also the author of novels for middle grade readers: The Spindlers; Liesl & Po, which was an E. B. White Read Aloud Award nominee; and the Curiosity House series, co-written with H. C. Chester. She has also written one novel for adults, Rooms.

A graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU's MFA program, Lauren Oliver is also the cofounder of content development company Paper Lantern Lit. You can visit her online at

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