Annabell (Delirium 0.5) - Lauren Oliver
Lena's mother, Annabel, has always been a mystery—a ghost in Lena's past. Until now.
Discover her secrets in Lauren Oliver's brilliant original digital story set in the world of New York Times bestsellers Delirium and Pandemonium.
Lena Halloway's mother, Annabel, supposedly committed suicide when Lena was only six years old. That's the lie that Lena grew up believing, but the truth is very different. As a rebellious teenager, Annabel ran away from home and straight into the man she knew she was destined to marry. The world was different then—the regulations not as stringent, the cure only a decade old. Fast forward to the present, and Annabel is consigned to a dirty prison cell, where she nurtures her hope of escape and scratches one word over and over into the walls: Love.
But Annabel, like Lena, is a fighter. Through chapters that alternate between her past and present, Annabel reveals the story behind her failed cures, her marriage, the births of her children, her imprisonment, and, ultimately, her daring escape.
*May contain spoilers*
I loved this short story. It gives us an insight into the struggles of Lena's mum, Annabell both during her time in the Crypts and during her adolescence. We are given insights into her rebellion from a young age and the inevitability of her marriage to Conrad Haloway. It was beautifully written allowing us to completely sympathise with her. She also grew up in a family that were entirely void of feeling and felt more embarrassment than concern at her leaving home. It's interesting to be able to draw parallels between the life of Annabel and Lena.
'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.'
The only thing I wish that this short story had also shown was the several procedure attempts rather than just the one. It would have been interesting to read how Annabel handled this, and how she coped throughout her marriage. She was one of the lucky ones, finding and being matched to a man that she loves - even though he cannot 100% love her back.I would love to have read more about their relationship and to see how they react around each other. It suggests that Conrad was more than your usual Zombie - I wonder if his cure had messed up slightly too?
All in all, an insightful and enjoyable read and I'm looking forward to reading Hana and Raven!