The story is set in Portland, Maine, in an alternate present. Civilization is concentrated in those cities which escaped the severe bombings of decades past. Travel between cities is highly restricted. Electric fences separate the city from the Wilds—unregulated territory which was presumably mostly destroyed by bombs.
The totalitarian government teaches that love is a disease, named amor deliria nervosa, commonly referred to as “the deliria”. A surgical cure for the deliria has been developed and is mandatory for citizens 18 years old and over. Lena has looked forward to the procedure for years, convinced as she is by the government that love is a horrible disease that must be destroyed from mankind’s system.
However, mere months before her scheduled procedure, Lena falls in love with an Invalid (a person over 18 who has not taken the Cure and lives in the Wilds) named Alex. He was born in the Wilds outside the city, and has pretended to be cured in order to live undetected in the city and be in the resistance. He offers Lena the means of escape from the triologyprocedure that will destroy her ability to love. The two of them would leave the city and live in the Wilds, joining the rebels who oppose the procedure and the government. Although Lena struggles with the thought of leaving her life behind, she ultimately decides to go just seven days before her procedure.
Alex and Lena are discovered meeting together a few nights before their planned escape. Lena is captured and held in her home, tied down and under guard, until she can have the procedure to cure her of her love sickness—and render her docile and unresistant. Alex rescues her and they attempt to escape the city, but Alex allows himself to be captured and shot on the spot to save Lena. She runs off into the Wilds, not wanting Alex’s sacrifice to be in vain.
The plot was quite interesting, I just found the main character a bit two weak. I haven’t read the other 2 books of the triology, but will do.
Books read in 2014: 7