It seems to me that I start all of my reviews of Oliver's books with a "I love her writing but..." And with each story the "buts" have been getting louder and louder. Again I repeat: I like Oliver's prose. She is a skilled author and her words at their core are always nicely arranged. Her style stands out to me in a crowded genre where stories are often appreciated in spite of the writing. But.I had problems with the story. I have complaints, but I'd like to first get out the one personal complaint I had: the love triangle. REALLY? I mean, yes, "a one true love" thing is trite, but at this point in YA, a love triangle is EVEN WORSE. Did we need that really in a story where so much else is happening? I mean, Lena is allowed to love again. Yes! Let's teach that to girls. That tragedy can be overcome. But a triangle? A which guy do I choose? WHY WHY WHY WHY?To a more weighty complaint, the whole love triangle thing became even worse because the entire book suffered from so much contrivance. I know there were complaints about the world Oliver created back in Delirium, about how much disbelief needed to be suspended. I didn't mind, though, because of the themes this world allowed Oliver to touch. Because of the commentary on love, all types of it, and what it does to us all. Second book in? It's all made me wary. Everything that happened left a taste of "of course that happened" in my mouth. Oliver's strength lies in character and relationship building, I think. This whole action adventure thing left much to be desired. This book all suffered because a lot of what I liked about Delirium was absent here, namely Alex and Lena and the Book of Shhh. I don't know. I don't know how to explain it any better than what I've said: Oliver is a talented writer and has a way with words. Her stories are paced well and begged to be read quickly from start to finish. This story is sloppier than her other work and is often very contrived. AND THE FUCKING LOVE TRIANGLE. Okay. Sorry.