The uncureds living in the wilds are amassing in numbers and strength and plan to overthrow the gated communities of cureds to free the people from the discrimination and oppression against love. Lena is a member of a resistance group living in the wilds outside of the protected, gated communities she used to live in. In this dystopian story, Love is considered a disease that causes instability, irrationality and chaos. When young people reach a certain age, they undergo surgery to eliminate "love" from their brain - becoming "cured". In the first book of the series, Lena falls in love with Alex and escapes from the gated community of Portland surgery-free ("uncured") but believes Alex was killed during the escape. In the second book, she joins the resistance in the wilds and falls in love with/convinces the son of the founder of the disease-eliminating surgery, Julian, to understand why love is so important and to run away with her into the wilds.
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The third book of this series shows two points of view: one from Lena's and one from Lena's best friend, Hana, who has undergone the procedure and remained in the gated community of Portland. The story begins with Lena having her whole world turned upside down again when Alex turns out to be alive but a changed, more bitter person than he was before - especially now that he sees Lena has moved on and fallen in love with Julian. Lena and Alex have a fight where Alex claims he doesn't love Lena anymore and in her frustration and sadness, Lena can't get Alex back so she tries to forget about him and focus her love on Julian. Her group of rebels are making their way towards a bigger community of uncureds that exist outside the gated community of Waterbury. During their journey, they find a young girl who was a victim of Regulators, cureds who root out uncureds and kill or imprison them. The group of rebels end up in an altercation with the Regulators themselves where one of their own is killed and all their supplies are destroyed.
Meanwhile, Hana is preparing for her wedding with soon-to-be Mayor, Fred, who she feels may be a more sinister personality than he appears to the public. She sees Lena's cousin, Grace, and finds out that since Lena committed the crime of refusing to be cured and escaping Portland, her Aunt and cousins have fallen on hard times from being ostracized by society. Hana finds out that Grace now lives in a dilapidated home in the poorest part of town and she brings Grace food and gas. Hana also discovers that Frank had divorced his first wife. Divorce is very unusual in their cured society since each marriage is the result of a careful pairing.
Meanwhile, Lena and her group of rebels have reached Waterbury and find that the uncureds there live in cramped, unhygienic and almost unlivable spaces, fighting with each other for scraps of food and water. They find that the river that normally supplies the uncureds has been damned up. The rebels decide to break open the damn. During the mission, Lena finds out a rebel among them is a traitor who opted to get the surgery done after all because being "free" was living in squalor and fear and she couldn't do it anymore. The plan fails but Lena finds out that thousands of soldiers are going to arrive at Waterbury and kill all the uncureds squatting there. She and her rebels leave Waterbury for a safe house further away, with one of the heads of the resistance movement heroically staying behind to try to evacuate the other uncureds. Near the safe house, Lena finds her Mother, who had been sentenced to the Crypts in Portland, a mental facility/prison for uncureds and all unwanted people. Her mother had escaped during a prison breakout and become a leader of the resistance movement. Lena is angry with her mother for putting the resistance first and not even letting Lena know she was alive for so long. Also, Alex leaves the band of rebels, leaving Lena a note about the story of Soloman (where two mothers fight over a baby) - perhaps suggesting that he is letting Julian have Lena because he really wants Lena to be happy.
Meanwhile, Hana investigates her fiance's ex-wife. More and more she is finding that Fred is obsessed with maintaining his public image and expects her to be like a "dog" and obey his every command. She finds Fred's ex-wife in the Portland Crypts and she learns that the ex-wife is perfectly sane and she was put there because Fred paid people off and made her out to be crazy so that he could get rid of her. She is disturbed that she looks so much like the ex-wife and learns that Fred is obsessed with the "Bluebeard" fairytale. Fred becomes the new Mayor of Portland and Hana's every moves are scrutinized and under heavier surveillance.
Meanwhile, Lena and her group of rebels rejoin with refuges that survived the Waterbury massacre. They plan to go to Portland. They find out that everywhere, large groups of rebels are amassing and preparing to overthrow the governors of various gated communities.
The rebels launch their revolution on the same day that Hana has her wedding with Fred, disrupting the ceremony. During her escape, Hana finds Lena and the two reunite. Lena doesn't trust Hana at first, finding her friend is "deadened" from the procedure but Hana lets Lena go and tells her where to find her cousin Grace. Lena confesses to Hana that her house, where Fred the Mayor lives, is due to exploded any minute due to a bomb planted by the rebels. When Fred returns to the house, Hana begs him to stay at home, "out of the danger" and she herself makes an escape.
Lena reunites with Grace and also finds Alex. Eventually the wall separating the gated community from the wilds is destroyed.
Best part of story, including ending:
I like the novel idea of Love being a disease.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene is when Lena and Alex reunite in Portland and they get over their angst and freely love each other.
Opinion about the main character:
I like that Lena grew into a very strong, independent and fierce woman by the end of the story.