Friday, October 7, 2011

Review: Delirium

Author: Lauren Oliver
Published: 2011 by HarperCollins
Obtained: Library

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy. 
But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

First Sentence: “It has been sixty-four years since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty-three since the scientists perfected a cure.”

Delirium is one of those books I heard was incredible but put off actually reading it just because there wasn’t like a “HOLYCRAP THIS SOUNDS AMAZING LET ME READ IT NOW” moment when I read the synopsis.
However. I was mistaken. This book is SO amazing.

Lena is excited about being able to get the cure. She doesn’t want to have the disease of love, she’s seen how that’s messed up her mom and her sister, so she’s ready to move on and be told her place in society. But then she meets this, INCREDIBLE guy named Alex. Now. Alex is cured so it’s not illegal for Lena and her friend Hana to hang out with him. But is he really cured? Hmm!!(I’m not really spoiling anything, this plot twist was anticipated, at least by me) Suddenly Lena begins to see how beautiful love is and also how glazed-over, emotionless, and just BLANK life is once you’ve been cured.

Lena and Alex are the most perfect couple, ever.

I have no clue how Ms. Oliver came up with the idea of this society where love is a disease (except maybe by seeing how blind people sometimes become when they are “in love”), but she creates a completely believable world. All the little snippets from the city’s propaganda at the beginning of each chapter add so much to the understanding of this place.

Due to the FANTASTIC writing, the first-person perspective was completely convincing and drew me straight into Lena’s thoughts and emotions. In the beginning I understood why she wanted the cure, and then in the middle, I realized along with her how messed up all the cured people were.

The ending was…!!!!!!!!!!…. I’m so mad! Still!

But at the same time I’m mad, I’m thrilled with her writing and the risks she takes as an author and how amazing her stories are, so realistically drawn.

I’ve also read Before I Fall by Ms. Oliver which completely drew me in (my review of Before I Fall) and I think has actually changed my way of thinking by making me painfully aware of how fragile human life is.

Delirium isn’t exactly mind-changing, but it’s definitely a top book in the dystopian genre.

Content Warnings: Language, Lots of kissing and suggested, possible,“off-camera” sex (vague reference).


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