REVIEW: DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver

DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061726826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061726828
  • Source: Audiobook
  • Rating: YYYY1/2

  • 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.


    Upon finishing Delirium I was left unsure of how I could put into proper and just words the way this book made me feel. So, I decided to leave it alone, put it on the back burner and wait. Then today as I am in my car, listening to the radio and the tune Silly Love Songs came filtering through the speakers and I soon found myself humming along. I am smiling, spirit buoyed by it's catchy beat and memorable words and then I cannot help myself, I burst out singing the chorus "I Looooove you" and then I stop short. Everything comes in to focus and I am left gasping, breathless. If I were Lena Haloway living in the days of Delirium Nervosa I would surely have been hauled off and given the procedure to receive "the cure" so that I would never be able to utter those three little words ever again.

    It is a terrible concept to consider, a government with draconian views on love and how it can be eradicated. Yet, Lauren Oliver does a commendable job of creating this world by being well detailed and creative, the laws of this society are explained by The book of SHHH which chronicles the events leading to the cure. So, the groundwork is set and you can understand Lena's initial reaction in longing for the promise of the cure above all else. Then yes, she does the unthinkable (but really we are expecting it to happen) and falls in love. It is her journey from suppressed ignorance to resistant sympathizer that is witnessed that took my breath way.

    I enjoy Lauren Oliver's writing style and I could not sing enough praises of BEFORE I FALL but with DELIRIUM she is on a different level. I was pulled into Lena's world and I could genuinely understand her reasons for wanting the cure and her desperate need to hold onto this belief even though I knew it was wrong. Then as Lena's world began to change I reveled in the sensations and feelings that she experienced. It was like the world burst into brilliant colors and sounds and at times it would overwhelm me...LOVE, oh wonderful love. Which brings me to those that Lena loved. Alex whom I adored for he was such a beautiful person, sure and true in his love for Lena and for fighting the good fight. Hana for bringing passion and laughter and whose fealty never faltered and lasty Grace, whose silent demeanor spoke volumes. All those characters are memorable and breath life into this story that is at times cruel and unimaginable. For the romantic heart that lies within us, the exhanges between Lena and Alex are my favorite, I could not get enough of them and thankfully the romance that blooms is not forced or contrite it is natural and beautiful and you cannot help but smile thinking about it.

    Although Delirium is an amazing read showcasing a world that is uniquely frightening I would not consider it a hard core Dystopian tends to hover on the fringes so I would call it Dystopian-light. And I also have questions about the ending that was so unexpected and cruel, but I will hold out on my thoughts because I believe that would be too spoilerific. I will have to wait (arrrgg! the torture) until the next book in the series reaches my hands so that I can see if my hunches prove to be correct. Overall it is a wonderful book that I would recommend to anyone.

    Favorite passage:

    LOVE: A single word, a wispy thing, a word no bigger or longer than an edge. That's what it is: and edge; a razor. It draws up through the center of your life, cutting everything in two. Before and after. The rest of the world falls away on either side.

    Before and after--and during, a moment no bigger or longer than an edge.

    1 comment:

    1. YES! Great review--I really enjoyed this book. The thought of no love/love as a disease was rather bone-chilling, especially since love is so integral to a well-lived life. And great passage choice.
      The Book Swarm


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