Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Book Review: Delirium

Author: Lauren Oliver
 Pages: 480
 Publisher: HarperCollins
 Genre: Young Adult / Dystopian
 First Published: February 1, 2011
 First Line: “It has been sixty-four year since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty-three since the scientists perfected a cure.”
 Buy it from: Amazon
                   Barnes & Noble

The GIST (From Goodreads):

Ninety-five days, and then I’ll be safe.

I wonder whether the procedure will hurt.

I want to get it over with.

It’s hard to be patient.

It’s hard not to be afraid while I’m still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn’t touched me yet.

Still, I worry.

They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness.

The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don’t


Let me start out by saying that I'm so happy to hear that Pandemonium (Book 2) is coming out soon! If that doesn't say enough about my opinion, let me further explain.

To me, Delirium was a lot like Uglies by Scott Westerfield. It starts out with the main character, in this case Lena, looking forward to her upcoming procedure where she will be cured of the ability to love (or made pretty...). The cure promises a life with no more pain, from the past or in the future, and Lena is looking forward to her world without heartache.

As the story goes on, you learn a lot about her logic and the events that lead up to why she thinks the way she does which are both terrible and juicy. Lena turns out to be one part goodie-goodie, wanting the cure, and one part rebel (but I won't go further into that); although she says that she wants the cure, a lot of her decisions say the opposite. I thought she was interesting and completely dynamic. She had been told her whole life that love is a disease, something that contaminates everything around it....but as much as Lena thinks her life would be better without having to feel, she knows it will cause everything to change. I could really see why they would get rid of love, the problems it causes; at the same time, I saw how love makes the world more intense. Being cured makes the world blurry and unfocused, being in love makes it sharp. The concept made me really think about how easy it would be to just take away all that intense emotion but also how terrible. I liked how getting rid of love didn't only affect things like romantic relationship but also the relationships between friends and family.

Romantic relationships are, of course, a large part of the novel. The romance between Lena and Alex was sweet and tender. It was nice to see a romance blossom from a fun, light place with laughter and flirtation instead of being dark and sad which some older YA novels tend toward. The relationship was the definition of teenage puppy love. Intense and overwhelming so a little superficial and shallow, but in a world where love is outlawed, Oliver somehow made it feel deep and real.

I read so fast and hard to the end, I felt out of breath. I wanted to know what happened! And what did happen made my stomach clench; in that it was awesome in that OH NO! kind of way. Ohhhhhh I can't wait to see what happens next! I actually read to the end, tried to read the excerpt from the next book the same night but couldn't absorb it. I actually had to wait a whole 'nother day to fully finish the book.

With that, there were, of course, somethings I didn't really like. Although I liked Lena a lot most of the time, when she goes into the I'm so plain and normal and ugly train of thought, it really annoyed me. I've said this before but why can't I get a confident main character in a YA novel? I would have liked to see someone like Lena's best and super confident friend, Hana, as a main character. Anyway, she wasn't so down on herself to be annoying. There were also some world building things, like the fact that the cured could still have a wide range of emotion like being irritated and worried, that didn't really fit with how the effect of the cure was described. However, it didn't ruin the book for me.


Delirium was gripping, exciting, and completely satisfying. It filled that spot for a intensely romantic novel encased in a enthralling, thought provoking world. I would highly recommend it to any YA readers or anyone else who wants to hear me ramble about books!---9.5