Author: Lauren Oliver
Release Date: February 1, 2011
Number of Pages: 441
Source of Book: Bought the Hardcover because I'd heard amazing buzz about this book and loved her first book, BEFORE I FALL
Author's Website: www.laurenoliverbooks.com
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.
It's been a few days since I finished reading DELIRIUM, and I can't get Lena's story out of my head. It's a haunting story about love and trust and opening one's eyes to the world around you. Disclaimer: I love dystopian novels - there's just something about stepping into a world that is like ours, but has a different view on something that drastically changes how people live. In this case - love. Love is seen as a disease that can kill, so they've created a procedure (basically brain surgery) that eliminates the possibility of any form of love from those 18 and older. Everyone has the surgery because they're scared not to because they've seen how crazy love has driven others. They believe the world is a better place this way, and Lena believes what she's been told as she is ninety-five days away from her procedure when the book begins. What she doesn't completely see is how unengaged all of the Cureds are. DELIRIUM reminds me a bit of Matched meets Uglies with a little Hunger Games thrown in. And if it reminds me of three of my favorite dystopians, you know I loved this one, too.
I've been a fan of Oliver since reading BEFORE I FALL in which her writing and story arc made me grow to care about a character who was dislikable in the beginning - and that takes quite a bit of talent to make one feel so strongly one way and then be able to guide them toward another through the course of a book. She has a beautiful writing style with descriptions that grab you and heart-wrenching moments and a way that makes you live in this world and care about these people. She makes you want to jump right in and grab them sometimes and cry when they cry and fear when they fear and love when they love. Lauren Oliver's writing is a sophisticated writing style with a literary feel to it. It's writing that makes me really feel for the characters and what they're living through, while feeling fully engaged in the story and the world that she's created. This novel deals with the idea that if you can't feel pain, you can't really live and love - it's all a part of the same emotion.
DELIRIUM was a long book, but a page-turner. It's starts off more subtle, but leads to heart-pounding chance scenes. Following Lena and her discovery of living in a world of lies, a world ruled by fear, made me frustrated at times, brought tears to my eyes at others, and made me want to push her in the right directions as she started to make her own choices and live for herself as she discovered who she was for herself. I almost liked the secondary characters, Alex and Hana and Gracie (there better be more of her in the next book!), more than Lena for many parts of the book; although Lena was the most fully developed character. It became a race to the finish, a ticking clock to beat a deadline, and a hope that friendship and love would win out in a world that doesn't believe in the goodness of love. And the end, oh the end...while feeling resolute also left me really wanting to know what happens in the next few minutes after the book leaves the scene. It's really the end that I can't get out of my head, and the choices made by Lena and Alex, and how they fulfill their hopes and dreams, and how they feel about them that sticks with me the most.
4 1/2 STARS for DELIRIUM
It's going to feel like a really long wait for book 2, PANDEMONIUM, in 2012 and book 3, REQUIEM, in 2013.