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I Belong

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver


AuthorLauren Oliver

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Series: Delirium (Book 1)

Publication Date: February 7, 2012

Format: Hardcover, 441 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062112430 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062112439 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Michelle


They say that the cure for Love will make me happy and safe forever.

And I’ve always believed them.

Until now.

Now everything has changed.

Now, I’d rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie.

Lena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life, until ninety-five days before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, when she falls in love.

Quick & Dirty: An enticing and alluring dystopian about love with the right amount of romance.

Opening 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.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

I’m really late in reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver, a story where love is a disease and is forbidden. In this dystopian society, Oliver brings out the beautiful and ugly side of emotions, feelings, and simply, about love. But I’m glad that I was late, because after this story ended, I would have died in agony. What would I do after the proverbial “The End” appears on the page? Oliver showed me her talent and definitely lured me in.

Delirium is set in Portland, Maine, where this world considers love, amor deliria nervosa, a serious and dangerous disease. “It affects your mind so that you cannot think clearly, or make rational decisions about your own well-being. When citizens turn eighteen, they undergo a surgical procedure removing a part of the brain to cure them of the disease. They are also interviewed and matched to their ideal mate. Lena is on the cusp of the age, eager to rid herself of the disease. She remembers what it did to her mother, as well as her father. Everything changes for Lena when she meets Alex. Her world is challenged and her views questioned. Lena questions who she is as a person and falls deeply for this boy.

Lena is a well-rounded character. I saw Lena evolve throughout the span of Delirium. Oliver writes fantastic characters on paper. Seeing the world through Lena’s point of view brought the same emotions that she felt. I found Lena to be naive and innocent, accepting things at face value. But as time passed, I saw how Lena changed. I appreciated the shortcomings of her character because it brought out strengths later on.

I can’t really talk about Alex, only because it would spoil several things. I adored him and his tenacity, loving him even more for his passion. Oliver wrote this swoony boy well, providing the perfect plot device. The love story seemed genuine and I thought it manifested in a realistic and timely manner. I loved these two characters together and apart.

The world set in Delirium is different, attempting at an utopian society where love is taken out of the equation. Oliver’s world is developed, vibrant, and rich, always providing the perfect setting for any of the given scenes. The characters are riveting and unique, each with their own personality in a world where emotions are null and void. I felt a disconnect to some of the characters, but I think it was how I related to them. I found myself wishing that they could be a different way, or think in another. But I will tell you this: despite my feelings for the characters, I was still hooked to the story.

Oliver writes beautifully, bringing a unique prose to the mix of young adult stories. While Delirium can be fast-paced at times, I never found it to be too much, too fast. I enjoyed the pace and devoured each word that she produced. The whole premise of Delirium grabbed my attention, but it was the story and plot that kept me reading.

I will warn you, for the handful of you who have not read Delirium yet, Oliver ends it with a terrible cliffhanger. The bad news is, your heart lunges when you read those final words. The good news is that the trilogy is complete and you do not have to wait a year to read the next installment.

Notable Scene:

And I remind myself that I probably imagined the whole thing — the message, the meeting up. He’s probably sitting in his apartment somewhere, doing course work for his classes. He’s probably already forgetting about the two girls he met at the lab complex today. He was probably just being nice earlier, making casual conversation

It’s for the best. But no matter how many times I repeat it, the strange hollow feeling in my stomach doesn’t go away. And ridiculous as it is, I can’t shake the persistent, needling feeling that I’ve forgotten something, or missed something, or lost something forever.

Delirium Series:

1. Delirium

2. Pandemonium

3. Requiem

FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Delirium.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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