Saturday, January 8, 2011

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Published: February 1st, 2011
Publisher: Harper Teen
e-arc provided by: Netgalley and publisher, thank you
Summary: Goodreads

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.

When I started reading 'Delirium' I found myself wondering what all the hype was about. It didn't really seem all that special - just another dystopian story. Lena seemed a little naive for an almost 18 year old and I wasn't sure I liked her. Then the story began to get under my skin. Ms Oliver has a way of writing that seeps into you. The character development is slow but sure and you come to recognise characteristics and personalities.

The society is so very similar to the one we live in now, but as you read, differences creep in insidiously. Certain elements in the story are decidedly creepy, like the 'regulators' - wow, definite shades of 'Big Brother is Watching You' going on here! The idea that people just go about their daily business without feeling anything is positively horrendous. By the time I was half-way through the book I was completely entranced and rooting for Lena. Her choices and decision making become very, very important and you can almost feel the struggles that she has to go through - going against everything she has been taught her whole life.

I have completely fallen in love with the way Ms Oliver writes, clearly, crisply and with feeling:

'In that second it really hits me how deep and complex the lies are, how they run through Portland like sewers, backing up into everything, filling the city with stench; the whole city built and constructed within a perimeter of lies.'(197)

' Love: a single word, a wispy thing, a word no bigger or longer than an edge. That's what it is: an 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.' (211)

This book starts out slowly, but it will grab you and it wont let go. Be prepared!


  1. What an interesting premise! Thanks for the review, and what beautiful passages.

  2. I agree completely. I read this on my Kindle and highlighted those two passages too along with many others. I thought the book was well-written and well-paced. I think my high school students are going to love reading about Lena and Alex.

  3. I'm really looking forward to reading Delirium, so I'm so so glad you enjoyed it!! I can't fathom the idea of a world without love... :)