Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Publisher: Hodder

Format: Hardcover

Released: February 3rd, 2011

Grade rating: B

Description: 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.

Review: I’ll start off by saying that I have been waiting for this book ever since I saw it on Goodreads. I love dystopian books, and with LOVE as the theme? It’s like a dream come true.

Delirium tells the story of Lena Haloway. She lives in a world where boys and girls are segregated. (Sorry, just learned about the Civil War and that word came to mind.) Boys and girls get an operation when they’re 18 that prevents them from ever falling in love, which is also called amor deliria nervousa. Basically, it’s a disease. It drives people insane and causes them to do irrational  things. Lena cannot wait for her operation because her mother committed suicide because of the disease, and Lena can feel it swimming around in her inside.

Life in Portland is pretty different than what it is today. Oliver doesn’t address the year, but apparently there was a war between the love-crazed and the ‘healthy’. (Am I the only one who wants a book written about the events that lead us to this strange, dystopic world?) Only the rich have working cars and appliances, since oil is so scarce. Fans are used in exchange for air conditioning. The government controls what books, websites, music and movies you can experience. The US is isolated from other countries, and Portland is isolated from the US. Everything around Portland is called the Wilds. Basically, everything is different.

But then she meets Alex, a boy who she thinks is cured. So, it doesn’t hurt to talk to him, right ? Since he’s cured, he has a match, so she knows it can’t go any further than just friendship. Then she finds out that he isn’t from Portland. He’s from the Wilds. So he’s not cured and has feelings for her. Her operation is 3 months away, and she’s falling in love with an Invalid.  I thought Lena was a really great main character/ heroine. She’s torn between her old, safe world that she’s  known forever, and this new, dangerous world that Alex and Hana have introduced to her. Lying, sneaking out, and- oh my- kissing boys! are now what Lena does in her free time. She knows she has the disease running through her veins, but should she go with it or fight it? I really loved Lena because she reminded me of myself. Always playing by the rules, doing as she’s told. She’s been taught that love is a disease because what else is there is believe in? Unlike Lena, I’ve never had an illegal love affair, but I would do the same thing is I was in her shoes.

The world Oliver creates is simply phenomenal. I know there’s been a kick in dystopian novels in 2011, but I will always compare them with this beauty. Everything about it was unique, from the street names to the police officers.

And the writing? Oh my God. I have never read more beautiful writing than Lauren Oliver’s. Her sentences are like song lyrics; everything just flows together effortlessly.I enjoyed the little tidbits added at the top of each chapter from The Book of Shh. The Book of Shh is the rules and guidelines for keeping a successful society. The ending was the best ending I have read in a while. Oh my lord Jesus, I finished it two weeks ago, and it still gives me chills.


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