Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Thursday, March 3, 2011

author’s website: website / blog
release date: February 1, 2011
appeals to: Young Adult
genre: Dystopian Fiction
length: 448 pages
publisher: HarperCollins
overall rating: 5 of 5 stars

*the inside flap*
Ninety-five days and then I’ll be safe.
I wonder whether
the procedure will hurt.
I want 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.

*my thoughts *
Wow...I was absolutely captivated by Delirium. Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall was one of my favorite books of 2010, and this may score as one of my favorites of 2011. Delirium is a fantastic example of dystopian fiction, but the honesty of the emotions that fill this story hit home in a way that makes it seem more realistic than futuristic.

Delirium tells the story of Lena, a teenager growing up in a futuristic America. One that prides itself on the fact that it has completely eradicated amor deliria nervosa – a disease we know as love. The book even starts with the prideful statement that, “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.” Lena literally lives in a world in which love is seen as a debilitating disease that should be banned and destroyed if possible. While we obviously know that love isn’t a disease, the clinical descriptions of love that sprinkle the pages of this story make a pretty good argument for the disadvantages of the “condition.”

While love is forbidden, the citizens of this world can’t get the procedure that “cures” them until they are 18. Before that, every step possible is taken to keep girls and boys apart to protect them from becoming infected.

Lena is a huge advocate of the cure and is looking forward to her procedure. . .until she meets the boy that is able to change her mind. Her descriptions of falling in love are captivating, not only because they are so accurate, but because she is constantly scared of the forbidden feelings. Her internal debate between what she is feeling and what she has always been taught about the dangers of the deliria is fascinating.

I am a huge fan of dystopian fiction, so this novel appealed to me before I even picked it up, but the way that this story is written paints a picture of a world so similar to our own, that it is actually possible to imagine living there. Perhaps scarier, is the way that everyone in this new America wholeheartedly believes that love is a dangerous and deadly disease!
This is a beautiful story raging with realistic emotions and forbidden love. Lauren Oliver has delivered another breathtaking novel, and I look forward to anything (and everything) she has to offer next!

*short and snappy*
writing
: Beautifully written in a way that pulls you directly into the story so that you can feel Lena’s conflicting emotions firsthand.
plot: There are several ingredients in this story, but they all come together in an easy to follow way that keeps you turning pages as quickly as possible.
characters: Amazing...Lena’s description
judging by the cover: The cover is gorgeous, but make sure you look underneath the dust cover to get the whole experience!
miscellaneous: On her website, Lauren Oliver offers fun things related to the world of Delirium, including: A Guide to Your Evaluation, A Partial List of Forbidden Books, and Testimonials of people who have undergone the cure. There is also a link to the HarperTeen Delirium page which offers a discussion guide and an excerpt from the book.
The Amazon page (link) has a pretty awesome playlist for the book.

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