Thursday, July 14, 2011

Delirium by Lauren Oliver (revisited)

Book:  Delirium
Author:  Lauren Oliver
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Year:  2011
Reason I read it:  I received this as an ARC earlier in the year.  I am now re-posting this review because it is required in my YA lit class and I need my professor to see my review.
My grade:  A+

(from goodreads.comBefore 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.


I’m still sitting here reeling from the ending to this book.

I’m not sure exactly how to sum up my feelings about “Delirium”.  It was intense—I was sitting on the edge of my seat through most of it, feeling as nervous as the characters and worried about who was watching!  There were times when I was disappointed by the characters, times when I was so angry at people or the situation and times when I felt heartbroken.

But nothing could have prepared me for the ending.  And that was really dumb, because Ms. Oliver did a nice job of foreshadowing it, but I only saw that at the end.  As soon as I finished the last page, I immediately ran to the internet to see if there is a sequel.  Thank goodness, there is a sequel!  In fact, there are 2!!!  Now I just need to figure out how I will survive until 2012.

The premise of this book is so engaging.  The government is curing humans from the malady of love.  At the beginning of each chapter, there is a quote from some religious text or official government document about the dangers of love and why you need to be cured of it.  I liked seeing that at the beginning of each chapter.  It made everything seem more realistic.  It was also nice the way the author twisted books and documents that we are familiar with to make them fit the story.

It’s an interesting concept and the reasoning is compelling.  After all, think of the problems and tragedies created by love.  The famous literary characters who have suffered immeasurable heartache and tragic destiny because of love:  Romeo and Juliet, Lancelot and Guinevere, Tristan and Isolde, Anthony and Cleopatra, Samson and Delilah, poor, mad Ophelia.  All destroyed by the power of love.  It’s definitely food for thought.  Of course, seeing what people become without love was heartbreaking also.  I really liked the way the author described the reactions of the citizens.  

I loved the characters in the book.  Lena grows so much as a person in this book.  It is beautiful to see how she transforms.  I really like Hana and I am hoping that things turn out ok for her and also for Grace.  Alex is, of course, a magnificent character.  But the "cured" characters are interesting also, if only because they are so not interesting!  The juxtaposition between the cured and the uncured characters was fascinating.

This book was an incredible read and I’ve really started out 2011 with a bang!  If this book is any indication of my reading for the rest of the year, then I’m in for a stellar year of reading!

This book is a solid A+!!  Thanks to Harper Collins for giving me a chance to read it!

This book will be available for purchase on February 1, 2011.

1 comment:

  1. This book absolutely blew me away. Lauren Oliver did an outstanding job with this novel and I cannot wait for the next one to come out. The characters are well developed and the plot line is excellent. I was rooting for Lena and Alex the entire book! The only complaint I have is that the ending was so abrupt. One second your in the middle of action and the next second your looking at the back of the book thinking you must have skipped a page. The ending was so sad (I almost cried) and I was so worried there wouldn't be a second one!!