Google+ Reading Teen: Delirium by Lauren Oliver (Review)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Delirium by Lauren Oliver (Review)

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (February 1, 2011)
Buy the book: Amazon
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 Holway 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.

At a Glance:

Well, apparently I really love dystopia, and I really love romance...but even more than that, I really just love a fantastic story that is really well written. Delirium may have reminded me of other dystopias (Uglies, The Hunger Games, Matched etc.) but it is more beautifully written than any other that I have read.


This is a story about love. It's a story about Lena and Alex and what they are willing to sacrifice to be together. Many references are made to Romeo and Juliet throughout the book, and although Lena and Alex have the same commitment to each other, their love for each other is much more believable than that of Romeo and Juliet. Their relationship doesn't just spark into existence one day. It grows over time and against even Lena's own wishes. She isn't looking to fall in love, in fact, she's horrified by the thought. To her, love is a disease. A disease that led to her mother's death, and has taken control of the minds of millions of people throughout history. Amor Deliria Nervosa. All she wants is to make it to her 18th birthday and get the cure so that she never has to worry about being infected again, which is something she is terrified of.

And this, in my opinion, makes their romance even more fierce. Think about how intense, and exciting, and frightening it is to fall in love for the first time. Now add to that the fear, the belief that falling in love can make you crazy or even kill you, and if it doesn't, the government might. This is the tension in Delirium. And it is intense!

But this book isn't just about romantic love. It's also about the love between parents and their children, between one friend and another, and even about the love we have for our pets and the world and it's beauty. There are so many different aspects to this book that I can't even begin to describe it. Each chapter starts with an excerpt from The Book of Shh (a sort of distorted anti-love version of the Bible), nursery rhymes that have been altered to fit this societies view on love, or anti-love propaganda by the government. The entire storyline was obviously well thought-out. I love it when a book makes you think. I am so impressed with Lauren Oliver as a writer. When I read the last page of this book, I just sat there with the book on my lap and thought about it for a long time.

I would absolutely recommend Delirium to anyone who loves romance, dystopia, or beautifully written books. The romance is heavy, the action scenes are intense, the storyline is in-depth, the concept, which is so unbelievable, is made believable by her amazing writing. Someone said it asks the question Is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all? But I think the better question is, Is it better to die for love than to never have loved at all?

Will I Buy It?

Most Definitely!

Book Doppelgangers:

Wither by Lauren DeStefano, Matched by Ally Condie, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

  • Sexual Content: Moderate
  • Profanity: Moderate with brief heavy language
  • Violence: Violence
  • Other Notables: Some under-age drinking.
For more details go to Delirium on Parental Book Reviews.


  1. I reeeally wanna read this. Great review!

  2. Great review. Lauren is really a great author (Before I Fall was AMAZING!) After your review, I want to read it more than before! Plus, I loved the two questions in the end!

  3. Interesting concept. I'll add it to my reading list since I love dystopian novels. Great review@

  4. Another book I want SOOO bad. Great review :) can't wait for this!!

  5. great review and I've heard such good stuff about this book too. This is another of must reads too.

  6. fantastic review! i'm a fan of both romance and dysptopian stories, so i'm pretty sure i'll love this book

  7. Fab review! I can't wait to read Delirium. I love Dystopian eversince I read Birthmarked.

  8. Sounds absolutely amazing!

  9. Congrats! I have an award for you over at my blog;

  10. Hey I just found your site and I really love it! Thanks so much for doing it. It's really helpful and it's fun to see other avid reading teens like myself that like the same things I do. Thanks again!!

  11. I love the review and i think it's always better to get love that die without one.

  12. Incredible! I wasn't a *huge* fan of BEFORE I FALL, but this book sounds way better! The premise is more "my thing" anyway! I can't wait!

  13. I have heard a lot of people raving about this book and it sounds like exactly my cup of tea! Your review was so thoughful - I loved it! I can't wait to read this one!

  14. Sounds peeeerfect ;P

    I want it now! (but we wait... here publish in March!)

  15. I enjoyed Delirium. I loved the forbidden romance between Lena and Alex.

  16. Wonderful review! I couldn't agree more with you either. I finished it a couple of days ago and I don't think the story will ever leave me. It's incredible and thought-provoking and beautiful to read.

  17. It's the 2nd time I read your review and it's the 2nd time I think "I have to read this book now!!!". :)

  18. thanks for the google reader shout out :B nice review!

  19. Just finished reading this book. It was alright but I think I've realised that Dystopian worlds might not be my thing after all. I loved The Hunger Games but I think I prefer the books that are "completely fantasy" or "the ones where fantasy is a part of our world".
    I hated Matched, for me it was a complete waste of time and I feared this book might be going the same way. But those thoughts vanished when Lena said "Grey" instead of "Blue". She was a fighter from the start! :)

    To be honest, for me the book dragged on a bit. I skim-readed a lot of it because it wasn't going fast enough. But I loved the ending, the surprise and the way it finished with her fighting words.
    As I read this book I felt I probably wouldn't be reading the next one in the series but when I finished it I knew I wouldn't mind skim-reading the next book aswell, hehe :D

  20. Sheepa,

    I'm so sad you didn't like it. It's definitely more slow moving and poetic, I guess. I just thought the writing was really beautiful, and I loved the story.

    IF you're looking for a dystopian that's more action, and more like The Hunger Games, you should try Divergent by Veronica Roth. It's really good! And really kick-butt!

  21. I'll look into that one, thanks Andye! :D


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