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.
I read this book eight months ago. I still think about it all the time. This is definitely one of my favorite books of 2011, and maybe of all time. I'm re-posting this review as part of The Cornucopia of Dystopia Event!
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?
If you liked this book, you should try WITHER, by Lauren DeStefano!
- 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.