Monday, February 6, 2012

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Category:  Dystopian/Romance
Release date: February 1st, 2011
Pages: 441 (Hardcover)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Bought

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 government 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.

When I first opened this book, the only things I knew about Delirium were that many people think it's incredible and that it has a killer cliffhanger.  For the most part it was a great story and I can see why people would be dying to see where the next book picks up, but for some reason, it wasn't completely what I was expecting.  That's not a bad thing in the least.

Lena lives in a gated community.  For years, the government has been shielding its people from a disease called Amor Deleria Nervosa, or what we commonly refer to as love.  Children are taught the consequences of being infected and naturally, they fear it.  When you turn eighteen, you undergo surgery where they essentially remove all feelings of love and admiration.  You are paired with a person of the opposite sex, who has also had the surgery, and make a life with them with no danger of ever feeling out of control.  After all, Lena knows the kind of damage that this disease can do.  Her mother died because of it, so she's determined to get the surgery over.  She counts the days until its scheduled date.

This is, of course, until she meets a boy named Alex.  By the looks of his scar, he's cured, which means that he's safe.  Only when she begins to feel the effects of Amor Deliria Nervosa does she realize that she's in for a lot more than she bargained for.  Could it be that everyone she thought cared for her, protected her, lied for nearly ten years?  That the government was protecting them from something they didn't need protection from?  That the symptoms and consequences they've been warned about since they were children have been made into something it's not?

Lauren Oliver has created a world where it's not safe to show your true feelings.  I really love the thought and deep meaning put into the story.  It is true that love is sort of this disease we all tend to suffer from, but it's the most wonderful disease I've ever known.  The change in appetite, increased heart rate, inability to think straight- they could all definitely be classified as symptoms to something threatening.  I loved wandering down the path with Lena while she traded ignorance for courage.  Everything about her mindset changed completely by the end of the story.  One thing I can say for sure is that I'm very thankful to have a copy of Pandemonium at hand, because I just have to find out what happens between her and Alex, since Delirium has such a bittersweet ending.


  1. I have this book on my shelf but haven't read it yet, but by the looks of your review I am seriously missing out! I guess I'll have to make sure I have the second book on standby before I start Delirium. :)

    Thanks for the well-written review! =D

    -Shanon @ Escaping With Fiction

  2. Ohhhh I LOVE THIS BOOK! I can't believe how long I've had an ARC and I still haven't read this... I suck

  3. It sounds very good. Nice review.

  4. This one to me was a three star rating until the ending. The ending boosted it to four stars. I absolutely adored the ending, it went in a direction that really showed what true love can do. It was such a beautiful ending. I have had Pandemonium for a while now, but still have yet to read it. Going to get to it soon though! Here is my review of Delirium!