Delirium by Lauren Oliver
“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 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.”
With this novel, Lauren Oliver has perhaps perfected the genre of dystopia. Delirium contains the perfect balance of classic dystopian traits and wholly unique storytelling. Though Delirium is only one in the plethora of recently released dystopian fiction for young adults, it centers on a theme left behind by many, love. Many of you are thinking that The Hunger Games or perhaps Matched deal with love, but Delirium takes the topic to a whole new level. In the cities, a medical procedure has almost entirely eradicated love in citizens eighteen years and older. Love, or amor deliria nervosa, is regarded as a disease. And so the stage is set for the entrance of our heroine, Lena Haloway.
Lena is no Katniss, but she certainly gained my respect. Reared to fear love, Lena must reevaluate everything she believes in when she begins to exhibit signs of the deliria. Lauren Oliver portrays the conflicted emotions that plague Lena so vividly that readers truly experience her journey as if it were their own. Fear, elation, wonder, sadness, all of these feelings and more leap from the page.
This novel may focus on love, but adventure isn’t far behind. Lena weaves in and out of many a dangerous situation. From narrowly escaping a few brushes with the law, to entering the scariest prison short of Azkaban, Lena’s adventures will keep anyone on their toes.
Delirium is truly a well-crafted novel. The depth of emotion and the spot-on writing set this novel apart. My only complaint is the cliffhanger ending. There is nothing more irritating than being left hanging after you have become entirely engrossed in a story. On the bright side, the cliffhanger means that a few more novels will be coming our way.
In October, Lauren Oliver announced that the next two titles in the Delirium trilogy will be Pandemonium and Requiem. I can’t wait for the next installment in Lena’s story!
The big picture: Delirium is the best dystopian novel since Bradbury’s classic Fahrenheit 451. With vivid prose, an engaging character, and a plot that could set a dead man’s heart racing, Delirium goes above and beyond the average teen novel.
*A huge thanks to HarperCollins for providing me with an ARC of this fabulous novel.