Thursday, January 20, 2011

Delirium by Lauren Oliver: Review
Posted by Tiffany at 2:15 PM

Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver (site)
Will Be Published: Feb 1st, 2011 by HarperTeen 
Pages: 440
Preorder: $12.14 Amazon $13.49 Book Depository
Series: Delirium #1
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 4.5/5
Synopsis: 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. (Goodreads)

Initial Thoughts: Anyone who reads book review blogs will have heard about this one a long time ago. Everyone is cured of love once they reach adulthood- how creepy is that? I've been so excited for it to come out. I couldn't believe it when I saw it on NetGalley! I snapped it right up and devoured it in a day and a half.

Review: Delirium was a wonderful read. I've read several reviews that were critical of the premise: "There's no way that a huge section of the population would opt for a lobotomy." I would like to point out that stranger things have happened. People will go to great lengths to avoid pain and love causes a lot of people a lot of pain. If there was a way to be happy with your place in life forever, I think that it might be a very tempting course of action. You find out that your husband of 10 years has been having an affair with your sister and then you see an ad on tv for a procedure that will take all of the pain away? There are tons of people that would go for that. Once enough of them have had the procedure, taking emotion out of the equation, it's a small jump to forcing it on everyone else. I'm not saying that I think it's likely, but I can see enough of a possibility to make the book scary.

The writing was beautiful. Everything flowed so smoothly, carrying the reader effortlessly along. I read this one in about two sittings, without even realizing how long I'd been at it. I've never read anything else by Oliver, mostly because it's outside of my preferred genres, but I'll be on the lookout for it now. The story was a bit obvious. You know pretty much from the start what's going to happen, although it takes Lena a long time to break through a lifetime of programming. The family situation that she finds herself in was very interesting. Her mother has left a stain on the family that won't wipe away. Having any family member be touched by love is a major stigma in this society. At one point we're hearing about a time in Lena's childhood where she was injured and her mother was comforting her at a park. Because she was showing affection, another mom hissed, "You should be ashamed" and stomped away with her child. There was a wonderful little surprise towards the end that left me dying to know more, but the most memorable part of the book was the ending. Good lord, that ending! I had to reread it. I was completely stunned. Everything happened so fast! Saying anything more would ruin it for you, and I don't want to ruin the experience. I loved this book. There are a few flaws here and there, but I just sat back and enjoyed the ride.

Quick Review: Delirium was a scary look at where our fear of pain could lead us. The characters were believable and engaging, the writing beautiful. I would recommend this to anyone who liked Dystopian or YA in general.