Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Publisher/Year: HarperTeen February 1st 2011
Genre: YA Dystopian
Other Books From Author: Pandemonium (Book 2), Before I Fall, Liesl & Po
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.
What if love were a disease? What if love could be “cured”? What if love gave you all yet left you with nothing?
“Love, the deadliest of all deadly things: it kills you both when you have it and when you don’t.”
First and foremost, Delirium is a love story; and it does not pretend to be anything else. We are thrust into a world where love, known as amor deliria nervosa, is classed as an ugly disease. Our heroine, Lena, is (well, at least she used to be) a normal girl in a loveless society. At 18 years old, she was nervous yet excited about her upcoming “cure”– until she met Alex.
What would have been sweet teenage love in any other book morphs into an unacceptable rebellion that forces Lena to come to terms with her feelings for Alex. Convinced that she was tainted with the disease, Lena’s upbringing screamed danger in her mind, but of course, the burning passion within her just refuses to leave Alex.
And Alex. He’s… He’s… He’s just so amazing I have no idea how to ever put it to words! He listens quietly to Lena’s deepest fears, desires, and secrets and when she’s unhappy he tries to make her laugh, when she cries he rubs soothing circles on her back, when she’s happy he laughs along with her. It’s not an omg-you’re-so-hot-and-I-want-you attraction, but was gentle and sweet and soft—like when you blow bubbles, you cup them together ever so carefully in your hands—their love was fragile. It was sweet, innocent, passionate, all at the same time.
Nothing more can be said about Lauren Oliver’s talent for using the most beautiful, rich language and imagery to capture a moment perfectly, intertwining description of the setting with Lena’s emotions. Many times, Lauren commands the tragic scene to rip my heart out mercilessly, watching Lena and Alex devoured by the abyss of danger before them, just imagine all the tissue boxes I used up! Yet Lauren expertly inserts a warm, glowing spark of hope between the couple which glues the shattered pieces of my heart back together with tender fingers. Delirium is told with such amazing prose that made me smile and sob and stand and pace and sit on the edge of the seat all at the same time because I just can’t have a grip on what to do!
Don’t ever let me go on about the ending I was totally in hysterics when I finished reading! And it wasn’t just a cliffhanger. It was a killer. I should have known Lauren would never be so kind as to let the story end in peace *sobs* The fast-paced, heart-wrenching tale concludes with a bam, earning the book a few hard slams on the table. There is no way I’m waiting to read Pandemonium. Waiting, what an agonizing word, get your copy now!
I’m in deliria with you.