Apr 20, 2012

Book Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
(Delirium, #1)
Release Date: August 2, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins; 441 pages

Ninety-five days, and then I’ll be safe.

I wonder whether the procedure will hurt.

I want to get it over with.

It’s hard to be patient.

It’s hard not to be afraid while I’m still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn’t touched me yet.

Still, I worry.

They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness.

The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don’t.

Delirium is the first book in the dystopian novel series by Lauren Oliver. In Delirium, it is years into the future and love is illegal and is considered to be a disease. When a male and female reach the age of 18, it is required by law that a procedure is performed to remove the emotion of love from your brain. This book makes you think of the motions that love makes you do. The term lovesick comes to mind. And yes love can make you do crazy things. Have crazy thoughts. I've always been a strong believer that you are allowed to have whatever feelings you desire, for it's your actions that you are accounted for. It how you handle your feelings. That's what matters.

The main character in the series is a 17 year old girl named Lena who is just a few months shy of receiving the procedure. When we first meet Lena she is pretty much counting down the days until her procedure. She has had some pretty hardships in her life. Her father died of cancer when she was very young, and her mother committed suicide after having 3 failed procedures for the cure. The cure is what they call the love removing procedure. Lena was raised by her aunt Carol, who was her mother's sister.

If I lost the ability to love, there is no doubt I'd be a different person. A mother's love is one the most precious things. The idea of raising children without love frightens me. It's interesting to see how Lena's aunt who is cured treats Lena and her own children. Lena's younger cousin Grace does not speak at all. Carol pretty much has cast Grace aside and just tells everyone that she's dumb. It's clear that the lack of love in her life is one of the factors in Grace's behavior.

Most dystopian novels deal with the actions of the government, and Delirium makes me wonder how far the government could realistically make things. In Delirium big brother is pretty much watching you at all times. The government decides everything for you. From your job to who you are paired to marry. Marriage pairings remind me of arranged marriages. I despise arrange marriages. No freedom. No choice. I'm a romantic. I personally could never live in this world.

Very early on in the book Lena meets Alex. From the first moment they meet, she is pretty much intrigued by him. Lena has not had much contact with boys because the government forbids uncured males and females from talking to each other outside of their family. Boys and girls go to separate schools. Alex pretty much captivates Lena. I believe a part of it is the fact that she knows that what she's doing is considered to be wrong. But mostly I think it's just a part of growing up. It reminded me of the feelings you have for your first crush. When you realize that boys aren't icky and don't have cooties. When Lena meets a transformation starts to happen. The reader really gets to see her start to grow into a women.

One of the things I enjoyed the most about this book was the steady flow. Everything went at a nice pace, and was really well written. I didn't find any parts to drag on, or move too quickly. Lena's transformation was pretty gradual and it was a joy to read. The climax of the book had my heart racing. I am also extremely glad that the next book in the series Pandemonium is already out. I cannot wait to read it.

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