Monday, February 13, 2012

Delirium (Delirium #1) by Lauren Oliver

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.(synopsis from Goodreads)

Delirium by Lauren Oliver is a young adult dystopian where people live in fear of, and receive the cure to protect them from Amor Deliria Nervosa which roughly translates to mean "love". Oliver delivers a beautifully written tale of love, fear, and the consequences of a world without love.

The United States has closed its borders, no one goes in and no one gets out. The citizens have all been relocated to sanctioned areas. We know that all of this occurred after the blitz. (We aren't sure what or why it happened) At the age of eighteen, citizens are inoculated against the disease known as Amor Deliria Nervosa. (Love). This disease is believed to be the root of all that went wrong with society. Young man and woman are tested prior to the vaccination. These tests determine their schooling, careers, and give them four perspective mates to choose from. All of this enforces the government's motto of "Safety, Health and Community."

When we are introduced to the protagonist, Magdalena “Lena” Haloway, she is counting down the days till her procedure. She is living in a sanctioned area in Portland, Maine. She lives with her aunt, uncle and nieces. Her mother suffered from the disease and died, nearly ten years ago. She attends an all girl’s school, as children are segregated until after they are given the cure. Side effects prevent anyone from being cured until they are eighteen. Lena lives in fear of becoming like her mother and is afraid of contracting the deadly disease.

The tale that unfolds as Lena counts down the days is absolutely captivating. Some may argue that the plot moves too slowly, until Alex comes into the picture, but I felt the world-building was necessary to make the tale believable. I loved watching the growth of Lena. She starts out as a sheep and ends up fighting against the system. It was delightful to watch. The romance between Lena and Alex progressed slowly and was believable. The second half of the book moves at a delicious pace as Lena begins to question everything she has been taught and uncovers lies, takes chances and falls in love. The ending ripped me apart, as it ends in an unbelievable, heart-stopping cliffhanger.

I highly recommend Delirium to fans of dystopias and romance. Oliver's writing style is beautiful. The basic concept of love being a disease is so mind-boggling. While those suffering from a broken heart may find credibility in it; one also has to grasp the implications of a world without love. For example the love a mother feels for a child. How can you know true happiness if you've never experienced sadness? I am truly looking forward to book two in this series entitled, Pandemonium. It will be available February 28, 2012. In addition, a novella entitled Hana, tells the story of Lena and Hana's last summer before they are vaccinated from Hana's perspective. This will be released as an eBook on February 28th as well.  Delirium is currently available in paper, audio and eBook formats.

I gave this novel 4 coffee cups out of 5.

Author's website:Lauren Oliver

Buy it from Barnes and Noble:
Or at Amazon here:

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At February 13, 2012 at 2:28 PM , Blogger Chrissie (Once Upon a Series) said...

I've heard so many great things about this book but I still haven't read it yet! Your review makes me want to go out and find a copy of it right now!!!

Great review :)

At February 13, 2012 at 2:30 PM , Blogger Blodeuedd said...

I can't wait for my copy of book 2 to come :) I hope it is just as good

At February 13, 2012 at 3:10 PM , Blogger roro said...

glad u liked it but 4me aftr liesl and po burn

At February 13, 2012 at 7:16 PM , Blogger Christy D said...

Love IS a disease! I need to read this.

At February 14, 2012 at 4:19 AM , Blogger Kathy Ann Coleman said...

I just read this last weekend and it was definitely a gripping tale that drew me in. There were parts that I found difficult, and the concept of a world without love was definitely a terrifying premise. I'm definitely looking forward to the next book.

At February 14, 2012 at 7:42 PM , Blogger Melissa (My words and pages) said...

I'm glad to see you enjoyed this one too. I've heard very good things about this one, but for some reason I haven't felt that drawn to it yet. I don't know why as it does sound really good. :) Thanks for the wonderful review.

At March 6, 2012 at 11:06 AM , Blogger mariska said...

This one is on my to-read list :D I hope it is just as beautiful as the first one.
And thanks for your review. I am glad you enjoyed this book.


At March 9, 2012 at 2:44 AM , Anonymous Canada said...

This is the best book i've ever read. In the city and time they live in, love is considered the deadliest of all deadly diseases. Everyone thinks that Love is the worst thing ever and has to be avoided, and everyone is taught that love can and will kill you. People who are "infected" are seen as rabid dogs. theyre avoided and when youre 18 you have to get a surgery that will "cure you" and make it so that you have no more feelings and you're secure. Everyone thinks that's "happiness". Lena, right before her surgery, falls in love. Forbidden.

At March 14, 2012 at 8:02 PM , Blogger Munnaza said...

Delirium is one of the best books I read in 2011, and although you're right, the plot does move slowly, I like that it did. I think it's the only way we could truly understand where Lena's coming from in the beginning, and it needed to move that slowly to believably portray her enlightenment into her world's actual situation. If she fell for Alex too fast, and just went against everything she knew, it wouldn't make sense. In the beginning of the book, she was looking forward to her cure, so how could anything change if it moved that fast? I also love that the romance DOES develop between the two characters because I'm sick of reading books where they just instantly like each other. None of that makes sense, so it's nice to see a realistic relationship. And I totally agree - a world without love is terrifying and mind boggling and I look forward to discovering more about it and seeing Lena and Alex hopefully, officially, defy it. Great review!

At March 19, 2012 at 3:12 PM , Blogger Martina Koleva said...

I've seen the book around and I've read what it's about but I guess it wasn't the time to get me interested in it. Now, though, I really, really want to read it. It is something different, describing love as a disease, so I'm up for it. I would love to have it(and I would buy it if I could) but that would take time.. It is in my wishlist, though. Thank you for the beautiful and insightful review. I believe it tipped the scales in favor of actually wanting to read the book.


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