Monday, May 28, 2012

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release date: February 1st 2011
Pages: 441
Genre: YA; dystopian
Source: Bought
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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.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I just love the whole idea for this book. The idea of considering love a disease that must be cured is genius - such a unique way of looking at it. That, combined with all the glowing reviews, and the fact that Lauren Oliver's debut, Before I Fall, is absolutely amazing, meant that my expectations for Delirium were through the roof. And for once, my expectations were met!

The unique premise fascinated me throughout the book. Even though the book is mainly Lena's story, the plot is perfectly balanced with interesting world-building that really made me think. I loved the insight we got into this world with the help of the little snippets of The Book of Shhh. All these references and the way they seemed to rewrite history provided a unique worldview that fascinated me as a reader.

I loved our main character, Lena. One of the reasons I don't read dystopian books too often - well, I've been reading quite a few lately, but I don't usually read a lot of them - is that I cannot seem to connect with the MCs. MCs in the dystopian genre always seem to be so heroic and special; they're the one who saves the world. But I want MCs who are normal - easy to relate to, and not someone who's braver and stronger than I could ever imagine anyone real being. And Lena, for once, is easy to relate to. Some might complain that she's boring, but I loved her. The way she sees the world is realistic, considering her background, growing up in this world and learning about love the way she did. Often, I find that in dystopians, the MC tends to question the government too quickly to be realistic, but in Delirium, the development is gradual, which I really appreciated.

Delirium is a lot closer to contemporary than most dystopians I've read. There's not too much action - it's just about Lena's story and the world she lives in. That might be a problem for some people, maybe people who read more paranormal and dystopian and whatnot, but for a lover of contemps like me, that's perfect. And in the end, we get our fair share of action - leaving me dying to read Pandemonium.

I didn't love the romance at first - I found the set-up a little strange, and didn't really get Alex's immediate attraction to Lena. But once the two of them get to know each other, I loved them together! They have such great chemistry, and seeing them struggle to be together in a world like this was fascinating to read about.

I loved Lauren Oliver's writing in Before I Fall, and I liked it in Delirium, too, but I think the descriptive style fits a little better to contemporary than to dystopian. When I read contemps, I look for descriptive, vivid, emotional writing like Lauren Oliver's, but for a dystopian, I think a little less details wouldn't have hurt, since the beginning is a little slow.

Still, I really liked Delirium. It's one of those books you can just get lost in - I almost missed my stop when I was reading this book on the bus because I was so inmersed in the story. I will definitely be reading the rest of the trilogy!

What do you think would happen in a world without love? How terrible would the consequences be? Are there also postive sides to an order like that?


  1. This an amazing read. Lena and Alex make really characters and I loved it from start to finish. Pandemonium is great too. Loved the review.

    Books Live Forever

  2. This was one of the dystopian novels that stood out to me in 2011! It was kinda fluffy no? Unlike most dystopian novels - it's kinda ...tame. Completely agree with you on the point that it's more contemporary than dystopian. Nothing really happens until the VERY LAST PAGES! I really liked the romance build-up, not a huge fan of insta-love. Great Review!

  3. I so loved this book. And I definitely love Lauren Oliver! I met her here in our country last March and she is absolutely adorable. ;)

    I love Before I Fall too. It's one of those books that I kept thinking till now. I agree with you about her writing. I feel like she is more of a contemporary kind of author. But still, I love whatever she writes because her writing is not hard to fall inlove with. You have to read Pandemonium and mind you, it has a big cliffhanger there. Just daaaaamn!

    Know what, the idea of love as a disease creeps me. I don't think I want to be controlled like that. To be told what to do with my own life. It's like I'm just a puppet of them. It's just so scary for me. On the other hand, I think it would be totally fun not to feel pain. If they will control my feelings then I would have not to worry about getting hurt. But that's what love is right! Getting hurt and standing up! That's my opinion. Haha. Anyway, I'll still choose to be uncured. I'd gladly risk getting hurt to feel the wonders of love. ;)

    Since I so love you, Hannah, I'd share this song with you. I love this one. The band made it totally for the trilogy. I hope you love it too!

  4. Squeeee! Delirium is one of my FAVOURITE books ever, and the best one I read in 2011 (personally) so I am SO happy to see that you loved it! It definitely stands out among dystopians, IMO, for the reasons you gave :) And Alex! He's my favourite. I adore him! I still tear up thinking about that ending <3 Pandemonium definitely has much more action. I hope you enjoy it too!

  5. ***Note for everyone else: My comment includes spoilers, so don't read on if you haven't read Delirium!***

    I can definitely see the very descriptive writing being a problem for some readers. I've heard Pandemonium has a lot more action, though - do you think you'll give the books another chance?

    I didn't mind Lena because I thought her character was very realistic - she's not super strong and brave like a lot of dystopian MCs, which I guess can make some people dislike her, but to me, it just made her more relatable.

    At first, I thought Hana totally changed, too, but I read somewhere (can't remember where, sorry) how that was supposed to show the difference between Hana's strength and Lena's strength - Hana is always very in-your-face about it and seems very confident, but isn't strong when it really counts, when it comes to leaving society for a life with love - and Lena is the oppsite, not being very confident most of the time but showing real strength in the last few scenes. That made a lot of sense to me, and made me not mind Hana's seeming change in character.

    Sucks you didn't enjoy this one :(

  6. Yeah, tame is a very good word for it. There's none of the violence and danger that's common in dystopians (until the last pages). I didn't mind, though, because I just enjoyed reading about Lena's life and the world she lives in :)


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  8. Your review totally got me to move Delirium to the top of my list:)

    Did you love the sequel as much? 

  9. I thought I was the only person who thought Delirium was more contemporary than dystopian as well, lol. Glad to know someone else thinks the same. The writing is so gorgeous, and I really like Lena, as well. Cool review :]


    Definitely. But I think you'll see that coming too. It's worth the read, I believe. Lena is too kick-ass there! 

    I wish you'll meet Lauren Oliver soon! She's such an amazing person to talk to.

    PS. Read Liesl & Po. It's a Middle Grade book but I think you'll enjoy it. You'll love Po, I think. ;)

  11. Aneeqah @ My Not So Real LifeMay 29, 2012 at 3:08 AM

    I'm glad that you ended up liking this book! I agree that it's a little slow, but I think the ending definitely makes up for the slow beginning. I also really loved Lena as a main character. You'll get to know her and love her even more in the second one [which has a KILLER cliffhanger, which you've probably heard about!]. Great review!! =) 

    -Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life

  12. Yay! Hope you love it! I haven't read Pandemonium yet cause I'm waiting for it to come out in paperback so it'll match my copy of Delirium - I'm weird like that :p

  13. I can't decide whether or not I want to read Liesl and Po cause it's MG and fantasy, neither of which I normally read... maybe I'll read it at some point, though :)

  14. Ugh, I love love love this book.  Pandemonium as well.  The characters are some of my favorites.  Especially... ALEX ;)

  15. one of my favorite dystopia, can't wait this series on tv^^


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