Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

From Goodreads:
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.
I'm a bit behind on reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver. There was quite a bit of buzz right when it came out, and I kinda just ignored it, thinking I wouldn't like it. I put that down to ignorance. I didn't know it was dystopian, and boy do I LOVE dystopian. Not only is it dystopian, but it's awesome! This was one of those books that I got about fifty pages in and just knew I loved it. :)

Some time in the future scientists have developed a "cure" for extreme emotions, which mostly ends the possibility of love, the deliria. They call it a disease, and the government incarcerates or kills those suspected of being "sympathizers". I absolutely loved this concept. Since the technology and way people live was not so different from how we live today, it seemed like a very real thing. At times I could see something like this happening.

The actual cure is something like a lobotomy. There's not a lot of technical speak, but Lena does know they use lasers and cut into people's brains to sever some part. Those who have undergone the cure are calm and civil. They go on with their mundane lives with satisfaction and without disturbances.

Lena has always been a bit different in other people's eyes. Her mother underwent the procedure three times but was never "cured". Before the government could take her away, she committed suicide. This has ostracized Lena from almost anyone that knew her at the time. But Lena is an obedient and unquestioning citizen, until she meets Alex. When she realizes just what her mother had been fighting for, she understands completely and knows she can't just let the cure happen.

I loved the idea that love was a disease and Oliver really makes a strong case for it in the excerpts of "official documents" and pamphlets at the beginning of the chapters. While I can't imagine love being considered a disease, I could see how the rationale could come around eventually. Given that love can induce people to do things they would never do in their wildest dreams, a world without it would be more calm, but it would be a world lacking.

Lena also goes through a huge change throughout the book. She is the ideal citizen at the beginning. She counts down the days till her cure, is inside her home two hours before curfew, and never questions why things are as they are. By the end, she is almost unrecognizable. Sure, she's scared out of her mind and hesitant, but who wouldn't be, doing what she's doing? PLUS, Alex is adorably sweet. All the time. :) :)

I don't want to spoil any of the interesting twists and turns, but, needless to say, if you have any interest in romance or dystopian this book is absolutely for you.

Risk a paper cut? There is no "cure" for the spell Delirium will put you under. Better to just endure. :)

To buy: Amazon


  1. I absolutely LOVED this book! I think my favorite aspect is the relationship between Alex and Lena because it's not some 'love at first sight' deal. She actually takes the time to get to know him, and they talk A LOT. She's also really wary of love and what not which was a great addition :) Loved this book, glad you enjoyed it :)

  2. I'm so intrigued by this book! It's been on my wishlist forever! I need to just get it...