Saturday, October 16, 2010

Review: Delirium- Lauren Oliver

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 Holway 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've been excited about Delirium for a long time, ever since I first read the synopsis a few months ago. What I loved most about it was the fantastic world building. You can tell Lauren Oliver put a tremendous amount of effort into her research– the book is peppered with quotes from various fictitious government issued documents such as the 'Safety Health and Happiness Handbook', commonly known as 'The Book of Shh'. The concept of love as a disease may not be new, but the way that concept is drawn out is beautifully unique.

Oliver's writing is incredibly emotive and full of carefully constructed imagery; she's mastered the art of saying everything without describing precisely what is going on. Her portrayal of love isn’t clichéd, or boring, or saccharine, like in so many YA novels these days—Alex and Lena’s love story really resonated with me. 

Lena is a great heroine; it’s a common misconception that girls have to fight in order to be strong female MC, but Lena turns that one on its head. It’s true, she makes some impulsive decisions, but that really made me think about the whole concept of the deliria, and whether love really is an unbalanced state of mind. What I enjoyed most about her is that she had real fears, real reasons for her fears, and felt like an actual person. Alex was everything you could want in an illicit love affair; he gave Lena that sense of self-worth and discovery characteristic of great romances.The end was heart-wrenching, and I sincerely hope there's a sequel- I'm not quite ready to leave Lena and Alex behind!

In short: a beautiful meshing of dystopian and romance with an edge of science fiction thrown in for good measure-- and one of the best YA novels I’ve read this year. 

Release date: February 1st, 2011
Source: NetGalley
Find it on Goodreads
Pre-order it on Amazon

1 comment:

  1. This is a very helpful review! I'm not a huge fan of romance, but you touched on all the qualities I usually dislike, and gave me hope! I hate weak female protagonists, and clichéd romance, but I love light romance when done right--which, from your review, it sounds like this is. It's definitely going on my to-read list.


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