Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Posted on 05/30/2011 in Book Review / 5 Comments

Review: Delirium by Lauren OliverDelirium by Lauren Oliver
Published by Harper Teen on 8/2/2011
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Pages: 441
Format: eBook
Source: Library

They say that the cure for Love will make me happy and safe forever.

\r\nAnd I've always believed them.\r\n\r\nUntil now.\r\n\r\nNow everything has changed.\r\n\r\nNow, I'd rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie.\r\n\r\nLena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life, until ninety-five days before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, when she falls in love.\r\n



I just love the Dystopian genre and Delirium fits the bill perfectly. PERFECTLY. It is overflowing with imagery, mixes the old and the new, and leaves you perhaps questioning your entire belief system, maybe even your existence. Delirium takes place in the not-so-distant future, where government oppression is in full swing. Scientists have found a “cure” for Love, because it’s believed Love, aka amor deliria nervosa, is the root cause for every bad thing that has happened in our past. Wars have been waged, religions have been created, or destroyed, hearts broken, all in the name of Love. In Delirium, citizens exist in a fog after their 18th birthday, cured of Love, the deliria, to maintain structure, peace and harmony. The government, seemingly omniscient, chooses when you will have the procedure, what you will study in college, whom you will marry and even how many children you will have. They are the puppeteers and their citizens the puppets. And because parents are normally cured, their children grow up without love and affection, something I think I would find lonely. The only uncureds are the children, whom are taught not to show too much affection, laugh, or cry. Schools are segregated by gender. This is the ultimate control: a world without love means you’ve got no one to resist you because no one feels passionate enough to even try. The government successfully cures Love and through that, Hate, but they do not cure indifference, the scariest of them all. No, in fact the breed it. But no dystopian story is complete without a faction of resistors, those who oppose the government’s agenda. While Delirium has resistors, more than we even know about, the story doesn’t tell much of them, at least in this first book, outside of Alex, a supposedly “cured” boy who has been watching Lena for some time and lives covertly among the citizens of Portland, Maine. Delirium is told from the 1st-person, through the eyes of Lena, an orphaned teenager just shy of her 18th birthday, living with her aunt, uncle and cousins. We get to see her struggle to fit in, her fervent belief in the cure and the effects of the “disease” she’s afraid she’ll contract, as she meets someone who allows her true self to shine through. Seemingly a puppet, her belief is shaken to the core and suddenly, that thin veil is lifted from her eyes. She finally sees, she finally feels. She finally Loves. As if she’s Loved her whole life and didn’t realize it until now. Lauren Oliver writes it perfectly…I simply cannot find any criticisms. I Loved this book and I cannot wait to read the next one.

Favorite Quote

“I’d rather die my way than live yours.” -Lena Haloway


About The Author
(c) Jonathan Alpeyrie, 2009 (via Goodreads)

(via Goodreads) Lauren Oliver comes from a family of writers and so has always (mistakenly) believed that spending hours in front of the computer every day, mulling over the difference between “chortling” and “chuckling,” is normal. She has always been an avid reader.

She attended the University of Chicago, where she continued to be as impractical as possible by majoring in philosophy and literature. After college, she attended the MFA program at NYU and worked briefly as the world’s worst editorial assistant, and only marginally better assistant editor, at a major publishing house in New York. Her major career contributions during this time were flouting the corporate dress code at every possible turn and repeatedly breaking the printer. Before I Fall is her first published novel.

She is deeply grateful for the chance to continue writing, as she has never been particularly good at anything else.

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Jennifer is both a book nerd and professional photographer. That means she lives in the fantasy world all the time, whether of her making, or someone else's. She collects books like the Duggar family collects kids, and began waiting for her Hogwarts letter at the tender age of 33.

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5 responses to “Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

  1. Alison

    I'm glad you liked this so much! I'm not a big fan of dystopia, but I want to read this, because as you said, Lauren Oliver writes perfectly.

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