Author- Lauren Oliver
At First Glance-My opinion before reading the book based on the synopsis, reviews I have read and cover attraction.
Want a sneak peak at Delirium? HarperTeen and Lauren Oliver is kind enough to provide us the first chapter of Delirium. Trust me, One chapter, one page, one sentence is all you need to get into this book.
First chapter of Delirium.
First sentence in Book-
(Don't like reading long reviews? Juts scroll down to the 'Long Story Short')
Plot- Once known as one of the strongest emotions a human can feel, Love has become a threat to mankind. In the Old days Love was known as a good thing and even sought out. That is, until scientists figured out that Love or referred in the book as 'Amor Deliria Nervosa' is the cause of many things that were known as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, heart disease and more. In Delirium scientists have found a way to extract/eradicate love and have demanded that all citizens receive the procedure at the age of eighteen. In the book we also see the government making most of the decisions such as who everyone marries, their jobs and even control what literature they should read (list of banned books in Delirium can be found here.)
Lena, the MC of the book is not only close to turning eighteen she WANTS this disease that is inside of her to be removed. Everyone reminds her of how easy life is after the procedure: Carefree, happy, no worries. Lena is of course, eats this stuff up and eagerly awaits the procedure. Not to mention her family history with members who have fallen victim to deliria, such as her mother who resisted the cure and eventually committing suicide, putting her to shame among society.
Ninety-Five days before her procedure she meets Alex. A mysterious guy and she does what is looked down upon in her community and what she fears most. She falls in love.
So as I have stated before, the premise for this story is just so COMPLETELY out there. I mean Love causing diseases? Really? I doubt in this world that anyone would be willing to line up to get this 'cure'. But I have to admit, other than that the plot was pretty damn good. In the book we see the pressures that Lena faces in society. The girls unable to associate with boys because of the risk of them developing 'deliria' and the rules that are imposed on them shows us how much the government really wants to keep this 'deliria/disease' down as well as the consequences of the disease.
Another main issue we constantly see is Lena's struggle to fight of the disease-Love- she has for Alex. Unlike many stories where the MC female falls in love with a male at first sight (Cough, Twilight, cough) Her love develops throughout the whole story. Which makes it much more believable and relatable. Not only do I feel sympathy for Lena I can actually LIKE her as a character. In many reviews i've read I see that the issue of her not 'seeing what is actually happening around her' is brought up a lot. Of course she can't see what the government is doing! She was brought up to fear Love and is constantly reminded of her mother who fell 'victim' to it. I personally felt like I was inside the story as everything developed. Laurens way of describing things is really great and made the story that much better
Lena Holloway in the beginning was a plain character. Of course thats due to the setting and environment she grew up with so I can't blame her there, But as the story progresses we see her developing more of an opinion and personality which again, makes the story that much better. She also seems to rationalize things and I really like that a lot about her. Instead of going along with her feelings she rejects the feelings she has for Alex in the beginning but then begins to realize what Love is. This in my opinion makes her much more of an independent character.
Alex was mysterious. He held his own secrets and throughout the book we can see he's kind and feels a certain way about Love. Not only does he want Lena to realize what Love is he himself holds a secret that endangers them both. In my opinion Alex was ok. We didn't really get much time with him in the book but when we did I found him to be bearable and romantic. But that's it.
Long Story Short-
|I liked the story. Sure it may be unrealistic but heck, its fiction! So putting that aside I felt like I was really in the story. I loved Lena and really understood her conflict with Love and her feelings. Unlike many books I found the pace of the story to be really good. I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would, the hype that was made for it was a little over the top. The romance? Well in my opinion it was plenty. Action? I'd say there are a couple of scenes where action is displayed and where you begin to grip the book as you eagerly wait to turn the page. Awesomeness? Not so much. The book was a good read and would recommend to anyone who loves dystopian novels, forbidden romance, a little bit of action and wants a read to keep you entertained.|
Memorable Quotes (Spoiler Free)
"Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. That's bad enough. The Book of Shhh also tells stories of those who died because of love lost or never found, which is what terrifies me the most. The deadliest of all deadly things: it kills you both when you have it, and when you don't."
"I love you. Remember. They cannot take it"
"I think fleetigly that maybe the stories I heard when I was little were true- maybe Invalids really are monsters, freaks. Then I feel ashamed. He just saved my life."
"He saved my Life-from the raiders. From the people who are supposed to protect us and keep us safe. From the people who are supposed to keep us safe from the people like Alex."
P.S. The ending was just unpredictable. I did not expect it. So Brace yourself.