Delirium by Lauren Oliver

May 5, 2012 Reviews 0

They say that the cure of Love will make me happy and safe forever. And I’ve always believed them. Until now. Now everything has changed. Now, I’d rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie.

There was a time when love was the important thing in the world. People would go to the end of the earth to find it. They would tell lies for it. Even kill for it. Then, at last, they found the cure.

In the future love is a disease and everyone over eighteen is inoculated for it. This means that interactions between people aren’t overly intimate, there are patrols that are alert for anyone dancing around, playing music loudly, or generally displaying any passion for anything at all. Delirium uses this interesting concept to tell the heartwarming story of Lena, who lives by her society’s warped rules until an encounter with the mysterious Alex, coupled with her best friend Hana’s strange behaviour, makes her question everything she’s ever believed in.

I like Delirium – I like the characters and think it is a well paced, enjoyable read. The romance between Lena and Alex is sweet, with her learning to trust him slowly. I also really like Hana, who is spunky and funny and, most importantly, has a life that doesn’t revolve around Lena. I wish there had been more exploration of Hana’s journey and that Lena hadn’t lost touch with her for such a large chunk of the book.

The only issue I have with it is a small one – Lena agrees to meet Alex at an isolated beach after curfew, all alone, after a lifetime of being taught (and believing) that boys and girls need to be segregated for their own safety. It doesn’t make sense for her to meet him so willingly (just because he’s so hot and she can’t resist) – especially since some time later it doesn’t even occur to her that the illegal concert she attends with Hana would be co-ed until she arrives. I would have much preferred Lena’s awakening to the injustices of her world to have occurred with Hana as the catalyst, rather than Alex, but maybe this is me trying to instil some independence into YA heroines.

A cool dystopian story that I regret allowing to gather dust on my shelves, Delirium will be enjoyed by those who like young adult novels. I am glad I let this book alone until I had its sequel, Pandemonium, in my hands though – I’m reading it right now and I love it. The final book in the trilogy, Requiem, will be released in 2013, but there is a novella out that tells Hana’s story more clearly.

About the book:

  • Date published: 04 August 2011
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books (Hodder)
  • Format: Paperback, 441 pages
  • ISBN 13: 9780061726835 ISBN 10: 0061726834
  • Categories: Dystopian, Young Adult
  • Goodreads / The Book Depository

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