Saturday, August 13, 2011

Delirium by Lauren Oliver Book Review


By: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 1, 2011
Genre/Age: Dystopian YA
Pages: 441
Source: Library

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 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 really really wanted to fall in love with this book. I’d read so many glowing reviews and the premise looked so promising (a girl who falls in love just weeks before she’s supposed to be cured of this deadly disease? Heck yes, sign me up!), but overall I was left feeling disappointed and wondering what all the hype was about.

The premise itself is fascinating. A futuristic dystopian society where love is viewed as a disease is such an interesting idea to explore, especially since our society today places so much value on love. But that was where one of the main issues I had with it comes in. Delirium is supposed to take place only 60 or so years in our future, and there’s really no explanation as to how society evolved to create the civilization we see in the novel. What happened to make them start seeing love as a disease? There must have been some huge thing to cause such a drastic change in such a short amount of time, and I just would have liked more background on the events leading up to the formation of their society. I could have connected with the world a lot more if I knew where they were coming from.

I also had trouble believing Lena’s transformation from obedient citizen to rebel girl in love. The change happens so quickly, like the flick of switch, and it didn’t feel at all realistic to me. Her relationship with Alex is similarly fast-paced. Although I enjoyed their very first interactions, it was like all of a sudden Lena decided she was in love with him and after that everything just felt too quick. I feel like we hardly got any scenes with just the two of them interacting and getting to know each other. If you’ve read my blog before you might know that I like my romances to simmer and burn slowly before gradually building up to an explosive climax (although quiet explosions are quite okay :D), and I didn’t get that at all in Delirium.

Now, these things are not say that I didn’t enjoy Delirium at all. Lauren Oliver is stunning with words and the novel was written absolutely beautifully. It was an enjoyable read for me, it just wasn’t amazing. I went in expecting to be completely blown away, and I think it’s because my expectations were so high that I was let down harder than I would have been otherwise. I just wanted so much more. I’m hoping that the next book in the series, Pandemonium, will address some of the issues I had with Delirium and end up capturing my heart after all.

2 comments:

  1. Oh man! I only have about a week left before I have to return this book to the library but I just cannot seem to pick it up. It sounded like a good book at the time, and like you said had a lot of hype. For some reason though, I just don't have the interest in it anymore. Maybe I am in a YA funk?

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  2. i don't remember that much about this book, sinc ei read it a long time ago. well, four months is a long time, right? :D so i don't quite remember it being that fast-paced but i do remember loving the romance and the transformation of lena.

    i do agree with the shoddy dystopian concept. it just seemed so unrealistic y'know?

    great review!

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