Delirium by Lauren Oliver
release date: February 1st, 2011
hardcover, 441 pages
intended audience: Young adult
source: from publisher for review
description: 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 governments 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.
Review: In this disturbing dystopian, the entire society believes that love is a disease and the cause of downfall to past generations. When each person turns 18, a procedure is performed on the brain that basically takes away the ability to love. It's a terrifying scenario, especially looking at it from a mother's point of view---you're not even allowed to love your children. I think my heart broke several times throughout this book---mostly when the main character, Lena is talking about her own mother. That is what is so fascinating about all of these dystopian tales coming out...they present such a twisted distorted world and force you to imagine what it would be like to live without the most basic things that we take for granted every day, like love, reading and writing and music, freedom of choice, a mother's love.
When we first meet Lena, she is about to turn eighteen and actually can't wait to have her procedure done. More than anything, this comes from fear---anyone who knows Lena has heard the story of her past...that her mother was unable to be cured by the procedure and ended up catching the "disease" and taking her own life. She fears daily that this is something that runs in her blood. It was interesting to see this character change, the way falling in love empowers her. I loved all three main characters in this story, Lena, Hana, and Alex. As much as it was about Lena falling in love with Alex, it was also about her love for her best friend, her mother, her little cousin, her sister...it was very powerful in showing how different the world would be without love in all it's forms.
While admittedly, the beginning dragged a little for me, about 100 pages in I was completely smitten with this story and couldn't put it down until the very end. And the END...OH, the end. Lauren Oliver. I will say this about her: the woman knows how to deliver an ending. In Before I Fall, the ending was pure orchestrated perfection. In Delirium, the story's conclusion literally explodes off the page leaving the reader feeling completely spent. All you can do at that point is close the book and say "Wow." I was almost a little disappointed to find out after that there would be more to the story---not because I don't want it to go on, but because the ending is so powerful, intense,... beautifully and tragically perfect. This one could have stood on it's own---and with so many cliffhanger endings in YA these days that have you lost until the next installment, this was so refreshing.
Visit Lauren Oliver's website here.
Purchase Delirium at: Amazon • BN.com • BookDepository