Friday, July 25, 2014

Delirium (Delirium #1) by Lauren Oliver

441 pages
Rating: 3/5
Ninety-five days, and then I'll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It's hard to be patient. It's hard not to be afraid while I'm still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn't touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't.

I'd been meaning to read this book for a while, but when I saw that there was a pilot TV episode made for it, I was like, It's time. There was absolutely no way I was going to watch it without having read the book first. So naturally, my first instinct was to go to the bookstore.

Basically, this girl named Lena grows up in a society where the very idea of love is horrifying and wrong. It's considered a disease and the root of many kinds of mental illnesses. She meets this guy and finds that the more she hangs out with him, the more she questions her no-love mindset. She learns to appreciate things she never knew about and embrace the emotions that she has.

Delirium was chock-full of amazing, philosophical ideas that made me think deeper about the relationships that I have in my own life. Of course, the premise of the book sounded so intriguing and I had a feeling that I'd really love it, but I wasn't sure how well the world would be built (because not everyone can make something as fantastic as the Wizarding World, if you know what I mean). But putting that aside, I knew from the start that I loved the writing style. Lauren Oliver blew me away with some of the descriptions she wrote. The way she described poetry just knocked me off my feet. Just the smallest things, she made seem so much more.

All of the characters in Delirium, save Lena, Alex (love interest), Hanna (best friend), and a few others, were basically unfeeling zombies. They had responsibilities and family, but they never really felt anything more toward these things than a knowledge that they would have to go through the motions and do what was expected of them. And while these zombies were off doing their business, Lena and Hana were basically learning to be rebellious and experience things, although really, Lena was just going along for the ride at first.

But if I'm being honest with myself, I couldn't bring myself to like anyone. I hated Hana from nearly the start, I thought Lena was terribly annoying, and I don't remember when I stopped liking Alex, but it happened somewhere around the middle-end of the book. Now, don't get me wrong, the romance was great, but it left me feeling a little bit meh. There was nothing that really popped out at me that made them seem special as a YA couple. The book was focused on meaning and depth of relationships that I actually felt it lacked spark.

Like I mentioned before, I thought the world-building would be quite a challenge to pull off. Love is so deeply ingrained into our society that I couldn't really grasp much of the world until a couple chapters in. There were some slip-ups too. I noticed once in the beginning that Lena said she loved children, but wouldn't even saying the word "love" be so stigmatized that it would basically be wiped out of their appropriate-for-conversation words? And then, around the middle, she says that she's never said the word before which I already knew was false. The inconsistencies really made the Delirium world seem iffy to me. One thing I will give though, was that the epigraphs before each chapter were really insightful.

Yes, I would recommend this book, but to people who liked Dystopian and aren't likely to notice contradictions. Because once I saw one thing wrong, I started questioning everything. But yeah, give it a shot.

Oh, also. The ending! AHHHHH.

That was spoilery.

Rating: 3/5


  1. Definitely agree with you! Lauren Oliver seems to have a trend of annoying characters in all of her books, though her writing really is gorgeous.

    Amber @ The Book Cookies

  2. I gave it a shot but it wasn't for me. I skipped pages to the end to see what's up. This kind of dystopian societies are really not my thing. I'm like you too, one contradiction and the rest of the book becomes questionable.

    Obviously I won't be watching the TV series, if it ever airs.

    1. Haha, I don't think it did air, but for good reason. It was one of the stupidest things I've ever watched in my life.


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