Monday, March 21, 2011

ARC Review: Delirium

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Published By: Harper Teen
Pages: 441, Hardcover
Young Adult
Source: Netgalley

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Overall: 5 stars- Flippin' Fabulous

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.  Synopsis via Goodreads.

My Thoughts:

I can't even begin to imagine living in a time when love is viewed as a disease and the right to love is taken away from me and is punishable by death if I try escaping The Cure.  Amor Deliria Nervosa, that was what you were supposedly at risk of contracting if you fell in love.  

Lauren Oliver created a world in Delirium which never felt safe and felt so foreign that I couldn't believe I could actually see this happening.  I mean, really, if you think about it, I could see there being a time when the government says humankind's downfall is our emotion, our love.  That thought alone added another factor of fear to the story, one that was already elevated from the start.

Our main character, Lena, was about to turn eighteen, to graduate, and about to embark on what would be the test that eventually led her into the loveless, content, arms of a man she would be told to spend the rest of her life with.  Her match.  She would make a life with this man, have children with this man, yet never actually feel the driving passion behind what is otherwise considered Amor Deliria Nervosa.

Lena fears her government, with right, and despite what she has been trained to think and feel she can't help but see more then she should.  She isn't the only one in her story that sees more then they should ever admit.  Her best friend is who opens her clouded vision to a secret word that exist between their walls, one in which people hold on to every last bit of freedom before they are forced to give themselves up to The Cure.

Lena's struggle with accepting The Cure is rooted deeper then most.  It isn't basic anxiety or the fear of being herded like cattle that truly hurt her, it is the story of her Mother and the fact that she is unable to pull her eyes away from a guy, Alex, who is introduced into her life in an abrupt and dangerous manner.  By a second chance meeting her life is thrown into a whirlwind of struggle and acceptance for what are the truths behind her life, her government, and Amor Deliria Nervosa.

All of the characters I was introduced to played their parts well.  The only characters I found flat, weren't really flat, just tight knit into their rolls in a society where the only emotion that really ran high was fear.  Lena, despite being set in her ways, grew while her story did and most everything she did or said was justified by how she grew up, it wasn't just some random unexplained action void of motive.  It only made her story that much more tragic as it began to unfold.  Alex, was the perfect compliment to Lena.  He was able to make her feel things she never had before, and it was more then just a flutter in her tummy.  He was also able to show her truths about her life which helped her make the biggest decisions of her life.  Even if their story would have ended when it came her time for The Cure, the only thing their time together lacked was more time to be together.

Despite the slow-going first part of this book, once I crossed that threshold I really couldn't put it down. I became immersed in a world I was scared to death of but felt like I was living in.  Every anxiety felt like it was connected to me, every pitter-patter of Lena's heart, or Alex's, my own mimicked.  The shade of the sunset let me fall in love, just as it had its affect of Alex and Lena.  When you read it, you will know what I mean.

Read on from this point with caution, no big spoilers, just a nice warning to those weak of heart:

Prepare yourself for the cliff hanger and the possible ruin that will be yourself if you are not careful.  There is a possibility you will need your inhaler, if you own one, and a box of tissue.  I still haven't recovered from what has to one of the most intense and heart wrenching endings I have ever experienced.

Lauren Oliver brilliantly painted a portrait of a world we had reason to fear but wanted to fall into, if just to feel that longing and love Lena did.  Book number two, Pandemonium, could not come fast enough.

Cover: 5
Characters: 5
Plot: 5
Re-Readable: YES!

Overall: 5



  1. I can't wait to read this book. I've heard so many great things about it.

  2. I loved this one too-- the ending was wild and I can't wait for more.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog


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