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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver

Release Date: 1st February 2011

My Rating: 4/5

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.

My Review:
I had very high expectations for Delirium as Before I Fall was one of my favourite reads of 2010, but when I first started reading it, I was a little worried. There was a lot of information given to us about the society and it had me concerned that the storyline throughout the book would get lost under the back-story. While I don't like comparing titles to other books, dystopian YA novels about an oppressive society have become increasingly popular. I think it is important to mention that at first I found a lot of similarities to Ally Condie's Matched. These quickly dissolved though so if you discover you have the same feelings as me, never fear, it will pass. Make sure you persevere. My concerns were very happily unwarranted and the story that evolved was that of a girl whose life gets turned upside down.

With the realisation that everything she once believed in has been a lie, Lena faces the scary and unimaginable unknown. Suddenly, her world is looking very different and Lena proves to be a very strong and capable girl, very different to the one we met at the beginning of the story. Just when I thought I knew how Lena's story was going to pan out, shocking secrets were uncovered and I was holding my breath at some points, reading as fast as I could to get through some very suspenseful, and also scary, moments. I could feel my heart beating as if I was right there next to Lena. As they say, the plot thickens, and not everything is as it seems.

The lesson of the day is love. I couldn't even imagine what it would be like to suddenly have a 'switch flicked' and to not feel any kind of love towards my friends and family, to not be able to recognise a quickening heartbeat or butterflies in my stomach, to miss out on those feelings. This is what awaits Lena. Love comes in all forms but to not have it in any is not worth it. No laughing. No dancing. No music. Love can be protection. Love can be the tender moments, love between friends, family. Lena has all these new feelings that have been awakened and discovers what love is and that without love in your life, you have no life.

"I'd rather die my way than live yours"

I felt that the quality and integrity of the story were upheld because there were more elements to the story than just Lena's relationship with Alex, even though this is of major importance to the story. I loved the interaction between Hana and Lena, how their friendship had highs and lows, how they protected each other. They are best friends, but their realisation that once they each have their procedures their friendship will cease to exist, hangs over them. All their memories growing up, all the special moments they have shared, will be forgotten. Can you imagine how horrible that would be? Likewise for Lena and her cousin's daughter Grace, who Lena shares a special bond with. They both have secrets, and they protect each other. It is a beautiful relationship and I loved reading the scenes between them.

Just like Before I Fall, Oliver's debut novel, Delirium is beautifully written and told with such heart-ache and suspense that it is difficult to put down. The first in a dystopian trilogy, Pandemonium and Requiem will follow, Delirium is everything you would hope and expect a Lauren Oliver story to be.

"I love it." The word pops out, and instantly the weight on my chest dissipates. "I love it," I say again, testing it. An easy word to say, once you say it. Short. To the point. Rolls off the tongue. It's amazing I've never said it before."

Many thanks to Netgalley and Harper Collins Publishers for providing me with an advanced copy.


  1. Great review. Big fan of Lauren Oliver. Love her writing it just captures so much emotion :)

  2. I am SO incredibly excited to read this! Your review is (as always) brilliantly written and makes me want to read it even more than I already did.


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