By: Lauren Oliver
Release Date: February 2011
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
Character Development: 10/10
Total Score: 44
Age Appropriate Rating:
Drugs, alcohol, etc.: 1/10
Sexual Content: 3/10
Violence/Disturbing Images: 8/10
With Before I Fall, Lauren Oliver made us question everything we know about life, and with Delirium she questions everything we know about love.
Though it is starting to be a very new trend in Dystopian YA from the looks of things, the premise of Delirium alone is wonderful. When love is seen as a disease, as something to be feared and protected from, you learn all the things love really affects. Love is the basis of all feelings. Because it controls too much. Or rather, it makes one lose too much control. It makes one lose their emotional balance and actually feel, not feel obliged, but really feel, absolutely everything. Lauren Oliver uses that to her advantage with the building of the relationship between Lena and Alex, making it confusing and raw and beautiful and heart-wrenching.
And with that premise, Delirium leaves you with questions about what love means but also with awe about what we already know it is and the wonder that one could live without a feeling that is so large to encompass and connect to almost every other feeling out there. Oliver leads us into a world that is so exhilarating and unsettling and full of so much despair all at the same time. And though the idea of that is so sad and hard to imagine, Oliver’s strong imagery and convincing prose made it is easy to escape into that tragic world.
The story within was just as intriguing with characters to relate to and a love story to root for amid all the controversy and secrets. Lena was very relatable to everyone with her fears and doubts but also her want for something more. And with her broken past traveling alongside her every decision, you really get a feel for every risk and feeling she’s facing. The purposely detached feeling of some characters only better highlighted the importance of the relationships between Lena and Alex, and Lena and Hanna, again making you feel the importance of love itself.
About the ending: Yes, it was shocking and powerful and full of questions, but all the same, I still found the ending satisfying and leaving me much anticipated for the sequel releasing in 2012.
Overall, with engaging characters, eloquent prose, and a premise unlike most, DELIRIUM is a story that provokes thoughts, questions meanings, and gives the power of love a whole new importance.