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
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Harper Teen, February 2011
Pages: 480 (Hardcover)
LONG STORY SHORT:
This book was way more than I expected. Of course, all the reviews ( or almost all of them) praised Delirium like no other book in 2011, but I had my doubts that I would actually like the plot. I was so wrong! Seriously, this book is my new favorite. The main character was adorable but what really striked me was the way Oliver describes emotions, so pure and real. Also, I liked how growing up and the development of friendships were presented here. Very true to reality. I think this is a book every dystopian lover (as there is some serious action in this book) but also everyone else should read.
When I first discovered the Bookblogging and vlogging community everyone was obsessed with this book. I saw it in every Favorites video, every bookshelf tour and those who had not read it yet seemed to be ashamed. Reading the summary on Goodreads I couldn't really see what the hype was all about, though. When it finally arrived at my door I almost regretted buying it. I'd heard that it was a dystopian novel and at that point - believe it or not - I was kind of fed up with dystopians, so I put it on my shelf and saw it sitting there - untouched - for the next twenty years.
I was so wrong. And I'm so angry at myself for waiting so long to read Delirium. I think I can honestly say it's the best book I've read this year. By far. I found myself curling up on my bed refusing to eat or sleep or work or do anything until I finally reached the ending.
What I loved most about Delirium (at least, I think) was Oliver's ability to put in words exactly how one feels in certain situations. Without giving spoilers, there were some very crucial growing-of-age moments in Delirium. Those days when you figure that somehow at some poin everything around you changed and that nothing will be the same anymore. as I read delirium I felt like Oliver truly understood and described what being a teenager feels like.
This belongs to the second aspect I did not expect but enjoyed so much about Delirium: how realistic it still was. Other than many dystopians the world Lena lives in did not seem so drastic and radical to me. It was not completely different from ours. There are still normal schools and normal activities and although some people are poor it's not the kind of desperate poverty that for example Katniss Everdeen grows up in. Lena lives a life that is pretty similar to mine (and I'd guess to most teenagers') so it was easy to identify with her.
The dystopian element - the fact that love is a disease in delirium - was really well done. I mentioned before that I was hugely suspicious about that part. Love a disease? Are you kidding? I was convinced that this idea could only be super cheesy and super superstitous. Oh, how was I wrong! Oliver did an amazing job making this believable, working it into Lena's world and mind and just making it a fact. You read the first few pages and you're like"Okay. I totally believe this could happen"
Which brings me to Oliver's writing style. I actually said almost everything I wanted to say about that. I have a feeling she can put nearly everything into words. Period. Nothing more to add.
The characters - although I missed the depth of some side characters like Lena's aunt or her cousin Jenny - were all in all well developed. The important ones, I mean. The reader could get to know Alex along with Lena - it was never too slow or too fast. I liked Hana a lot , although that's probably mostly because of how she brought the "realistic" and almost contemporary - ish effect into the novel. Seeing the friends' relationship develop and change brings an extra plus to this already amazing book.
All in all, I can only recommend you read this book. As I said, by now it's my most favorite read of this year and I can't wait until I can start Pandemonium!
RATING: 3 out of 3 Smarties
RATING: 3 out of 3 Smarties