Sunday 27 March 2011

Review: Delirium - Lauren Oliver

They say that the cure for love will make me happy and safe forever.  And I've always believed them.

Until now.

Now everything has changed.  Now, I'd rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years suffocated by a lie.

There was a time when love was the most important thing in the world.  People would go to the end of the earth to find it.  They would tell lies for it.  Even kill for it.

Then, at last, they found the cure.

Now, everything is different.  Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen.  Lena Haloway 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 then, with only ninety-five days until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable...

Delirium Series:
Annabel (Short Story)
Hana (Short Story)
Raven (Short Story)

Visit Lauren Oliver's website for more information

Lena lives in a world where love has been classified as a disease called amor deliria nervosa and by law everyone must be given the cure when they are 18 years old.  Lena is only weeks away from getting the cure herself and she can't wait, she is terrified of becoming like her infected mother who committed suicide after several attempts to cure her all failed.  Everything starts to change when she meets Alex, her feelings for him make her start to question everything that she has ever been taught about love.  Can something that feels so good really be so bad?  Is Lena willing to risk everything for the chance to be with Alex?

Delirium is one of those books I was nervous about reading because of all they hype but I ended up loving it and can't wait to get my hands on the sequel.  The story is a little slow at the beginning while you are being introduced to the world and getting to know the characters and I didn't find it very easy to like Lena at first but she did grow on me, especially when she starts to question her blind faith that after the cure everything will be fine.  By the time I was halfway through the story completely hooked me and I didn't want to put it down until I'd finished.

The society that Lauren Oliver has created is a scary one, the people who have been cured have not just lost their capacity to fall in love with a partner - they have also lost the ability to feel love and compassion for their children, families and friends.  They are emotionless and robot like and it made for a horrific world to live in.  While Lauren did a fantastic job of describing the symptoms of love and how it could be thought of as a disease I would have liked a little more information about how the world she created came about.  What made them decide that curing love would make for a perfect world and how did they come up with the cure?  Hopefully those questions will be answered in future books in the series.

I'm sure anyone who has ever had a broken heart can relate to Lena's wish to have the cure - there have been times in my life that I would probably have jumped at the chance! - but in order to experience the highs that love can bring you have to be prepared to deal with the lows.  That is quite a powerful message and one that shines through as you are reading the novel. 

For me it was the second half of the book that completely captivated me.  There were so many twists and turns that you couldn't be sure what secret Lena and Alex would uncover next and the story builds to a climax that will leave you breathless.  I couldn't read the last few chapters fast enough and the cliffhanger ending just about killed me!  I am eagerly waiting for the release of Pandemonium to find out where the story will take us next.  If you're a fan of dystopian fiction then I would definitely recommend checking out Delirium, I haven't read many dystopian stories but this is one of the best I've come across.

Source: Initially received for review from publisher via NetGalley but I also received a hardback copy from Hodder & Stoughton

Other reviews of this book:
Read Me, Bookmark Me, Love Me
The Great, The Good and The Bad
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.


  1. Great review! Agree with almost all of your points!

    Here's mine :)

  2. I really enjoyed this book and I enjoyed reading your opinions.

    Here's my review

  3. Looks like an intriguing book to read. Thanks for reminding me I have an ARC copy floating around here somewhere that I need to read.

  4. @ Lisa - I'm so glad you loved this one too :o) I've added a link to your review

    @ abeautifulmadness - I'm glad you liked my review, it's a fab book isn't it :o)

    @ Jules - I'm glad you enjoyed this one too & I've added a link to your review :o)

    @ Elena - I hope you love this one as much as I did!

  5. Fantastic review! Lauren Oliver is one of my favorite YA authors now.

  6. YAY!!! I love your review, because I am a huge DELIRIUM fan. Lauren Oliver has such a beautiful writing style that I can't wait to read her next novel:)


    My latest review:

  7. Hi Christina, I'm glad you liked my review :o) Lauren is a fab author isn't she, I really must start reading Before I Fall!

  8. @ Miss Page-Turner - Lauren is such a fantastic author & I really loved Delirium! I can't wait to read the next book in the series :o)



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