Monday, February 7, 2011

Delirium (Delirium #1) by Lauren Oliver

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Series: Delirium, #1
Published: February 1, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
(441 pages, hardcover)
Summary: 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.
My thoughts: You know how sometimes you come across a book that is so great that all you want to do is rave about it and tell everyone how realistic and well-written it, how amazing it was, how much you liked the characters, how amazing it was, how much you loved it, and how it was? Well, Delirium was one of those books. Recently I've read quite a few dystopian novels and actually, a lot of them were really good (Matched & Across the Universe were both great in my opinion). But after having read Delirium I have no idea how to compare. Oliver's writing is amazingly heartfelt and beautiful; the story line is fast and feverish and painfully lifelike; and the characters were well-written, realistic, and heartbreakingly honest. Delirium is without a doubt my favorite read of this year and one of my favorite novels.
Lena Holoway has lived her entire life in a world that calls love a disease, amor deliria nervosa. And she has always accepted, even anxiously waited, for her operation at the age of 18. She lives in a world full on indifference and fear of love, and despite the government's lies, Lena is content to live her life without emotion. Until she falls in love. The plot in Delirium was extremely original, thought-out and heart-wrenching. I know that I contracted amor deliria nervosa for Lena, Hana (her best friend), and Alex. Lena's transformation and sudden independence made her a believable, likable character, and by the middle of Delirium I was feeling everything she was. Her voice, as the narrator, was powerful and her emotions were palpable. And the way the story flowed was refreshing, breathtaking, and had me turning pages as quickly as possible.
Alex was my favorite character. Dear God, did I love this boy. He was honest, beautiful, and gave Lena the strength she needed despite his own weaknesses and pain. Spoiler (highlight to see): I have to admit to having cried for a few minutes after that ending. I'm holding my breath until Pandemonium comes out next year to see if he lived or not. All of that combined with the fact that he was so desperately in love with Lena made me fall just as in love with him as she did. Hana, Lena's best friend, was also a great character. She was three-dimensional and really made Lena think. Even when Lena thought all was lost and her and Hana were hopelessly lost to each other, she pulled through. She was a great sidekick and I hope to see more of her in future novels. The other characters were deep at all, but that was the point. Oliver does a great job of contrasting those with emotions to those without. As for everyone else, I can't say anything without being too spoilery so I'll just say that all of the characters were perfectly developed (or undeveloped, as is the case with some).
The romance was a huge part of this novel. At first i was a little wary; sometimes writers overdo their romantic scenes and make them melodramatic. Then again, I am a romantic, and I was a little natsy about the romance being unrealistic or forced. But in the end, Delirium had knee-weakening romance and Alex and Lena's connection was so real I found myself sick with amor deliria nervosa too. Of course you're rooting for their happy ending, and in order to not spoil anything, I'll just say that Oliver writes so well that after the end, I was completely satisfied, if craving for the sequel.
Olver's writing is practically mind-blowing, in my opinion. The way Lena's voice changes from shy and eager-to-please to metaphorical and love-struck was completely honest and beautiful. The symbolism and poetic form that Delirium is written in made me ache and cry and laugh, depending on what was happening. I really did find myself holding my breath, waiting to find out what was going to happen next, or hoping to see things turn out right for the characters. The world was completely developed and realistic. While it was disturbing to see a world so content with being loveless, it was beautiful and moving to see the lengths that Lena and Alex go to in order to ensure their love lasts. It was an emotional, thought-provoking, and romantic read and I'd recommend it to any readers, whether they're teens or adults.
Covering the Cover: The cover is simple and portrays Lena perfectly. I love the font they used and the color also.
Characters: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5 stars


Sarah Lydia said...

I'm glad you liked this one. I'm still waiting for my copy but I'm sure it will be as amazing as everyone says it is.

Kat said...

I just bought this one today, and after reading your review, can't wait to start it and get amor deliria nervosa for this book! Great review. :)

Ezmirelda said...

I loved this book too. It's just the ending that I didn't like. Thank goodness there's a sequel! :)

Henrietta said...

Great review! I'm really looking forward to reading this. I got it the other day and haven't been able to finish the book I'm reading so I can start Delirium.

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