Friday, January 14, 2011

Book Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Series: Delirium #1
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: Feb. 1 2011
My Source: Netgalley
My Rating: 4/5

Goodreads 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 Review:

This is a dystopian novel that takes place in a world where love is a disease. It's called the deliria- when you turn 18 the citizens have a procedure that "cures" them. Put simply, it deprives them of almost all emotion in order to spare them from pain. Lena has always believed fullheartedly in the cure, until she meets a rebellious boy named Alex from "The Wilds", the lands outside the cities, who teaches her the truth.

Lauren Oliver, whose debut novel Before I Fall I absolutely LOVED, has done a fantastic job of creating a perfect dystopian society. The concept of erradicating love was interesting- and terrifying. It reminded me alot of another great series- the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld, where people have a procedure when they turn 16 to make them Pretty, except this time they cure them of love.

I was so eager to read this novel, but halfway through I started thinking this book wasn't quite as good as I expected. While I loved Lauren Oliver's writing, the plot was so slow moving, almost nonexistant, that I found myself getting a bit bored. Lena and Alex were good characters, but it's hard to be extremeyl invested in a book with only good characters and not much of a driving plot. You'd like with Lena's operation coming up, there would be a bit more urgency, but instead, half of the book is just her deciding whether she wants to conform to society and have the operation or not. At least, that was my feeling for the first 3/4 of the book. I liked, but didn't love it.

Towards the end, it started to pick up, as Lena's operation got closer and she started to feel the urgency. And then, right when I didn't expect it- BAM! Huge shocking ending. This book brought me to tears. My visualization of the last two pages are still burned clearly in my mind every time I think about this book. When I was done, I set it down and thought, wow, that ending was the Lauren Oliver I loved.

Though I really liked it, a large majority of this book was slow moving, and didn't hook me at first. I understand that was neccesary - it developed Lena's character. I did appreciate seeing a real change in her through the course of the book- it was believable and real.

This book I was reminded of another recent release- "Matched" by Ally Condie (which was good too). The writing style was different, but the pacing was similar. The difference between Delirium and Matched was that I connected much more with the characters so much more in Delirium, especially towards the end. (I loved the ending of Delirium much more than Matched.)

If you like dystopian stories like Matched or Uglies, you have to read Delirium. And if you're a fan of Lauren Oliver's first novel- while I didn't like this one quite as much, she still has the same great writing style that I love. Definitely a book to look for in this new year.

4 out of 5 stars

Cover: 3.5/5 The title/author fonts are beautiful, and I like the face behind the words, I'm just not a fan of the color. Light blue doesn't really go with the book in my opinion, not to mention I personally don't find it a very aesthetically appealing color either. Maybe that's just me, though! I've seen black versions (other country releases) that I like much better.


  1. Great review, Ava! I loved this book, and I agree with you - I didn't like Before I Fall, but this book was just brilliant for me :)

  2. Great review! I agree that it's slow moving in the beginning, but once everything is established it really gets going :-). I love how heartwrenching the book is. It's beautifully haunting.

  3. Your review is making me think of Uglies, which I liked but didn't adore. I think I would really enjoy Delirium though. Great review :)

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I was not a big fan of her other book Before I Fall. . . So I'm hoping that this book is loads better! I seemed to be one of the only bloggers who just didn't like Before I Fall!
    Can't wait to read this one though. Great review by the way.

  6. Great review. I can't wait to read this book. I've heard good things about it.

  7. I think they'll probably change the cover when this book is released in paperback because without the dust jacket you'll be unable to see the face underneath.

    I am so excited for this book! The concept is just too good.

  8. Thanks for commenting! I hope you all get the chance to read this. :)

    DJ: I love the phrase "beautifully haunting", that describes the ending perfectly! That's why I loved it so much- it was so emotionally moving.

  9. I've heard mixed reviews of this book, but I didn't know it had that shocking of an ending. I'll definitely be reading it sometime. Thanks for the review!

  10. Hey Ava,
    I'm ur newest follower. Just stopping by to say hi, love the photos on ur header. Have a great weekend.
    See ya,
    Readaholics Anonymous


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