Thursday, February 2, 2012

review: delirium by lauren oliver

title: "Delirium"
author: Lauren Oliver
genre: YA dystopian/romance
release date: February 1, 2011
format: paperback, 441 pages
publisher: Harperteen
source: bought from Dymocks
other details: on my Aussie Swap list
my rating: 3.5 stars

goodreads synopsisBefore 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.

my thoughts

It took me a while to get into the swing of things with Delirium. I felt really uneasy about this dystopian world where love is really a disease. The second half of the book is where things really started to happen. I don't think it was that I was starting to understand their society better, I just think the second half of the novel was better because more exciting things were happening. The introduction of Alex and Lena's relationship was just the beginning. 

Now here is something you should know about me, if you don't know already: I am a christian. So everything that I've been taught throughout my whole life, all the values that have been raised on - all of that is the complete opposite of Lena's situation. I was raised on love. Lena was raised on stability. I believe with my whole heart that love is the foundation of life itself. That God is love. That love is the root of all joy and peace, and trust, and every other thing that is good in the world. So you might be able to imagine how difficult it was for me to appreciate the premise of  the novel. (I know it's fiction, so it didn't offend me or anything, it was just hard to wrap my head around to begin with). Even hugging your family is taboo, I mean, COME ON. And of course those corrupted bible scriptures before some of the chapters didn't help.

While I was reading the first half of the book, I was thinking "I highly doubt I will pick up the sequel to this", but now that I've read what happens towards the end I reckon I might actually read Pandemonium because all I'm thinking is "I wanna know what happens next! I want to be there if/when Lena and her mum find each other, I want to know what happens to Hana, and most importantly... I need to know that Alex is okay!!!!"
Yes, Lena caught the lovebug bad, and she did go a little crazy in that department (it wasn't the most believable relationship), but the government is even crazier! Ward 6 in the crypts? *shudder* So awful. But it's pretty amazing that the word 'LOVE' became Lena's mother's ultimate escape route out of that horrible place. 

I think I had slightly higher expectations for this book. Probably vicarious expectations, though, based off of all the hype that the blogosphere was buzzing about last year. But Delirium wasn't a total let down. I still really like Lauren Oliver's writing style. 

chosen quotes

love as a disease:
"... we will never be totally protected. It still moves around us with invisible, sweeping tentacles, choking us."

symptoms of the procedure/the cure:
"..cases of full-blown detachment - where a mother or father is unable to bond normally, dutifully, and responsibly, with his or her children, winds up drowning them or sitting on their windpipes or beating them to death when they cry.."

Lena in love:
"He is my world and my world is him and without him there is no world." 

Lena's revelation:
"They say the cure is about happiness, but I understand now that it isn't, and it never was. It's about fear: fear of pain, fear of hurt, fear, fear, fear - a blind animal existence, bumping between walls, shuffling between ever-narrowing hallways, terrified and dull and stupid."


Kat C @ Books and Sensibility said...

I listened to this on audiobook when I had a 1 1/2 hour commute. Over that time I fell in love with the story and that fact that any kind of affection is deterred is really fascinating. I've heard Oliver's first book, Before I Fall is Ah-mazing so, I plan to get it since it's in paperback.

Vegan YA Nerds said...

I wasn't going to read this but a few friends suggested I should and I ended up enjoying it for the most part. I am looking forward to Pandemonium!


J.R. @ The TBR Pile said...

I found your blog via the Saturday Situation...I have this book on my bookcase waiting to be read. I've read a lot of lukewarm reviews on this book. Love your reasoning behind what you didn't care for in this book.