Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Pages: 480
Publisher: HarperTeen
My rating: 5 stars
Goodreads rating:  4.07 stars
Published: February 1, 2011


Lena Haloway is content in her safe, government-managed society. She feels (mostly) relaxed about the future in which her husband and career will be decided, and looks forward to turning 18, when she’ll be cured of deliria, a.k.a. love. She tries not to think about her mother’s suicide (her last words to Lena were a forbidden “I love you”) or the supposed “Invalid” community made up of the uncured just beyond her Portland, Maine, border. There’s no real point—she believes her government knows how to best protect its people, and should do so at any cost. But 95 days before her cure, Lena meets Alex, a confident and mysterious young man who makes her heart flutter and her skin turn red-hot. As their romance blossoms, Lena begins to doubt the intentions of those in power, and fears that her world will turn gray should she submit to the procedure.

I loved this book.  Its been a while since I've picked up a book and really dove into it, enjoying the story and not tripping over the writing to do so or vice versa.  Lena is literally counting down the days until she receives her "cure", thanking her lucky stars she's never shown a sign of the deliria.  As readers, we see how sheltered and naive her world is {even though she really isn't, because of all the labels attached to her through what happened with her mother}.  Lena goes through life how some teenagers do, looking towards one specific moment that is supposed to make everything better, make everything perfect.  As a child, she lived with her mother, who was not cured.  Her mother had the procedure three times, but it never worked.  Lena grew up knowing her mother was different, but later, after her mother's suicide, she tries her best to forget that, to be "normal".

Lena lives most her life fairly unattached to those around her.  Yes, she has her family and thinks kindly of them, but its not until she meets Alex that she realizes she loves them.  Love is a four letter word in Lena's world, a world of order and monotony.  And, until Alex, that's all she wants.  It was beautiful reading about Lena learning to love and that all kinds of love can be held for different people.  It was interesting to see her go from wanting the cure to being on the frightened side.

And Alex?  Great character.  He shows Lena so much and helps her to see just what is wrong with the cure... making everyone into zombies, effectively.  I really want to know what happened to Alex...

Speaking of what happened, I really want to know what's going to happen to Hana.  Since reading Delirium, I've also read the short story about Hana.  She still seems on the fence for receiving the cure.  But she can't do anything about it unless she follows the way of Lena.

The book is an interesting display of what the world would be like without love.  And the fact that it basically makes everyone zombies {minus the brain-eating part}.  Lauren Oliver is a brilliant writer, making me feel like I was there during all the highs and lows.  I swear, when they were running in the summer heat, I was there.  When Lena went to the underground parties, I was there... books like that just hook me.

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