Saturday, November 5, 2011

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Lauren Oliver
Delirium #1

At eighteen, people are cured of the scourge of deliria nervosa - love. Ever since her mother killed herself because of love, Lena has been looking forward to the procedure that will remove the deliria from her life. But when she meets Alex, she begins to realize that maybe the deliria isn't what everyone has always told her.

I really enjoyed Delirium. I thought the book moved along at a reasonable pace, with horror stories and revelations spicing up an otherwise typical love story. I particularly liked Lena's development from a girl who desperately wanted the procedure to remove her ability to love from one who would do anything to avoid it.

The main issue I had with this book was the premise itself. I honestly cannot imagine any alternate version of this world where love is vilified as the root of all evil. I could actually understand if they'd rejected emotion entirely, or maybe if this book was set in a completely different world, but Delirium takes place in an alternate United States. I just can't see such a reversal of current thought ever happening. In the story the government blames love for basically every problem in the world, so their solution is to close the borders, cut off all contact with the outside world, and mandate this surgery to excise the capacity for love in all its citizens, without any indication in the book that there was a particular event that sparked this decision. The total unbelievability of this idea definitely detracted from my enjoyment of the book.

So it's actually rather impressive to say that I liked it in spite of all that. While there was nothing terribly new or special about any of the characters, I did enjoy getting to know them and watching them develop. I actually wish we had seen more from Hana, whom I thought could have been much more interesting then the cipher she turned out to be. Even so, I liked Oliver's writing style, and the ending definitely left me wanting more.

Plot: 3 cupcakes
Characters: 3 cupcakes
Style: 3 cupcakes
Overall: 3 cupcakes

If you liked Delirium, try:
Matched by Allie Condie (Matched #1)
The Giver by Lois Lowry (The Giver #1)
The Hunger Games by Susanne Collins (The Hunger Games #1)

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