Friday, 18 March 2011

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Series: Delirium, Book One
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Format: Paperback
Published: 2011
Number of Pages: 400
Book: Bought
Genre: Fantasy, Dystopia, Science-Fiction, Romance, YA

“They say that the cure for love will make me happy and safe forever.  And I’ve always believed them.
“Until now.
“Now everything has changed.
“Now I’d rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years suffocated by a lie.”

There was a time when love was the most important thing in the world.  People would go to the end of the earth to find it.  They would tell lies for it.  Even kill for it.
Then, at last, they found the cure.
Now, everything is different.  Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen.  Lena Haloway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured.  A life without love it a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.
But then, with only ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable...

Wow.  I really don’t know what else to say. 
Well, maybe this:
Have you ever read a book so beautiful it physically hurts?  A book that has you laughing one moment, crying the next?  A book that makes you feel every single emotion the character does?
Delirium is that book.
As I read, I found my eyes were prickling with tears, even as I felt like smiling at some little thing in the plot.  It’s left me with an ache, a longing, a need for the next in the series.  I have to know what happens. 
I’m not sure how to explain everything Delirium made me feel.  All I can say is that all the emotions Lena felt, I felt.  And, more importantly, they all felt real, like they were my own.
Plus, the whole world is extraordinary: Love is a disease: amor delirium nervosa.  It’s something that has to be cured, eradicated no matter what.  And everything is set for you – the government decides everything.  They choose jobs, partners, whole lives, and you get no say.  It’s a horrible world.  No love: parents without emotions; no love for their children; some even killing their own child.  There are raids, regulators, phone taps, always searching for the same thing: sympathizers, Invalids, love.  And worse: you’re trapped.  There’s America, and then there’s the Wilds, where sympathizers flee to, and Invalids live.  It's forbidden, and you can get killed, even if there's only the smallest chance you're a sympathizer.  It’s just the fact that being in love, having feelings, makes you an “Invalid” that gets to me.  I said it before and I’ll say it again: horrible.
All the characters were absolutely unforgettable; I feel like I actually know all of them.  The book is told from Lena’s point of view, and I have to say the writing was beautiful.  Lena started out as a good, perfect citizen, before slowly turning around into a rebel, breaking every rule.  She was told from a young girl that without love, you’ll be safe, there will be no pain, and she longed for the day she’d be cured.  But then, she began to realize the truth, and I really liked seeing how love changed everything for her, how she grew as a character.  She’s so strong and brave – especially compared to how she was at the beginning – and by the end I loved her.  Her past was intriguing, and it was something that had weighed heavily on her for all her life.  It was pure genius from Lauren Oliver how she let everything slowly unfold, and I didn’t see any of it coming.  The way Lena looks at everything was interesting - after all, in a world where ‘love’ is a killable offence, everything is completely different, and far, far more dangerous.
Alex... I fell in love with him.  Of all the characters, he was the one that really jumped out at me.  He was amazing, strong, beautiful, perfect.  And his past was even more fascinating than Lena’s was – so much so that I found myself racing to find out more about him – about everyone.  The love between him and Lena was stunning and pure: real.  The bond they shared was just incredible, and so beautiful.  I honestly believed in their love, unlike the romance in a lot of YA books nowadays.
Oh, and I have to mention Lena’s friend Hana: she was truly the best friend a girl could ever have.  I loved her sense of humour, her bravery, her loyalty.  She’d do anything for Hana, and was even better for it.  I think she must have been the one that made me laugh most.
Delirium was another emotional-rollercoaster, and so compelling I was up until three-something in the morning just so I could get to the end and know what would happen.  Plus, the whole world was amazing, and so imaginative it’s untrue.  A place without love?  Who else has thought of that, who else has thought to use love as a disease?  “The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it when you don’t.”  No book I’ve ever read has spoken of love like that.  It was so new, so unusual, so horrible, so real.  I cried bucket loads throughout the story; the writing was so full of emotions it was almost overwhelming, but in a good way.  The pace is perfect, the suspense grew with every chapter, and I literally sped through the book at break-neck speed.
I must have felt everything possible reading Delirium: love, fear, devastating sadness, chills, shock, scenes that were so touching I know they’re going to stay in my mind for a long time.
This whole book will stay with me, actually, and so will the characters.  I’m praying for the next in the series, and am going to be counting down the days until it comes out.  This is an amazing book that I honestly can’t recommend enough.  This is a book for a “Have To Read” list. 
Someone said that they mourned this book once they’d finished, and I finally understand why. 

P.S. Can I just say how much I love the cover?  I didn't get the birds on it at the beginning, but after reading the book it makes perfect sense.  And the slogan: "What if love were a disease?" had me hooked.  You can see the girl through the letters, and she looks sad, lost.  It's beautiful.  The colours really suit the story as well.

Star Rating:
5 Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
The Decleration by Gemma Malley
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Matched by Ally Condie
XVI by Julia Karr

Challenges It's Taking Part In:


Cliona said...

This sounds amazing! I've heard a lot about how beautiful the writing is and I really want to read it! Brill review : )

Sara said...

AMAZING review! I can tell how much you loved this book! I want to read it right away! ;)

Larissa said...

Hi thanks for the follow! I am following you now too!

Shaylene said...

I'm so excited that you loved this book and gave it a great review! I just bought it and now I can't wait to read it :)

Sara said...

I also liked this book.

Happy Hop

Aylee said...

Agreed! So beautiful. I really love the emotions you described going through when reading this book.

Jules said...

I've just blogged about this one. I am another one that really enjoyed it.

TheBookAddictedGirl said...

Cliona: You should read it: it's so beautiful and amazing!
YA Vampire Books: Thanks! You should really read it too!
Larissa: Thanks for the follow!
Shaylene: I'm glad I influenced you so much! And you really should read it asap!
Sara: Happy Hop back, and glad you liked it too!
Aylee: Thanks! I tried to get the emotions in my review: glad I managed to!
Jules: Glad you enjoyed it too, this is one of my favourites, and my favourite dystopia!
Thanks for all the comments!

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