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Delirium by Lauren Oliver

First Published: 1 February 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 411
Format: Paperback
Finished Date: 14 August 2013


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.

My Rating


My Review

Delirium was fantastic. I loved it. The story was really good and I felt that this book was a great premise to the beginning of the entire series. In this book, love, something that seems rather amazing to all of us, is seen as a disease. Its seen as something that one can have a cure for because it’s the root of all problems and without it, things will be better. Maybe in some ways, things were better. People didn’t fight over love, over emotion essentially. But their lives were devoid of that spark that love could bring you. The thing is, they all actually wanted it.

Lena and Alex are our two main characters. I have to say, I didn’t really like Lena in the beginning. I felt that she was too afraid to live, and that just rubs me the wrong way. Still, I like how the author is able to convey her fear and all the reasons for her being afraid. It was a little bit repetitive though, I must have read Lena’s reasons for being afraid many many times. I loved her character development. She transformed from a girl who was so afraid to love, to a girl who couldn’t live without love. Who did everything for love. And that touched me. It was the depth of love and the power of love that was the message conveyed through everything Lena did. It was beautiful.

Alex on the other hand, was someone we didn’t know much about. I would have liked to understand Alex a little better. It’s nice that he’s an enigma, which makes him just a bit more attractive. Still, I would love to know why he feels the way he does, what made him that way. I do think there are side stories of him, so I’m definitely going to check those out. His character development here wasn’t fantastic, he doesn’t develop per se. Because he started out believing in love, and I think there wasn’t much space for him to develop.

Yes, I have to admit, there were many parts of the book that was draggy. But Lauren Oliver made up for it with the love story she wrote. I think the most beautiful part of this book was how she captured love in it's simplest form. Everything she said, it just rings a bell of when you first find someone, when you first fall in love with that person and it reminds you of how beautiful love can be. Maybe it's also because of my own experiences and also because Lena's the same age as me and hence I can identify rather well. 

And oh gosh, at the end, what he did for her, that told me he loved her in ways that nothing else could. And while the action only came towards the end, I loved the build up to it. I loved how they fell in love. The ways she described how being in love felt was just so real. I love the way she captures teenage angst. When I was reading about how Lena felt love was like, and all the things that love made her feel, I was just yes yes yes, that's exactly what I felt! 

It's not the best romance in the world, but there's something so endearing about it. It was so sweet and I just found myself rooting for them. They weren't my favorite characters, but I adored them together. 

I know there's a lot of people that say it's unrealistic that she would kiss him in public if there were so huge consequences. Ok to be honest, I didn't even realize that. But on further thought, I just feel that sometimes when you're so young and you have so strong feelings, it just spills out. You heck the consequences because you just can't imagine not kissing him right there and then. 

And one of the parts I loved most? It was when she said, "It [love] will kill me. And I don't care." I just felt that little bit summed up love so simply yet it captured the essence. When you're in love, sometimes you just don't care about anything. You don't care about the consequences, all the things that could go wrong, all you can think about is how right it feels. And there was another part where she said how happy she was. How love brought her happiness. And that was beautiful too. You see, all of Lena's life, she was brought up thinking love was a disease, that it had to be cured. Yet, when it happened to her, when she fell in love, everything went away. And only love mattered. I know she’s young, I know she fell in love really easily and really quickly. But still, love comes at unexpected times, and maybe that’s the beauty of it.

The ending broke my heart. Still, it was for the best. I think when the book ended, I put it down and I started to cry. By how much they loved each other, how much he was willing to sacrifice for her. That touched me to the core.

There was one part I had a little bit of an issue with. It was the pacing. I honestly got a bit confused here and there because I didn’t know what was the timeframe like. Everything seemed to happen together that it got a little confusing. Its like one moment she’s preparing for something, the next we skip forward a few days because she has gotten an epiphany about the situation or something. Still, it was just a small annoyance and it didn’t really detract from my enjoyment of the book.

Delirium was fantastic. I loved it. The plot, the characters, and especially, the love. I would read it again in a heartbeat, just to cry over the sweet scenes.

Edit: After reading the rest of the series, I must say they were a bit of a letdown compared to this book. This wasn’t the most interesting or the most action packed, but it showed what love could be like, and that made it so beautiful.


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