Delirium by Lauren Oliver
I’ve been meaning to start the Delirium series for years now….. Here we go.
Summary from Goodreads.com:
They say that the cure for Love will make me happy and safe forever.
And I’ve always believed them.
Now everything has changed.
Now, I’d rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie.
Lena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life, until ninety-five days before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, when she falls in love
I’m sure for most people, the premise “falling in love is a disease and anyone who does will be persecuted” causes an eye roll at best. I’ve always been skeptical of really “romantic” books. I have nothing against romantic plotlines, but any book that is primarily centered around some kind of epic forbidden love usually just seems overdramatic to me.
Delirium sort of fit this stereotype, but broke it in other ways too. For one, the world building and characters in this book are so well developed that the dramatics don’t seem so ridiculous. In fact, Oliver makes sure that Lena, and even Hana, are relatable and easy for the reader to sympathize with.
The protagonist, Lena, is also likable mostly because she differs a little bit from other YA dystopian heroines. In most books, the heroine has always felt a bit different from the rest or has always felt the need to rebel. Although Lena is a bit of an outcast, she is considered pretty average among her peers. At the beginning of the book, she appears to be just as brainwashed as anyone else in the society. Oliver used Lena’s naivety as the starting point of a really great journey of self discovery for her main character. The author’s almost poetic writing style also gave the story a very “profound” feel, for lack of a better word.
One of my favorite parts of this book was the supporting characters. The dynamics between Lena and her family, who are really her aunt, uncle, and cousins, was really interesting. I think Oliver did a great job of using Lena’s family as an example of how the government controls the “deliria” and overall lives of its citizens.
Hana is also a favorite of mine. She is almost entirely the antithesis of Lena, but not in a bad way. In many ways, I would argue that Hana is the image of what Lena aspires to be. The girls’ friendship was also a component of the book that I enjoyed a lot. I liked that the book touched on the fact that romantic love was not the only kind of affection that the procedure affected. Another reason why Lena is torn about her procedure is because it will all but end her bond with Hana.
Now for the romance. I have no problems with Lena’s romantic interest as a character, but I did feel that their relationship progressed a bit too quickly to be realistic. However, Lena’s feelings for him are not the only factor that influences the main climax of the novel, which made it more okay with me.
The Delirium series is probably not one that I would have picked up on my own if I had not heard so much positivity about it. In the end, I definitely liked the first book. I will definitely attempt to finish the series at some point this year!
Rating: ★★★1/2 (out of 5)
Read If You Like: Matched by Ally Condie