Book Summary (Goodreads)
Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love — the deliria — blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.
But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.
What I Expected: Obviously I expected great things from Delirium after all the raving reviews, but I wasn’t sure how the story would sustain itself- I mean, love is forbidden, so duh, the girl goes and falls in love. But honestly, this book exceeded my expectations and turned out to be much, much more than the typical plot I formerly expected.
It was certainly a unique concept, making love a disease. The way Lauren Oliver brought the disgust that people felt about love, as though it really was a disease, was probably the most unique aspect of it. I mean, it’s true- if you don’t love, you most likely won’t get hurt. But the way everyone twisted those words to mean that love was a bad thing- that was something that required a master storyteller.
Delirium was somewhat similar to Scott Westerfield’s Uglies, which is one of my favourite series. Love is the disease, so get it surgically removed= everyone is ugly, so make yourself pretty through surgery. I realized that halfway through the book- it was such an oh! moment.
I loved the wonderful, never-before-seen similes in the book- Lauren Oliver is so good at them. The language flows in a way that makes me wish I could make my words half as poetic. All in all, much more than the simple plot I expected.
I really liked the MC, Lena, because she wasn’t presumptive or stuck-up, but not boring, either. The way her emotions and thoughts slowly changed was expressed beautifully.
Lena’s love interest, Alex, was a great character too, perfect in a way that wasn’t annoying. He is definitely one of the best fictional guys I’ve read about.
There were other supporting characters- Lena’s best friend Hana; Lena’s little cousin Gracie, and even Lena’s cured foster family, safe from love, who gave the story deeper dimensions and made it worth the read.
Parting Thoughts: The similes in Delirium are exquisite, the writing is beautiful, and Lena’s world is constructed very believably, although I hope it doesn’t ever happen in the future. I would definitely have loved to read more about her dystopian world, since dystopian fiction is my favourite genre aside from contemporary. But Delirium surpassed all expectations and firmly cemented Lauren Oliver as one of my favourite authors. I’m looking forward to reading more from her.
Rating: 5/5. The writing alone made me love Delirium. Add that to a great MC and a boy to swoon for- the perfect formula for an awesome book.