Friday, January 28, 2011

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Delirium (Delirium #1)
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 1st, 2011
Pages: 440 
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.

Plot: 4/5
Creativity: 5/5
Characters: 4/5
Writing: 5/5
Impact: 5/5
Overall: 5/5

Beautiful, engaging and provocative, Delirium is a gorgeous reflection of a society without love.

Lena Haloway is a casualty of love. Orphaned by her mother because of it, she swore when she was little that she would never fall under amor deliria nervosa's its spell, and spent most of her life eagerly anticipating her eighteenth birthday, when she can finally receive the cure and safe herself from deliria, forever. But days before her birthday, she meets Alex, a boy who shows her love, music, art and passion, and makes her realize that maybe what she's gone her whole life being afraid of has been worth it all along.

When I first started reading Delirium, I had no idea what I was in for. I knew a little about the premise, but that's about it. To be honest, it even started a little slow for me. Little did I know of the immense potential lurking in the words, waiting to explode a few chapters away. As soon as I hit the halfway point of the book, I was intoxicated by the story. The overall idea of a loveless society could have so easily been a disaster given how much importance we give that feeling, that emotion, in this day and age, but Oliver is like a magician in the way she puts her stories together and writes about the most elusive, hard-to-perfect topics with sheer brilliance. I ended up holding my breath at some points, teary-eyed in some, and at some points, I was breathless, and all of that because of the love so present in this book, in Lena's world, where the whole world is telling it to be absent. Oliver is masterful in the way she plays with the story and juxtaposes its elements, bringing us a novel so precious and intricate and fine, like the brightest piece of crystal except laced with suspense and mystery.

Lena starts off distant and calculated and at first I couldn't really connect with her, but her transformation from cynical to a believer is inspirational, and as the book comes to a close, she becomes somewhat of a beacon for love and hope. Her journey to becoming the total opposite of everything she wanted to avoid is seamless, and wouldn't be possible without the two central people in her life- her best friend Hana, and Alex, the boy who makes her believe everything is possible. Alex and Hana are standout characters so animated and alive, they practically leap off the page.

As always, Oliver's writing is divine. Lyrical and fluid, they way she constructs her sentences is tasteful and creative. Instead of being just a medium to tell her story, her writing is an art form- stunning and spectacular and everything in between. With her lush descriptions and vivid, sublime imagery, she's a literary wonder.

An alternative tale of love that starts off subtle but ends with a bang, Delirium is an earthquake that will rock your world and knock you off your feet. It's a collision of wrong and right, of choosing whether to listen to your head or listening to your heart, and it will leave you with sweeping emotions and lasting realizations. It will leave you delirious.


  1. Glad to know you enjoyed this one. It's next on my 'to read' list! :)

  2. I have lost my count for a good review for this book. Cant hardly wait to read it.
    I hope this book will find its way to my mailbox.

    I love the way you describe the character

  3. This seems to be one of those books that people either love or hate. I have my issues with it, but overall, I really, really liked it. The only bad thing is now we have to wait patiently for the sequel. *Sigh*