It was extremely interesting and at the same time intimidating to read and to picture this system The author s writing style is one the most powerful tools, as it facilitates the readers to imagine and to be an inseparable part of the amor deliria nervosa world Her descriptions are so realistic and so stunning that the story absorbs completely the mind and the emotions of the audience, making it impossible to put this book down.
One point that I cannot overlook, is the beginning of each chapter Oliver gives us some history about the world that she brings into life through some made up historical, religious facts Those facts add to the story some reasoning and comprehension, as they make it easy to understand all the struggle of our main characters to feel what they try, so desperately, to suppress.
Personally, the most dreadful moment that made me conceive the author s massage wholly, was the parents behaviour towards their children To put it differently, they were cold and apathetic like robots or even worse This moment send chills through all my body for the frightful and unbearable thought, that maybe the world that Oliver describes, is not as imaginary as it may seem.
There are many aspects in the real life, which can be compared to the Lauren s fictional world Indeed, there are so many people who prefer to live on the autopilot in order to avoid not only love but also the change in their everyday lives Unfortunately, for many people an ordinary life without a purpose or even the absence of the willing to have a purpose, is preferable and an easy one to live in The resistance to change and the indifference towards our fellow humans suggest a world, where the inhabitants prefer to stay in their comfort zones and pretend that this is the way things work in the world, and we are not able to change them Yet, we are the ones who have the power to change every injustice.
In the final analysis, this story is not only about the absence of love It is a story about the importance of friendship, family and hope in dark times It is a journey of each one of us, from the fear to feel to the perception of the human essence to be able to experience love, happiness, pain and sadness at their greatest point It teaches us to embrace the difference and to fight for being able to choose our life and our fate, a right which belongs to us since time immemorial.
There are some books written that touch you deeply Stories that work their way stealthily into your heart, and imbeds itself securely there, and refusing to disperse, leaving you utterly breathless and completely captivated with wondrous awe Delirium did this for me There are not many books that can speak to you the way Delirium does books that tug at your heartstrings, and make you believe in the impossible books that can express what love really is an all consuming, brilliantly captivating, wrenchingly heartbreaking power that takes control over you Love that turns your world around, shows you things you never saw before, makes everything brighter and amazing than you ever thought they could be Delirium takes you on the journey of Lena, a normal girl in a loveless society, who is soon immersed in the unthinkable, has found herself facing the most deadly thing ever known to mankind Love Lena begins to explore this completely new and forbidden emotion An emotion that people shun and fear An emotion that could get her killed And in the end, she is tried than she could have possibly imagined My heart breaks for her, and yet it soars with hers as she discovers this whole new, enthralling world Delirium is such a uniquely, enchanting, astounding story It was beautifully written, brilliantly told And the ending I don t know if I ve read a heartbreaking, incredible ending The last several pages I was on the edge I couldn t read fast enough The story had me captive, refusing to let go until the very last word I don t know how I can possibly wait until 2012 for Pandemonium to come out When February 1 rolls around, get your hands on this book, and don t let go Prepare yourself for a wonderful, beautiful love story that hopefully touches you the way it did me.
Thank you, thank you for Netgalley and HarperCollins for letting me read this arc It was incredible.
Update 5 25 11 Delirium is being made into a movie Brilliant That completely just made my day D In An Alternate United States, Love Has Been Declared A Dangerous Disease, And The Government Forces Everyone Who Reaches Eighteen To Have A Procedure Called The Cure Living With Her Aunt, Uncle, And Cousins In Portland, Maine, Lena Haloway Is Very Much Looking Forward To Being Cured And Living A Safe, Predictable Life She Watched Love Destroy Her Mother And Isn T About To Make The Same MistakeBut With Ninety Five Days Left Until Her Treatment, Lena Meets Enigmatic Alex, A Boy From The Wilds Who Lives Under The Government S Radar What Will Happen If They Do The Unthinkable And Fall In Love December 2011 review I adored Delirium when I first read and reviewed it, which was back in February I had limited experience with dystopia, only having read Matched, The Hunger Games, and Uglies, but Delirium made it one of favourite genres I ve come across many young dystopian novels since then, and having re read Delirium, I can safely say that it is still one of my favourites and one of the best books I ve read this year.
Although Delirium is a dystopian novel, it is first and foremost a love story it doesn t pretend to be anything else At eighteen years old, citizens of the USA legally must undergo a procedure a cure that will result in the them being unable to love anyone ever again, whether it may be a partner, friend or family When Alex enters her life, Lena must fight for the right to love whomever she wishes.
One of the things that I didn t mention in my previous review, that really struck me about the novel, is the writing Lauren Oliver has a talent for using the most beautiful, rich language and imagery to capture a moment perfectly When I m reading novels, I try to picture the scenes in my head and sometimes it becomes blurry I try to focus on it but the author hasn t provided enough detail for me to do so Lauren Oliver is the complete opposite She expertly describes every single scene so that the image in my head comes out crystal clear, from the description of the setting to Lena s emotionsThe water is an enormous mirror, tipped with and pink and gold from the sky In that single, blazing moment as I came around the bend, the sun curved over the dip of the horizon like a solid gold archway lets out its final winking rays of light, shattering the darkness of the water, turning everything white for a fraction of a second, and then falls away, sinking, dragging the pink and the red and the purple out of the sky with it, all the colour bleeding away instantly and leaving only dark.
Alex was right It was gorgeous one of the best I ve ever seenAnother thing I did not pay enough attention to before because I was eagerly rushing trough the story is the small fragments of society the quotation of official documents, rules and regulations, children s songs, and poetry, which help the reader to mentally construct and imagine the world that Lauren Oliver has created Even though the story mostly focuses on Lena and Alex s relationship and the things they discover about each other, we re constantly aware that they live in a restrictive and severely controlled society Delirium is a wonderfully emotional, heartbreaking love story set in a dystopian future It s both a gritty and mellow experience If you ve not yet jumped on to the dystopian bandwagon, I d suggest that reading Delirium is a very good start indeedLove, the deadliest of all deadly things it kills you both when you have it and when you don t original February 2011 review This book has 400 pages and I finished in less than 24 hours That already should tell you how much I loved it I found Delirium to be a mixture ofThe Hunger GamesandMatchedThe premise of Delirium is that this particular dystopian society sees love or amor deliria nervosa as a disease that needs to be cured by an operation on the brain Lena, our protagonist, is nearly 18 years old the age requirement for having the operation and is nervous yet excited about her upcoming procedure until she meets Alex Delirium is similar to Matched in that citizens do not have a say in who they spend the rest of their life with The government Officials in Matched, Regulators in Delirium choose who a person is matched with and there is no freedom of choice However, this particular society goes even further and attempts to ensure that a person will never love again This, according to the Regulators, will make the world a better place everyone will be happier and safer because love is nothing but destructive I personally found Delirium to be much heartbreaking and emotional than Matched and the storyline took a lot less time to develop The characters rebellion and resistance to control as with all dystopian novels begins a lot earlier in the novel and this is where the similarities to The Hunger Games begin This is where we witness the brutality and cruelty of those in charge of these future societies.
However, all three novels are fantastic in their own way and Delirium offers yet another unique look at how a dystopian society could be It made me want to read even dystopian literature and I did not feel like I was reading recycled material I definitely recommend this to people who are already fans of young adult dystopian literature And if you haven t read it before Do it You ll become addicted and emotionally involved in this wonderfully exciting but terrifying genre I cannot wait to readPandemoniumthe second novel in the series trilogy I m just sad that I have to wait until 2012 Thank you Hodder for sending me this book to review Dystopian or Not Dystopian Dystopian I also reviewed this book over on Pretty books.
Such a good book I loved the whole idea of the world even though I found it depressing It was such a unique concept There were times when I found myself being annoyed with Lena I kept thinking to myself Lena, shut up , but I grew to really like her character towards the end Also what the heck was that ending WHY DID YOU DO THAT LAUREN OLIVER YOU HURT MY HEART Oh and can I get Hana Tate please 2 5Dystopian fiction, particularly the young adult kind, is plummeting downhill at 100 mile an hour.
5 3I hate skin I hate bones and bodies I want to curl up inside of him and be carried there forever Earlier this year, I fell in love with Lauren Oliver s debut, Before I Fall So understandably, I was very excited to hear about her next book, Delirium A dystopian world where love is a disease, written by the clearly very talented Oliver Yeah, I can get behind that I settled in to wait the long, cruel months until the February release date, when I got a surprise package in the mail from the Polish Outlander her ARC of Delirium Imagine my delight I held off reading it for a few days, just to give myself some distance from Matched, which has a very similar concept, and which I d just finished But I didn t want to wait too long, so, similarities be damned, I went ahead and read it.
I m going to try to not keep comparing this to Matched, which isn t fair Matched had its own review, after all but I do have to say that, though each is its own thing, the similarities are pretty strong, and my reaction to each was the same I wanted so much than I got.
Lest you think this review is wholly negative, let me start with the things I did like I love the concept, and think it has the potential to be really powerful and fascinating There is a flow to it most of the time that kept me reading even when I was frustrated by other things And there are these moments that shine through, these beautiful little word gems that Oliver creates, that reminds me of why I loved Before I Fall, and why I was so excited to read this.
But I was so very, very excited for this that I think I was even let down by it than Matched, which was also something I was eager for Before I Fall was fresh and compelling, and I felt like so much of Oliver, so much heart and so much work, went into it I didn t feel the same about Delirium I m not going to accuse Oliver of selling out or hopping on a trend, but I do wonder how much passion was behind this story It seemed sort of sloppy and yes, I know, I read an ARC, and that may account for some of it But there were so many inconsistencies and questions I had that I couldn t ever commit I could only go along so far until logic would intrude I would be forced to ask myself things like, If Lena was just bitten badly in the leg by a dog, why does Alex kissing her seem to erase not only any pain, but even any mention of the bite, until it s like an afterthought How does her family not notice that either a she s wearing pants in the middle of sweltering August, and limping, or b she s not wearing pants and the scar is showing and she s limping Because it has to be one of those 2 things And though the cure may not make them care for her safety so much, it doesn t take away their suspicious natures Also, setting aside the fact that she walked home, how did they just walk home Just like that With raiding parties everywhere, and her bitten terribly, they just strolled on home, illegally, down the street How do they get away with all the shit they get away with, in this repressive society Hmm Things like this were peppered throughout the story, and they just made it nearly impossible to buy in to what was going on.
Smaller things, too, like words and phrases and things we have now that I don t see any use for, or don t believably buy would be in the world Oliver created And, of course, the much bigger things, like how did all this the discovery of the deliria , the cure, the restrictions, the beliefs, all of it come to be I know it may not be what Lauren intended, but with such a seemingly science influenced dystopia, I need some good scientific reasoning, some evidence real or gov t created that backs everything up, some explanation or plausible scenario that lets this total overhaul of human beliefs and passions come to be in a matter of 60 years or so That s a very, VERY brief period of time for such a huge and total change to take place, so I need reality to intrude a little I need either some hints of a really big conspiracy, or something so huge and devastating that people as a whole almost go into a state of shock or numbness that allows this to happen Because, as a general rule, people don t willingly submit to mass lobotomies or the eradication of their feelings for the people they love or hate without some serious something acting as a catalyst Petty strife and crimes of passion may make you think of Eternal Sunshining your mind spotless, but in an abstract, angry, wouldn t it be lovely kind of way, and not a bring on the procedure kind of way Some science, some history, some dogma, some thing beyond the sometimes eerie, sometimes meh snippets of texts that start every chapter, would have gone a long way toward helping me willingly suspend my disbelief.
But even if I could have set the worldbuilding and believability aside no easy task in a concept novel like this for it to be saved, the characters and plot would have had to really shine.
But I felt like everything was a little wooden, a little cardboard, a little less than believable and real The love interest, Alex, was okay enough, but why should Lena care about him, and why should I I understand why he cares about Lena, but that s not something we really find out until Lena is already head over heels infected in love, and I don t understand how she got there As a reader, in order to take that leap with a character, we need to know why, we need to feel it All I got was that he was a boy who payed attention to her, he winked, he smiled, he seemed a bit smarmy and she s hooked Now, yes, I get that s enough for a teenage infatuation, and it may be heightened by the taboo nature of it I even get that his easy manner reminded Lena of her mother, who was incurable.
But for Lena, who has always been terrified of the deliria, which tore her world apart, and who has always looked forward to her procedure, and been so afraid of stepping out of the box, who is afraid to say, to even hear, the word love for her to completely flip and become reckless and passionate and all the other stuff that comes with being the things she s always fearedhmm The only way this really works for me, the only thing that would make me buy it and appreciate it, was if it took the slant that the deliria was real and she d become infected Otherwise, I have no choice but to think this is a cheesy, run of the mill YA romance where one look from a guy makes a girl throw her entire being out the window and become a swooning, fluttery mess with no relation to the person she once was, and who would die for the roguish boy she knows nothing about Which is, apparently, what every teenage girl is secretly waiting to do.
Maybe the deliria is real Reviewed December 19th, 2010 Before I begin, let me start by warning anyone who has placed this book on their To read Shelf Do not plan on accomplishing anything productive for approximately 24 hours after starting the book You have been warned And for anyone who did not read this warning in time, you are than welcome to join my sleep deprived sob fest If only I knew what I was getting myself into when I first picked up the book.
For the past sixty four years, love was considered a disease which impaired reason and posed a threat to society A cure was established to protect United States citizens from the debilitating effects of the illness At the age of 18, each person is required to undergo a procedure, permanently curing them from the sickness The story follows 18 year old Lena Haloway, who grew up in Portland, Maine with her aunt and uncle Lena anxiously counts down the days until her procedure, anticipating the moment she can join the other cureds with excitement This excitement quickly fades as Lena herself succumbs to the disease, becoming hopelessly entangled in a forbidden romance.
I have to admire Oliver for the creative spin she placed on American society when establishing this dystopian world She managed to create a plausible universe in which love had been almost completely eradicated I felt a pang of sorrow each time Oliver highlighted the emotionless shell of a community in which parents exhibited no compassion for their children and married couples exchanged no signs of affection for one another Such examples reveal the underlying theme a life without love is not worth living.
More importantly, Oliver s writing was flawless She vividly described each scene, allowing readers to visualise each event as it occurred Through her writing, Oliver also evokes a vast array of emotions from her readers When Lena is enraged, readers are fuming When she breaks down, crying hysterically, readers are right there, sobbing along with her Her feelings of love, betrayal, and loss transcend all boundaries, lodging themselves in the hearts of readers around the world.
Lena s characterization, although less than stellar at times, does have its perks Above all, Lena treasures her family and friends She is terrified at the thought of losing her best friend, Hana, after her procedure Lena, like the rest of society, was convinced that love was dangerous and potentially life threatening After experiencing the effects of the disease firsthand, she comes to the startling realization that love is harmless Lena was determined to discover the truth, no matter how heartbreaking the truth may be.
On the other hand, Lena is not the epitome of perfection no properly characterized protagonist should be She struggles to move on from her past, particularly her mother s suicide Her mother gave up her life for the ones she loved, and Lena is than willing to do the same But she continues to visualize her mother leaping from a cliff and slowly falling into the tumultuous waters below a rather frequently mentioned event throughout the book Additionally, Lena compares herself to a princess who is waiting for her prince to save her Yes, she outright states this comparison and is not ashamed to do so Unfortunately, the concept of a damsel in distress does not appeal to the majority of teens in this day and age, myself included They would prefer to read about a strong, independent, female protagonist who does not rely on others to come to her rescue I think we ve all outgrown Disney movies at this point.
Lastly, there was the slightly overwhelming ending that left me shaking and speechless My mother was only slightly concerned when she found me sitting on the floor, rocking back and forth and suffering from mild shock To avoid giving away the ending, let s just say it was unexpected Life changing Devastating Shall I continue, or let you form your own opinionLove, the deadliest of all deadly things It kills you both when you have it and when you don t
It is clear, the new genre of dystopian romance is here to stay Apparently, paranormal romance formula I can t be with you cause I might kill you is getting old, so now we will be bombarded with trilogies showcasing new formula I can t be with you cause this bad dystopian world is tearing us apart Ugh And why did Lauren Oliver decide to dabble in this genre instead of sticking to what she knows best I am trying to be nice here, but Oliver has no talent for speculative fiction I worry about this career choice of hers, because as of now she, as an author, is lost to me for at least 3 years I am not interested in Delirium books.
I love dystopias, I love how authors take current social and political trends and extrapolate them into future showing to us what can happen if these trends persist The versions of future envisioned by Margaret Atwood built upon consequences of excessive genetic engineering or Paolo Bacigalupi s upon global warming and exhaustion of natural resources are plausible and horrifying Lauren Oliver s dystopia is based on a premise that love is considered to be a serious, life threatening sickness, and thus outlawed Outlawing love, apparently, solves all world problems Now, I can buy a world where strong emotions are suppressed see The Giver People in such world would be subdued and docile, and thus lack drive for power and violence But love Really The characters in this book cured of love, still get aggravated, annoyed, worried They just don t love their spouses and kids And retain almost all other emotions.
And the horrible consequences such premise brings about neighborhood patrols, segregated by sex schools, arranged marriages, the horror If, according to the author, this society is so constrictive, why is it so easy for teens to avoid curfews, to have parties with alcohol, to meet up in abandoned houses for some schmexy times, to fake being cured of love, to breach supposedly guarded borders What is written to be scary and menacing in the Delirium s society just isn t As a dystopia, this novel fails completely The only aspect of the setting that is interesting is that how author twists Christian mythos to adapt to the love is a dangerous sickness premise.
The focus of the story, and an excuse to write this dystopia, is, of course, a romance I wish I could say I enjoyed at least this aspect of Delirium, but I didn t really It is mildly exciting than the one in Matched, slightly steamier, and at least doesn t have a love triangle yet But there is still a self insert main character shy, ordinary, plain and the main male emo squeeze, quoting poetry, who falls for her anyway I am exhausted by this arrangement Authors, why don t you write books about something a little important than a month old teen romance Especially if you choose to create a dystopian novel, which, by definition, encompasses the entire world and supposedly endangers and oppresses all humanity.
I have said this before and I ll say it again I have no prob lem with an implau si ble story vehi cle As long as the ride is good and it relates a moral or philo soph i cal value.
But where the line is drawn is when the world isn t con sis tent and in the con fines of that world, things don t make sense.
That s my limit That s when I start get ting frus trated and annoyed And it s not because an author tried some thing new, okay Lau ren Oliver is AMAZING She is a great author who is eru dite and ver bose and inter est ing to lis ten to I ve seen her speak live and frankly to an audi ence and her abil ity to relate to them and express her self is fantastic.
But this novel still didn t work for me Delir ium, unfor tu nately, failed for me Which is sad den ing, because Lau ren Oliver is a good author and I know, with Delir ium, she was reach ing out and try ing some thing dif fer ent I just wish it had been successful.
Now, here s where it all bug gered up 1 Incon sis tent world building.
The main pro tag o nist says the word love twice Once in con ver sa tion and the sec ond time men tally Love is a con cept that s stig ma tized to such an extreme degree that even the whis pered word sym pa thizer is ver boten Yet the main pro tag o nist SAYS it to her aunt that she LOVES chil dren It just doesn t make sense And she s wan der ing around with Alex and mak ing out with him in pub lic like the con se quence for that is a slap on the wrist Look, she lives in a highly auto cratic world where even a hint of the dis ease will land you in prison and she makes out with her boyfriend in the mid dle of pub lic places.
2 Char ac ter i za tion.
I loved the char ac ter i za tion of Lena I thought it was accu rate and real is tic It s the char ac ter i za tion of Alex that left me hol low and empty He felt like a place holder Sim ply a text book demon stra tion of today s YA expec ta tions of a love inter est Devoted, stalk er ish, sad back story Oliver s love inter est in Before I Fall was so much dynamic even though he com prised a rel a tively small part in the story Alex felt like a def i n i tion of desir able love inter est instead of actu ally being a per son Lena fell in love with.
3 Writ ing.
I never thought I d say this because, in my mind, Oliver is and always will be a fan tas tic writer But there were aspects of the writ ing in this book that were obvi ous, cliche and sim plis tic For exam ple, Lena is emo tion ally stunted but it s an obvi ous par al lel When ever she feels intense emo tion she blames it on the air con di tion ing or weather etc She is the result of a child hood of emo tional detach ment but not really and this is where it gets per sonal for me.
Because, if you don t reli giously read my reviews, then you wouldn t know that my son was almost diag nosed with Attach ment Dis or der Because when my first son was born, I was one of those weird reli gious peo ple that ascribed to books like Baby Wise, etc For the first six months of his life, he barely looked at me in the eye Attach ment dis or der babies are those that, from their infancy, do not expe ri ence con sis tent, lov ing care They are chil dren that learn, early on, that they are not truly loved and this results in a wide swath of behav ioral and emo tional problems.
Lena is the result of a child hood that had a mother who loves her and responded accord ingly to her needs, but other chil dren in the soci ety didn t receive this some thing that I felt was a huge cope out What about the char ac ter i za tion of a per son who wasn t loved Who was a prod uct of the sys tem I feel like this wasn t exam ined enough wasn t inspected enough Like it was han dled by some one who just assumed that chil dren would still reflect some mod icum of nor mal ity after being raised in a world where they aren t being lov ingly raised by peo ple prop erly attached to them And the assump tion that you can have attach ment with out love it s mind bog gling because I kind of feel like she was out of her depth on this one.
It s not Oliver s fault But what I wanted from this is a deeper under stand ing of soci ety from the point of view of some one will ing to delve into a harder, grit tier, real is tic story Some one will ing to ask the tough ques tions and write the tough char ac ter i za tion Instead the novel glosses over a lot of those things and thus felt cheap and shallow.
This review can also be found on our blog, Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.