Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Review: Delirium (#1) by Lauren Oliver

Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: Feb 1, 2011
Hardcover: 448 pages 
Published: Feb 1, 2011

GoodReads Summary: 
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

My thoughts:
Amor Deliria Nervosa...Who would have thought of love as a disease, a fatal one at that?  Since the cure has been implemented the divorce, crime and drug rates in the United States have all dropped dramatically. The people are oppressed and controlled completely by the government, but they don't seem to mind. "The cure" makes everyone docile and seemingly happy. No one has the heart to rebel.

Lena has been looking forward to her procedure for as long as she can remember. Her mother committed suicide because of the Deliria. She wants to avoid that same fate at all costs. Enter Alex. We've all been there, one smile, one wink is all it takes...

A dystopian romance that's filled with action! What's not to love?

The imagery Lauren Oliver uses to describe this dystopian world is breathtaking. I adored the depiction of the abandoned neighborhoods, especially the house that they spent so much time at. I could see the overgrown garden and the starry skies vividly. Her descriptions were gorgeous.

I also really enjoyed the story with Lena's Mom. It intertwined with the romance well and gave it a different twist.  The descriptions of the jail was so realistic I felt like I could smell the stench myself. I'm definitely very interested in hearing more about this part of the story in book two (Yes! There will be a second and a THIRD book!).

The romance in this story was amazing. It's been quite awhile since I've been able to fall for the love interest in a YA novel. Either they are too brooding, too mean, too annoying, not emotionally available etc. Alex seemed to truly care about Lena and yes, he slightly made me swoon. He was sweet and believable.

 I understand that this was of course necessary to the story, but the coldness between family members really irked me. When someone is given "the procedure", the ability to love is not taken only from a romantic relationship, but it also takes the love that a mother would have for her children or the love between brothers and sisters. It was sad to see how coldly Lena's sister acted towards her. The past memories that Lena had of her mother and sister laughing and playing together were wonderfully written. It broke my heart to think of mothers that do not LOVE their children, but who are just bound by duty to take care of them. 

I love the beginning of each chapter that includes a few lines from the "textbooks" of this new dystopian world. One of the reasons I read every dystopian novel I can get my hands on is the world-building! Why is the country like this? Who took over? War? Disease? Famine? Politics?  It seemed a little vague to me and I could have done with a little more detail.  People have been struggling with love since time began, it seems to be an essential part of humanity. I can't imagine why everyone would so willingly submit to a procedure to cure them of all kinds of love. 

THE ENDING! OH THE ENDING! Why!? The last sentence of the book left me reeling. It's been stuck in my head ever since I read it. It's the 2000's Romeo and Juliet. What an explosive cliffhanger! I was expecting the action to dwindle away in the last few pages of the book like most stories tend to. Maybe give it a nice wrap-up and happy thoughts for the second book....Lauren Oliver did exactly the opposite. She completely pulled the rug out from under me and left me in tears. WHAT JUST HAPPENED!?! I had to go back and re-read the last few pages. DID THAT REALLY HAPPEN?! WHAT?!  Do we really I have to wait til 2012 for Pandemonium (Book #2!)?

The last sentence has resonated with me since I put the book down. This is one of the best love stories I've read in a long time! 

Judge a Book By It's Cover: I am a sucker for the swirly fonts. Pretty cover. Nothing spectacular. The story is better.

Who will like this: Dystopian lovers (of course), anyone who wants to read a good love story.

What it reminded me of:  Matched meets Romeo and Juliet.

I rate this4.5/5.0 Stars!

Delirium will be released February 1, 2011! 

GoodReadsAmazonHarperTeen | Author's Website

Disclosure: I received an Advanced Reader Copy courtesy of HarperCollins and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


  1. Awesome review!!! I seriously cannot stop thinking about this book. Can't wait to buy a copy when it comes out!

  2. I recently read this book as well and I've to agree with what you said up there! I seriously wish that the ending would be different but I guess it won't be as impactful if it is being done otherwise. SO good! Cannot help wondering what Lauren will have for us in the next book.

    I'm here from the Book Review Wednesday =)

  3. I'm with you on this one; I really really liked it, and the romance was spot-on. And the ending .. Oh! I gave this to Not-So-Bebe-Girl and she tore through it, although she was sad at the ending .. she says that it would make a good movie. My review is not up yet, but it was definitely worth the hype.

  4. I tweeted about this awesome review! Thanks for linking to the party.


  5. HA! The ending was definitely a surprise for me, too!! :)
    - Alyssa of Redhead Heroines
    Book Review of "Delirium" by Lauren Oliver

  6. I'm not a big dystopian fan usually. I find it too depressing, but I've been curious about this book for a long time. I may have to check it out.

    GFC - Amber Lane