August 15, 2011

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

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.

Oh. My. Goodness. This book was amazing and breathtaking and astounding. Basically, this book was any fantastic word you can think up. The beauty that Oliver is able to conjure up from a world so lifeless and dull is fantastic.

At first I thought Lena was too average and I couldn't possibly imagine her ever doing anything to the contrary of what she's always known. Slowly, though, she transforms. And it's perfect. It doesn't feel forced or at all wrong. And of course, I was sympathizing with her the whole way. How can one not sympathize when love is in question? In a world where a love for one's children doesn't even exist it still manages to rise up and take hold of some people. I almost wanted to shout for joy when love started grabbing hold of Lena.

Delirium is amazingly well crafted. I loved all the little snippets at the beginning of chapters that were from books and writings that only existed in this made-up world. It's little touches like that which make it real and truly draw the reader in. The disease itself is incredibly believable. At one point it lists all the symptoms and I couldn't help but thinking it does sound exactly like a disease. With all the diseases that scientists are constantly "identifying" it seems only a matter of time before things we take for granted become known as a disease as well.

The writing is simply beautiful. I was devouring yet savoring each and every little word because they were all special. I wrote down one of the things that struck me near the beginning: "[bright buildings] glistening like teeth over the slurping mouth of the ocean." There's so much more like that, but you'll just have to read it and find out for yourself.

Final thoughts: I can't say enough good things about Delirium. It was amazing and thought-provoking. And you seriously have to read this book. Be prepared for an awesome cliffhanger, though. It left me seriously antsy for Pandemonium.

Publisher: HarperTeen
Publish Date: February 2011
Pages: 441
Series: Delirium #1
Rating: 5 stars

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