“Delirium” by Lauren Oliver
4 out of 5 stars.
Delirium is the story of a girl named Lena. She’s your average teenage girl, living in a society that believes that love is a disease (if that is what you call average). Deliria nervosa has claimed countless lives, but lucky for Lena the government created a cure, and now she has a chance to survive life without being claimed by the infectious deliria.
Lena is just an average teen who believes that love is a disease, and that love must be eradicated before it infects anyone else. She was the daughter of an infected mother, so she would know first-hand what the deliria’s affects look like. Lena’s greatest desire is to be cured, and she is anxious for her eighteenth birthday: the day her cure will be administered.
Lena’s mind is made up, she will be cured, but then he arrives and with him comes trouble. As Lena and Alex are thrown into the unknown sea of life, they find together something that they never should have: love. Everything Lena has ever known, everything she believed in is shaken with this revelation. Why did her society teach her that love was a disease? What could be so threatening about it? And as the questions go unanswered her and Alex’s love is tried on every side. They only have so much time, barely a few months until her procedure, only a little while longer and then their time together will disappear along with the memory of their love. Can Lena endure her decision to be cured, or can she find a way to escape? Can she find a place safe enough, free enough to love freely?
Delirium was one of the first books of 2012 that just blew my mind. Lauren Oliver is an amazing author in that her concept for the Delirium trilogy is great, and also the way she writes is fantastic. While reading Delirium I found myself fascinated despite the fact that it started out slower. I mean the concept that love is illegal is very interesting and that the government punishes anyone who is even in consorts with it. Crazy! I also felt that Oliver did a great job of developing Lena as a character. In the beginning she is a hard-core “cure” believer. Having a “diseased” mother might do that to you. But Lena was great in the fact that she didn’t change immediately; on her first encounter with Alex she is extremely wary of him. It is frowned upon in her society to be around men (if you are a girl, obviously) and they are not cured. Though Alex is cured, she is still careful by nature but she is also still a curious teenage girl. He’s not like the others, and as time passes and she sees him more often, her walls start to break down and then she starts to change. It wasn’t this immediate “Oh, it was love at first sight!” thing. It was a little faster (because she only had so much time) than I normally like but it was realistic enough.
I also thought Lauren Oliver did a pretty good job on creating a fairly likable guy in Alex. I mean, he was interesting and nice, and I liked him but I wasn’t in love with his character; he’s just not my type. Obviously, though, Lauren created a great guy character for most people (girls are die-hard Alex fans most of the time), and she did an amazing job of creating a memorable and intriguing society. Overall, Delirium was a hit for me. It was interesting and new conceptually for a dystopian. Bravo!