Monday, April 11, 2011

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

DeliriumBefore 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.
-Synopsis from Goodreads

Love as a disease? This concept is what really drew me to this book. This dystopian novel is set in a future where love is declared as the most dangerous thing possible and the public at large is completely brainwashed. The main character Lena is right there with them. She's seen the government's propaganda detailing the misery that love causes, people dragging, screaming, to receive their cure, a woman who had flung herself off the roof of the laboratory rather than submit. Her own mother had issues with the cure and Lena is fearful of contracting this madness.

As the book starts, Lena can't wait until she can be cured and is counting down the days. Lena is your typical 'good girl' happy to go along with the status quo and toe the line. It's not till something strange happens during an examination that Lena begins to challenge her view on the world. When she meets Alex, a security guard who is not all that he seems, her world view is shattered. 

Having been deprived of almost all contact with members of the opposite sex, it's easy to see how Lena and Alex would fall so quickly into love. I think anyone who has experienced the thrill of first love would agree that it does, in fact, make you crazy and it's all consuming. Despite all her warnings and fear, Lena is no different. Soon she's risking her very life for just a few minutes alone with Alex. There isn't a whole lot of 'heat' between the two but since they are living in a world where a simple touch can ruin both their lives, the lack of heat is understandable. The entire community is emotionally stilted so it makes sense that these kids are not exactly burning down the neighborhood with their passion. 

I thought the book as a whole was fantastic. Funnily enough, despite it's premise, I felt this book actually captured the insanity and breathlessness of falling into love for the first time really well. It made me think about how I would feel, had love been removed from the vocabulary of my emotions and it's truly a scary thought. Sure, my life would have probably been a little easier and I would have been spared an endless amount of pain and heartbreak but I wouldn't change that for the world. 


Melissa said...

this was such a great book! Great review glad you enjoyed it!

Natalie said...

Great review! I loved Delirium and I agree 100% with your last sentence!

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