Saturday, 24 September 2011

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium (Delirium #1) by Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Released: August 2nd 2011
My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

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.
(from Goodreads)

Delirium is a breathtaking and beautiful read, and I can’t believe I waited so long to read it. Set in a world where love, or amor deliria nervosa, is considered to be a deadly disease, Delirium follows the life of Lena Holoway, who is waiting to take the cure that will save her from ever being infected with love. Everyone takes the cure around their eighteenth birthday, and Lena is ninety-five days away from being cured and starting a new life. She’s even looking forward to it – she wants to be completely safe from the disease that killed her mother. But then Lena meets Alex, and suddenly she’s not so sure what she wants anymore.  She likes spending time with Alex – much more than she should – but she knows she can never avoid the cure. Can she finally learn to accept love as more than a disease, just to have it taken away from her?

I absolutely adored Delirium. It was beautifully written and I felt myself completely transported to the world Lauren Oliver created. I thought I was going to find it really difficult to believe that a world where love was considered to be a disease could really exist, but Lauren did a good job of making it seem as believable as possible; every chapter started with little excerpts from important official texts and documents, highlighting the dangers of love, and all the cured people went on and on, explaining all the clinical and scientific reasons love shouldn’t exist. It was easy to see why someone like Lena was so scared of being infected – her whole life, it’d been drilled into her that love was fatal, and to be avoided at all costs. Even so, I found myself really liking Lena. At first, she was just a scared girl, wanting to be happy and thinking the cure could make her life better. But she was smart, and when she started to realise that maybe love wasn’t so bad, she became much stronger, more fearless and started to do things her own way, and I loved her for not being like everyone else and succumbing to society’s expectations. It took guts to be able to break the rules, and I really respected Lena’s courage, because she had to go against everything she’d previously believed in, which was a lot harder than one might expect.

Alex, the guy who changes Lena’s whole life, was another character I really liked. The first couple of times he saw Lena were probably some of the best scenes in the book – he was so cheerful and funny, and I could see why it’d be difficult to stay away from him. I loved his humour and the way he smiled at Lena, and he generally had this whole easy-going attitude that was so refreshing in a world full of such seriousness all the time. The way his relationship with Lena built up was so lovely, and it was great to see Lena’s reactions to all these new experiences with him. He really cared about her, and introduced her to so many new things – I enjoyed every part where they were together, and I loved learning about Alex’s past too, seeing as it was so different in comparison to Lena’s. He was sweet and amazing and would do anything for Lena, and I really took to him. There was just something about the way he winked at Lena the first time they met...:P.

The most interesting character for me was probably Grace, Lena’s little cousin. Grace didn’t speak, and most of her family thought she the reason she didn’t talk was because she was dumb and unable to comprehend what people were saying. Lena, however, was the only one who knew the truth – Grace could in fact talk, and had done so while muttering in her sleep. She was someone Lena regularly confided to, and Lena also knew that Grace wasn’t stupid like everyone thought – she was in fact was very smart, and seem to take in adjust to situations very quickly. She understood what was going on and could react accordingly, and there was just something about some of her actions (especially towards the end of the book) that made me feel that Grace knew a lot more than she let on, and I was very, very curious about her. I have a feeling that she will somehow play an important role in future books, and can’t wait to find out more about her.

Possibly the most exciting part of Delirium was the last few chapters – they were so filled with tension and suspense that my heart was racing almost as much as Lena’s just reading about the crazy action that was going on! I was practically inhaling the pages, itching to find out what would happen next! And that ending – wow. It was like, the mother of all cliffhangers. I did love the last line though – I thought it was awesome, and a clever way to end the book. And guys, I have to mention this – my copy was the special edition, so it contained an excerpt from book two, Pandemonium...I almost died reading that excerpt. It was literally a few pages of awesomeness. Can’t wait to read the whole book!

Overall, Delirium was an amazing, thought-provoking read, with beautiful prose and fabulous characters, and I can’t wait for the sequel to be released! Recommended to dystopian fans, and anyone who likes a good love story :).


  1. I'm so glad you liked this one! I still need to read the copy I have of this book and I'm hoping to get to it soon because I need a read where I "inhale the pages" :)

  2. Loved this one as well. Great review...I like your thoughts on Grace.

  3. I loved this book as well, but I was a little surprised when I found out there's going to be a sequel. I loved the way it ended!

  4. Completely agree with you! I see a lot of people that comment about how Lena was too afraid and not a strong enough character but I have to disagree with that. Like you said, she was a product of her environment and she really turned everything around throughout the novel. Loved Grace and Alex too! Hope we see more of them ;)

    Jealous D;

  5. I'm glad you enjoyed this book. I was a little disappointed in Delirium, but it was nonetheless a great story with an interesting premise. Great review.

  6. fantastic review. i agree and i can't wait to read the sequel too.


  7. Great review Liz! I loved Lena too, I thought she was totally realistic and Grace was such a good character. SO jealous that you've read the Pandemonium exerpt!!

    The Cait Files

  8. ...... well this sucks. I read your review and now I'm totally yearning a reread! *stares at TBR pile and moans* Brilliant review, Liz! I feel the exact same why about everything you touched on. And I definitely feel like Grace is going to play more of a role down the track. And MAN. The ending! TORTURE. *weeps* I'm still insanely jealous you read the excerpt, but at least you satiated my hunger with your teasers :D

    How many more days until Pandemonium again?

  9. Yay! I loved this one so much too! I loved Lauren's writing and also thought she did a really good job at making the concept believable as well!


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