Thursday, January 13, 2011

review: Deliruim by Lauren Oliver

pub date: February 1, 2011
publisher: HarperTeen
pgs: 440 pgs
source: NetGalley
content: some swearing (two f-bombs)

blurb from 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.

If I were to describe Delirium in one word, it would be the word BEAUTIFUL. Everything is beautiful--the characters, with their imperfections and struggles and the way they grow throughout the book. The descriptions of this cold, dystopic world are amazing. As I was reading I was astounded at Lauren Oliver's detailed descriptions of people, places, and Lena's past. I felt like I'd been to this city she was describing, that I knew these people. It was real. Absolutely beautiful. Every aspect of this story amazed me.

I bought into this future world. What helped were the book quotes at the beginning of each chapter. They read like real quotes from text books and sounded like real nursery rhymes. I could believe that the texts really existed that these quotes came from. 

I liked Lena. She was a heroine who was short and awkward and quiet and insecure and normal. I felt her struggle. She was invested in this society, and for many good reasons, not the least of which is that she'll get matched to her husband because she's afraid no one would pick her without being assigned. Yet when everything she believed in slowly chips away and falls apart, she accepts the challenge to rise above it. I loved her. 

I also thought the love story was well done and well paced. Lena has been so brainwashed into believing in the cure, that she needed some time to have a paradigm shift and it worked.

Having said all of that, I thought it began slowly. I was a third of the way through before I felt something was actually happening. As beautiful as the descriptions were, sometimes they got a little long for me and I would have to skim.

Over all, 4.5 stars. But since I don't give out halves, I'll round up to 5.

A funny story: Reading Delirium, I felt a lot of different emotions--hope, fear, romance. Near the end, it was mostly panic. As pages ran out, I was getting more worried about how Lena's story would end. I reached the last chapter and was completely horrified. NOOOOOOOOO! My heart broke. I kind of hated the book.
UNTIL I read online that Delirium was the first in a trilogy. Oh. I had no idea. The whole time I was reading I thought it was a stand alone. Once I realized I wasn't saying, "goodbye forever," just "see you next year," my heart healed. And I love this book.

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