Author: Lauren Oliver
Release Date: February 2011
Published By: HarperTeen
Pages: 441 pages
Goodreads Rating: 4.15 stars
Review: In Lena's world, love - or as it's better known, deliria - is a life-threatening disease. Scientists are able to cure it, but the procedure is only safe for adults, so as soon as citizens turn eighteen, the government has them undergo the treatment. Like anyone else, Lena is afraid of deliria and its horrifying, well-documented symptoms, and can't wait to be cured and live a content, safe existence. Until the unthinkable happens: she contracts deliria. Lena fell in love.
The same lyrical writing that was so prominent in Oliver's debut novel is present in this one as well. Each word flows beautifully to the next, creating heart-rending passages that read like poetry. The perfectly crafted sentences came together to spell out a story of love, of fear, of desire. Though the premise is somewhat unbelievable, Oliver is able to suspend our disbelief in DELIRIUM and shift the focus to the gorgeous prose.
Some readers might be disappointed by the lack of action, although I didn't mind. Many dystopian novels feature a kick-butt protagonist who actively fights throughout the novel to gain rights or lead rebellions, but this book was mainly Lena and her struggle with falling in love. This is not to say she wasn't strong - she remained an independent girl, especially as she realized that the blank, repetitive lives of the "cured" might not be what she wanted.
By the end, there was some action, but it felt natural and worked with the story. I bet there are people who really dislike the ending - I know at least one of my friends hated it - but to me, it was the best possible ending to the book. It was bittersweet, though maybe a little more bitter than sweet, and I did kind of see it coming from Oliver's first book, Before I Fall.
DELIRIUM is the sort of book that can absolutely take your breath away. From the heartbreakingly beautiful story to the heartbreaking beautiful writing, Lauren Oliver crafts a novel unlike any other. It's a long read but it feels like time stops as you read this evocative book, and provides a haunting prediction of the future. This is not one for those who are easily depressed by dark books, but I would recommend this to anyone who's not.