Delirium #1 by Lauren Oliver
February 1st 2011
Review: It was only a few months ago that I slaved my my way through Before I Fall so it's come as a complete surprise that Delirium is a stand-out amongst my usual reading choices especially since I've never really been interested in dystopia and now want to attempt many more novels of the sort!
In Lauren Oliver's second novel, we are thrown into a futuristically devastating version of Portland, USA where love is a deadly virus to be feared and despised. At the age of eighteen, each member of the community is administered with a painful tranquilizer to cure them of all love symptoms including but not limited to; fits of dizziness, periods of despair, difficulty breathing and ultimately death; but not before being examined and paired with your marriage partner of equal intelligence, appearance and personality.
Luckily, we have Lena to guide us through the bleak world who brings a level of realism and honesty not as often seen in YA as we'd like. Lena has always felt a little unsure about the procedure because her now passed away mother was a sympathizer and on the days and weeks leading up to the surgery, Lena starts to take more risks; going to parties, listening to illegal music for the first time and staying out past the city's curfew for uncureds.
On her travels, she meets a boy named Alex who lures her in with his kindness and good-looks. She could easily be executed for simply talking to an uncured male so they spend their days hiding indoors at 37 Brooks Street, an old colonial home that's since been boarded up, playing Scrabble and drinking soda together. She seriously starts to question whether she'll be able to go through with the procedure to live her life without any real feelings running through her body or if she could really live in the wilds beyond the electrified fence keeping in all her friends and family.
If you breakdown the story, Lena is not unlike most teenagers who feel adulthood looming after high school graduation. She seriously starts to question every thought and feeling she's ever held and contemplates whether her family's beliefs are really for her. She tries to squeeze out every inch of her childhood by attempting all sorts of new activities and then falls right into maturity with her first real romance before college. If only most of these things weren't illegal for Lena.
Overall, I really enjoyed Delirium but did find it just a tad too descriptive for my liking and would've preferred if it was cut down a little shorter as it was quite a thick book for me but I'm really just picking for the sake of it and will endeavor to find the sequel, Pandemonium in 2012.
Cover Art: At first glance, the cover might seem a bit plain but once you take a closer look, you'll notice a really intricate design in the lettering of the book tile and authors name as both are filled with the face of an unconscious girl which should greatly help attract new readers to this book while it sits in bookstores and on library shelves.