Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Review of Delirium by Lauren Oliver


    Author:Lauren Oliver
    Length:441 Pages
    Paperback, borrowed from a friend
    Rating:4.25 Brownies



GoodReads Synopsis:

        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 government 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.

        Delirium leaves the readers with lingering feelings of both sadness and hope; it will stay with them long after the last page is turned.

My Review:

 It's been a nice chunk of time since my last review, so I'm going to jump right in here.

        I went into Delirium with a pretty foggy idea of what the book was actually about. All I knew for certain was that it had something to do with a society devoid of love--That's all. So you could imagine why I was hesitant to invest time in it; it seemed like it would be the ultimate sap-fest.

I can say with certainty now that I can no longer trust my book intuition.

        Delirium was not, in any way shape or form, just a sap-fest. Rather, it's a glorious exploration of what the world would be like if love were to be prohibited, and how one girl manages to discover its power before she, too, succumbs to the lackluster life that those around her place on such a high pedestal. I won't deny the corniness seeping from that statement, but I won't erase it either. Oliver presents it so masterfully that the concept doesn't branch off into corn-city, but still manages to instill the message of the story deep within you. It's quite beautiful, actually.

        One of the things that really sold Delirium for me were the tidbits of propaganda and text excerpts--taken from various documents and children's rhymes circulated around the society of Delirium -- given at the beginning of each chapter. These little wonderful additions pulled me into the society, and helped me to see how such a seemingly absurd walk of life could be... plausible. Practical, even, in the eyes of people that have never, and could never, experience the joys of love. It makes the whole mass-brain-washing more believable, and worse, forces you to see the power of using fear as a way to persuade and control people.

Anyway, onto less deep subjects.

        Oliver does a great job with the characters, especially in showing how the structure of society has molded a lot of who they are. Lena, the main character, was nothing special. That said, she was still a pretty solid character, and all of her actions and thoughts made sense to me-- I never felt like slamming my face into  a wall, so brownie points there. The characters I found myself most attached to, though, were Hana and Alex. Hana's the best friend anyone would want; the kind that teases you mercilessly, but at the end of the day, will always have your back. Alex is just... well, Alex. I found that I, too, had fallen in love with him by the end of the book. Granted, that happens to me a lot when it comes to love interests, but that doesn't take away from his special little charm. 

        Now, any review of Delirium is not complete unless the marvelous writing of Lauren Oliver is given special mention. Her words project vibrant images within your mind, pulsing and expanding as though they're living entities. It's easy to get lost in her vivid descriptions, all of them appealing to each of the senses as though crafted to place you directly into Delirium's society. 

Okay, I think I've driven my point home. 

        If I haven't succeeded in convincing you to read Delirium, allow the other countless raving reviews scattered across the internet to finish the job. It's definitely a lovely 441 page ride, one that will fly by and leave you spinning in a whirlpool of emotions with its wake. 


  1. What a brilliant review! You reflect my own feelings towards this book perfectly. I'm glad you liked it too. :)

    1. Thank you! :D It took me awhile to get around to reading it, but I'm so glad I did!