You Read What? Book Reviews: Delirium
LAUREN OLIVER made her debut with her YA novel, Before I Fall, but it was her dystopic series Delirium that made her a household name. Three books in the series: Delirium, Pandemonium and the last, Requiem, which is expected to come out February 2013.
(Picture of Author: LAUREN OLIVER)
Well, it depends on which cover you’re talking about. When I read Delirium, the cover was a pale blue with the author’s name and title of the novel in big, block letters that had some ribbon/vine action going on to soften it. What really made it cool was the inside of the block letters which featured a girl who looked dazed or “infected” by the deliria. I liked this cover so much more than the new one. The new one feels a bit mainstream whereas the older one has a subtle beauty to it (it’s also more relevant to what the story is about than the new one. The new one is just a pretty girl with some plants placed beside her face).
(Newest Version of the Cover)
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.
[WARNING: Spoilers are featured in this review…]
This story is so unique that I sometimes kick myself for not thinking of it first. How crazy would it be to be cured of love (or amor deliria nervosa as it’s known in the story)? What I LOVE about it is that it’s not unrealistic that people would want to be cured of love since we’ve seen or heard of people who are willing to take their lives after being hurt by it. I also like how it’s not just the romantic type of love that is affected. You have the love of family as shown by the relationship between Lena and her sister who, after being cured, now behaves as though Lena is an acquaintance rather than a sibling. You have the love that comes from friendship which you see depicted beautifully between Lena and Hana but that love, to the reader’s dismay, is at risk as the countdown to Lena’s procedure gets closer.
If you have any critiques of Lauren Oliver’s books, her writing is not among them. She’s a phenomenal writer: technically and poetically. She plays with words beautifully and the best part is that we KNOW her protagonist is an adolescent through how she processes the world around her and NOT through the writing which, some people don’t seem to understand, will come across as immature and amateurish (not to mention annoying after a while).
The characters were okay. The story or the idea of the novel was more intriguing than the characters that inhabited it. Lena, the protagonist, is the person whose head we’re in during the story and I found it to be a mind that didn’t really stir any significant emotion inside me. This might be because I found her to be a bit docile. I liked Hana a lot because of the contrast between herself and Lena but I found Alex to be a cute tool in the story rather than a character. I don’t know why but Lena’s mother was really interesting to me despite knowing her only through Lena’s recollections of her. Her rebellion is seen as a huge infraction in the book but, when you translate her actions into our world, they’re just the little things we take advantage of all the time like little games of hide and seek, a hug there and a kiss here.
Memorable or Forgettable
The uniqueness of the story might stay with me but the characters most definitely will not. I’m leaning towards forgettable despite the beautiful writing because I didn’t feel anything until the end and even then it was because I wanted to know how the plot would progress.
I give this 4 people infected with amor deliria nervosa out of 5
Keep on Reading,
A. A. Omer
The opinions expressed here are mine and readers are welcome to disagree. In fact, I encourage it! I never believed in putting particular books or authors on some sort of universal pedestal but you’re free to put it on your individualized pedestal because I most certainly will.