Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Book Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Delirium (Delirium #1)
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publication Date: February 3, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 441
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In an alternate United States, love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called the Cure. Living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in Portland, Maine, Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. She watched love destroy her mother and isn't about to make the same mistake.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena meets enigmatic Alex, a boy from the "Wilds" who lives under the government's radar. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?

Delirium has been on my radar for years, but I never quite felt like it was something I HAD to read. Recently I've been on a bit of a dystopian kick and have not been able to find nearly enough good options. When I came across this book at my library, I decided to finally give it a try and now I'm kicking myself for taking so long!

Lena lives in Portland, a city behind walls where love is a disease and everyone is cured as close to their 18th birthday as possible. Lena has spent her life segregated from uncured males and eagerly counts the days until she can be cured. The people of this world are constantly monitored and going against the status quo is strictly forbidden and something Lena would never dream of doing. At least, until she meets Alex.

I adored Lena so much! She spent her life being indoctrinated into a certain line of thought and fought hard against ideas that went against her beliefs, which is so much more believable than characters who flip flop with no hesitation. I loved her fear and that she had to be dragged kicking and screaming towards the truth. It made it feel so real! But I loved how strong she remained while her world was turned upside down and I loved her relationship with Alex. He was a perfectly swoon-worthy dystopian love interest and I really enjoyed getting to know him and his backstory.

Honestly, all of the characters in this book were incredibly well-written. The "cured" adults were creepy and devoid of all emotion and I loved watching Lena come to that realization. The relationship between Lena and Hana was another favorite. I'm really hoping to learn more about Hana in a future book, but I have no idea if that's the direction the series will go!

Like the adults, the world of Delirium was really disturbing and well fleshed out. I wish that there was a bit more info on how the world decided that love was a disease and why, but Lauren Oliver actually did a pretty good job of explaining the development of the cure. I was also super intrigued by the Wilds and how the people in the cities pretended they didn't even exist. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess.

Delirium was my first Lauren Oliver book, but it definitely won't be my last. I've already started Pandemonium and I'm planning to check out the rest of her backlog. If you're a fan of dystopian YA and haven't read this yet, I highly recommend getting yourself a copy. Just make sure you have book two on hand because that ending is brutal!