Christina (Reading Extensively)'s Reviews > Delirium

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
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Dec 29, 10

bookshelves: read2010, romance, ya
Read in December, 2010

Delirium is a thought provoking utopian novel along the same vein as Matched by Ally Condie or The Giver by Lois Lowry. The world that Lena lives in is a frightening place where adults have been lobotomized. Not only romantic love but also familial love is absent from those who are "cured". They no longer show affection for their parents, siblings, or friends. Their lives are passionless and uniform. In contrast, the young people who are "uncured" show compassion and have dreams.

Lena is a sympathetic heroine. She is an orphan and she is somewhat ostracized by members of her community because of her mother's suicide. The caring that she shows to her young cousin Grace, also an orphan, is touching especially compared to the way the rest of the family treats Grace. In some ways, Lena is reminiscent of Gabrielle from The Dead Tossed Waves. At times I was a little frustrated with Lena because she seemed so afraid to even listen to the "wrong kind" of music but after she meets Alex and begins to change, I liked her more and more.

There is a similarity between Delirium and Matched by Ally Condie but Delirium raises the stakes. The characters in Matched signed over their decision making to the powers in charge but they are still capable of love and families care about each other. In Delirium the citizens don't get to make very many choices but in addition to that must submit to a procedure that alters who they are completely and leaves them incapable of love. This adds an intensity to the romance between Lena and Alex because time is running out for them. The world building was also superb and almost made me wish for a sequel. With this novel Lauren Oliver proves again that she is a talented author who can write spellbinding and emotional novels that stay with you long after the last page.

Readalikes: Matched by Ally Condie, The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan, The Giver by Lois Lowry, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
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