Laura's Reviews > Delirium

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
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Jun 17, 11

bookshelves: apocalypse-dystopian, ya, own-ebook, for-reading-challenges, location-us
Read from June 13 to 16, 2011

My initial reaction is at the bottom, because it still stands. Here is my more thought out review.

In Delirium, society believes that love - or amor deliria nervosa - is a disease that if left unchecked will infect others and lead to death. So the solution was to create a cure that essentially prevents people from having strong feelings about anything and if they're shown to be having strong feelings (laughing, loving, crying, etc.) they're reported and hauled in for another treatment. Naturally there were people who disagreed and therefore they escaped when the cures were being administered. The government set up electrified fences around cities to keep the infected (and I'm not talking 28 Days Later infected), aka Invalids, out. These Invalids live in the Wilds (supposedly) but the government denies they exist still.

This book does its very best and is a resounding success when it makes the reader understand why people were accepting of the cure. This is revealed slowly throughout the book. So at first I was thinking, no freaking way would this EVER happen in real life. We can barely get any sort of legislation passed if it's sort of controversial and this one is basically letting the government control people's emotions and love lives, which is a gross invasion of privacy. So I couldn't understand how people would line up and say, "Yep, that sounds good."

But through Lena, who wholeheartedly believes in the cure, we get to see the things that made her for the cure. We see things from her past regarding her sister or her mom (view spoiler). We see how amor deliria nervosa is really viewed as a disease and we even get little history lessons where it sort of explains what happened in the past to get the cure instated. Of course, I do realize that history books are written by the victors, so I don't know how trustworthy that material is.

There are some things I wondered about because I thought Oliver managed to sort of wave over what otherwise could be problems (view spoiler).

The great thing about this book is that it's a dystopian, so you know that eventually the main character is going to realize what a horrible society she's actually living in and join the resistance or whatever. What I liked was that Lena's change of heart was gradual and even while she's changing she's still scared out of her mind and worrying all the time about break rules. It was realistic. It wasn't like, "I like a cute boy. Oh, you're doing something illegal. I'll totally do that too with you." I enjoyed seeing her struggle because for so long she agreed with society's rules for a reason, she had seen what they were protecting them from, but eventually she begins to see the other side of things too.

The characters were all really enjoyable. I really liked Alex (view spoiler) and I really enjoyed the romance between him and Lena. It was a realistic buildup and it was done wonderfully. And I LOVED the idea of Hana, Lena and Alex hanging out and secretly breaking the rules and being awesome all summer long.

And that ending. Ouch. That's just the way I like them.


Original reaction

I'm completely surprised at how much I liked this book, at how much it took me by surprise and managed to not do the things I was expecting it to do (for the most part). And the ending ... it was like reading the end of Catching Fire (view spoiler).
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Reading Progress

06/13/2011
9.0%
06/15/2011
33.0% "I'm enjoying this book so much more than I expected I would. Every time I think it's going to use some overused YA trope it actually doesn't."
06/15/2011
39.0% "Ugh, I take it back. One of the things I predicted from the start as an obvious plot point and that I was so happy Lauren Oliver avoided putting in was actually disguised and, yep, it's there."
06/16/2011
57.0% "Yay Team Hana-Lena-Alex! I have a horrible feeling this is going to end badly for Hana though."
06/16/2011
65.0% "I kind of love the fact that Alex is using an old, broken refrigerator to hold his books."
06/16/2011
76.0% "Oh whew! I thought for a second that this book was going to have surprise!incest like Shadow of the Wind and I thought that was sort of dark all of sudden for this YA novel. The real twist is much less interesting IMO."
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