Lyndz's Reviews > Delirium

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Dec 04, 2013

liked it
bookshelves: mypod-audiobook, reviewed
Read from April 26 to 30, 2012

Around page 30(ish) there is a line in the book that I really could not get past and I nearly put the book down because of it. “His eyes are literally dancing with light, burning as though on fire.” This is what I pictured:

I am positive that eyeballs (literally) doing a cha-cha with light bulbs is not is not what Oliver meant to portray. I am also pretty sure, given the context, that this statement was not intended as hyperbole. Now see here, I am normally not a grammar stickler, but this lapse in judgment, I think calls for a public flogging of either the author or the editor. Possibly both.

Have I mentioned before that I really hate writing negative reviews? It is so much easier to rant and rave about how wonderful a book is, than it is to point out all the problems I had with it. Just saying.

The original concept of this book was at first compelling and interesting. The idea that love is a disease that has, in the near future, been cured. The fact that love has been classified as "the most deadly of deadly things" and that the government is sanctioning and actually requiring all citizens to undergo a lobotomy at the age of 18. After which they will be assigned a mate. The original concept is a bit incredible, but I am actually ok with “incredible” as long as it is portrayed in a believable way. And for the most part, it was. As the book progressed however, I kept finding undeniable parallels to Matched and Uglies.
I found Lena, our protagonist and narrator, mostly weak, annoying, and infuriating. For example, there is a point in the book where (view spoiler) At this point Lena actually compares herself to (paraphrased) ’the princesses in the fairytales … waiting for her prince to rescue her’. Sorry, but, that about induced vomiting. -And I mean that in the best possible way.

The narrative voice is flowing, steady, and easy to follow. It was just interesting enough to keep you reading to find out what happens next.

Believe it or not I actually really liked the ending. If there is a single redeeming virtue in Delirium, this is it. I am not sure if I liked the ending because (view spoiler) or more likely, because it seemed somewhat fitting with the whole Romeo and Juliet theme that the author kept hinting at. It was also marginally unexpected, which is always a good thing.

I have put the next book on hold at the library, I am not sure if I will read it or not at this point.
I can see how some people would really like this book, but it just wasn’t for me. I couldn’t possibly give it a higher rating than a 3.
If you are a fan of sappy teenage romance books you would probably enjoy Delirium.

EDIT: I want to add, because this review is getting so many “likes” that if you want to read something that is very good by Oliver; please check out Liesl and Po. It is stellar.
Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver
910 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Delirium.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

04/26 page 25
6.0% "Quote from book: “His eyes are literally dancing with light, burning as though on fire.”
I just about LITERALLY put down the book because of that line.
In a bad Spanish accent: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”" 3 comments
05/01 page 447
100.0% "Done. Will write review soon."
01/29 marked as: read
show 1 hidden update…

Comments (showing 1-32 of 32) (32 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Jesus Saldivia Has it gotten any better?

Lyndz Yea it's not too bad. I am not really loving it or hating it at this point. It kind of seems like a blend of The Uglies and Matched.

Jesus Saldivia That image made my day. I was too generous with the 4 stars i gave it. But the writing style does stand out from other books and the ending was pretty awesome. Even though i kind of saw it coming.

Lyndz I agree, the writing is definitely different than the majority in this genre.

The ending was a bit predictable, but at the same time different enough that you still wanted to see exactly how it played out.

message 5: by Nilesh (new)

Nilesh Kashyap Funny pic, that picture is the most literal translation of that line, I was trying to interpret that line other way, but nope, your's is the accurate.

Lyndz Haha thanks, Nilesh. I am sure I am being too literal minded, but the image it conjured was too funny not to try and share.

message 7: by Nilesh (new)

Nilesh Kashyap If I ever read 'light dancing' again, I may not be able to picture it correctly, and thanks to you Lyndz for that. :D

message 8: by seak (new)

seak Hahaha, I almost want to read this just because of that awesome picture. :D

Barbara I hate it when errors are made like this. I just read a book in which a character disappeared to bring back the calvary. Uh, it should be cavalry. You'd think pros would pick up on stuff like this.

Lyndz Barbara wrote: "I hate it when errors are made like this. I just read a book in which a character disappeared to bring back the calvary. Uh, it should be cavalry. You'd think pros would pick up on stuff like this."

You would think they would! I mean, it IS their job after all.

message 11: by Em (new) - rated it 1 star

Em "Believe it or not I actually really liked the ending. If there is a single redeeming virtue in Delirium, this is it." Pretty much. The exciting ending is exactly why I gave it two stars instead of one.

message 12: by Jana (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jana Great review! Literally! :o) I was also quite underwhelmed by Delirium. I quite liked what I had read by Oliver so far, so I was doubly disappointed.

message 13: by Reem (new) - rated it 5 stars

Reem “His eyes are literally dancing with light, burning as though on fire.”
i pictured flames in his pupils ehich i thought looked eally sexy!

Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship Ergh the misuse of "literally" bugs the crap out of me! Too many people use it as a general intensifier. That is not what it is. It means "this is not a figure of speech." So don't use it when you are, in fact, using a figure of speech, dammit! An author of all people should know better!


Have to say, I've always found it far easier to criticize books than praise them--maybe just because I'm not a gushing type.

message 15: by Nicole (new) - added it

Nicole Hilarious review. Idk if I'll read the book, but I enjoyed this review for sure!! I was LITERALLY... smiling when I saw that pic.

Alexandra This review speaks a lot of how I'll probably feel about this book. I thought the premise was good, but I should have known it would be sappy teen romance. And I am NOT looking forward to getting to the parts where she says the things you quoted; gag me!

message 17: by Ashley (new) - added it

Ashley Lmao the picture!

Kelsey Mouhot Love the picture hilarious, but maybe the next time you write a negative review, try not sayin 'I hate writing negative reviews'. Because A: you don't have to, no ones paying you to do it and B: if you 'hate writing bad reviews' then why on earth is this one so long?

Stephanie I think a redeeming quality with this book is that it's meant to be a love story. I get so infuriated with every YA book being a romance story with a little bit of plot, but the plot is meant to be a romance. So while I agree it is sappy, at least it's not hiding behind a plot and pretending to be something else. Also, I love Lauren Oliver's voice. Her use of language is poetic and inspiring. I agree, the use of the word "literally" could have been cut in that line, but throughout the book she does have a very beautiful way of describing everything. The plot-holes have to be overlooked though, as always with these kinds of books, but if you can manage that then I think the books (both the first and second) are really good reads. I probably wouldn't reread them like I do with some books, but they kept me reading the whole time, I literally (and yes, I do mean literally) couldn't put them down. So A+ for instant entertainment and B- for a lasting impression.

Margie I agree about the ending being sort of unexpected and tragic (in a good way - this world doesn't seem like a place where a happy ending would fit well)...except that the nature of serial YA fiction seems to be that no one is ever actually dead unless there is an open-casket scene where you literally bury them six feet under after ascertaining the lack of a heartbeat. Anything less leaves an opening for resurrection in the next installment.

message 21: by Megan (new)

Megan This is quite possibly the best review I've ever read, haha.

message 22: by amy (new)

amy Okay, that made me laugh out loud!

message 23: by Ruth (new)

Ruth E. R. That is the best out-loud belly laugh I've experienced for weeks! Thank you!

message 24: by Nour (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nour Delirium isn't a book I'd read either, but I must say, the sequel pandemonium is quite intense. I'm a fan of action and rebellion, and if you are too, then I suggest you go ahead and read it! The suspense is gripping! Although the first few pages may bore you, trust me it does get a hell lot better!

Stefanie Nicholas I'm currently reading this and loving it, but OMG, the 'eyes literally dancing with light'. I couldn't stop laughing, and seeing your review dragged it up again, LOL

message 26: by An Odd1 (new)

An Odd1 Mis-use of "literally" now will bring your cha-cha eyeball image to mind. Much better than being annoyed.

Glad I'm not the only one getting tired of the dystopian teen worlds where 16 is a magic number. In the New Zealand world of TV Almighty Johnsons aka Norse gods, 21 rules. Also, isn't there a chinese method that counts nine months gestation as an extra year? How about hex base 8? Just saying, calendar numbers seem arbitrary.

Pegs099 Nice one ! xDDDDDD !!!!!!!

message 28: by Jackilynne82 (new)

Jackilynne82 It is extremely refreshing to read a REAL review. I hate reviews that seem written by a paid poet! Thank you!!!

message 29: by An Odd1 (new)

An Odd1 Next time I found myself thinking of using "literally", I linked to your review. Tucked into a spoiler, I can remove if you object? This just happens to be one of my fave reviews, irregardless of book.

Paige I thought the book was all right, but I agree with you about all the stupid hyperbole. It was a little overbearing during certain parts. I loved the "i carry you in my heart" poem and all the other little quotes above each new chapter.
It was good overall. If you're looking for for a masterful piece of literature, you'll be disappointed. But if you want to satisfy a giddy craving for some teen dystopian romance, then this is the book for you.
Happy reading!

message 31: by An Odd1 (new)

An Odd1 Paige wrote: "... giddy craving" ..."

You are absolutely right about a "giddy craving". I'm beginning to believe that bubble-gum for the brain is a necessity, chewing that exercises (jaw) muscles for life sustainability i.e. eating, enjoyment i.e. talking. Cotton candy fluff that nourishes more than the body.

All I remember from the Twilight series is vampires twinkling. Maybe quantity is more important than quality? Serious (?) researcher says long books are good for growing brains. Linguistic anthropologist Shirley Brice Heath of Stanford University: "reading longer novels habituates the brain toward a greater capacity for sustained attention to visual material".

message 32: by Clara (new)

Clara Well that settles it, I am never going to read a book like this. Weak protagonist and an annoying teenagery love story is too much. I mean I can hardly handle romance books in general (especially YA romance), let alone a romance with all that.

back to top