Sophie's Reviews > Delirium

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
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After I finished this book, I basically stared at the ceiling wondering what life was. I loved this book. In the middle, I was a bit apathetic, but the ending changed it all for me. But I should chronologically say all the things I liked about this book, and mention the couple things that caused me to give it 4.5 stars.

To begin with, I thought the premise was well set up, though things started up kind of slow with the complicated family relations. I thought the book would be lame, because works that center around love are usually digustingly cheesy and cliche. But DELIRIUM is special in that love is truly treated as a disease, and people are afraid of it in the strange scientific manner you don't usually associate with love. In addition, Oliver goes to lengths to emphasize the aspects of the dystopian society that Lena lives in, the Crypts, how they're taught (the snippets from famous stories/poems and others helped with this), and it's scary. It's scary because with Oliver's universe, it seems possible for there to be a loveless place, where love is treated as a plague. I would've liked more clarification of how love actually became accepted as a disease, though.

The main character, Lena, is perhaps not that likable in the beginning because she's so obsessed with following the rules. Towards the end, however, she undergoes tremendous character change. Her perspective on everything changes dramatically, and I could see how much love transformed her. Besides, she has a snappy personality but isn't completely dumb, though the part where (view spoiler) made me facepalm.

The theme of this book is obviously the power of love, but I think there are a lot of underlying messages as well, like the importance of treasuring time and connections, and how indifference is worse than anything in the world. In short, it wasn't dumbed down. In addition, the conversations are what you would expect of teenagers: they curse, they don't use big words.

One of the few quibbles I have with this book is that I think the love part came a bit too soon, but then again Lena and Alex were operating in a very short time frame, so I think that's acceptable. Alex is possible the sweetest guy ever, and I'm glad he doesn't have some sort of bad boy complex going about him like so many authors have tried (with the guy ending up just a douche). I think my heart broke a little at the end at his sacrifice.

The ending, I basically rushed through. In fact, I might have to read it again because I read it just to know what would happen. It was definitely climactic, though, and it has me excited for the next book. The part where we realize that (view spoiler) is possibly the most memorable part for me.

The thing I love most, though? It's Oliver's writing style. It's so beautiful, the way she has used her words to describe love and given tangibility to feelings. It's probably the reason this book was so nice to read. I haven't read BEFORE I FALL, but if it has imagery like this, I'm definitely going to have to read it.
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Reading Progress

03/12/2012 page 175
40.0% "The premise is pretty well set up, although the family connections confuse me slightly."

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