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Delirium #1


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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?

441 pages, Paperback

First published February 3, 2011

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About the author

Lauren Oliver

45 books119k followers
Lauren Oliver is the cofounder of media and content development company Glasstown Entertainment, where she serves as the president of production. She is also the New York Times bestselling author of the YA novels Replica, Vanishing Girls, Panic, and the Delirium trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem, which have been translated into more than thirty languages. The film rights to both Replica and Lauren's bestselling first novel, Before I Fall, were acquired by AwesomenessTV; Before I Fall is now a major motion picture and opened in theaters March of 2017. The sequel to Replica, titled Ringer, is her most recent novel and was released October 3rd, 2017.

Her novels for middle grade readers include The Spindlers, Liesl & Po, and the Curiosity House series, co-written with H. C. Chester. She has written one novel for adults, Rooms.

A graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU's MFA program, Lauren Oliver divides her time between New York, Connecticut, and a variety of airport lounges. You can visit her online at www.laurenoliverbooks.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 28,306 reviews
Profile Image for Lyndz.
108 reviews346 followers
December 5, 2013
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 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 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
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,406 reviews11.7k followers
December 8, 2010
It is clear, the new genre of dystopian romance is here to stay. Apparently, paranormal romance formula I-can't-be-with-you-cause-I-might-kill-you is getting old, so now we will be bombarded with trilogies showcasing new formula I-can't-be-with-you-cause-this-bad-dystopian-world-is-tearing-us-apart. Ugh! And why did Lauren Oliver decide to dabble in this genre instead of sticking to what she knows best? I am trying to be nice here, but Oliver has no talent for speculative fiction. I worry about this career choice of hers, because as of now she, as an author, is lost to me for at least 3 years. I am not interested in more Delirium books.

I love dystopias, I love how authors take current social and political trends and extrapolate them into future showing to us what can happen if these trends persist. The versions of future envisioned by Margaret Atwood built upon consequences of excessive genetic engineering or Paolo Bacigalupi's - upon global warming and exhaustion of natural resources - are plausible and horrifying. Lauren Oliver's dystopia is based on a premise that love is considered to be a serious, life-threatening sickness, and thus outlawed. Outlawing love, apparently, solves all world problems.

Now, I can buy a world where strong emotions are suppressed (see The Giver). People in such world would be subdued and docile, and thus lack drive for power and violence. But love? Really? The characters in this book cured of love, still get aggravated, annoyed, worried. They just don't love their spouses and kids. And retain almost all other emotions.

And the "horrible" consequences such premise brings about - neighborhood patrols, segregated (by sex) schools, arranged marriages, the horror! If, according to the author, this society is so constrictive, why is it so easy for teens to avoid curfews, to have parties with alcohol, to meet up in abandoned houses for some schmexy times, to fake being "cured" of love, to breach supposedly guarded borders? What is written to be scary and menacing in the Delirium's society just isn't. As a dystopia, this novel fails completely. The only aspect of the setting that is interesting is that how author twists Christian mythos to adapt to the love-is-a-dangerous-sickness premise.

The focus of the story, and an excuse to write this dystopia, is, of course, a romance. I wish I could say I enjoyed at least this aspect of Delirium, but I didn't really. It is mildly more exciting than the one in Matched, slightly steamier, and at least doesn't have a love triangle (yet). But there is still a self-insert main character (shy, ordinary, plain) and the main male emo squeeze, quoting poetry, who falls for her anyway. I am exhausted by this arrangement.

Authors, why don't you write books about something a little more important than a month-old teen romance? Especially if you choose to create a dystopian novel, which, by definition, encompasses the entire world and supposedly endangers and oppresses all humanity.
Profile Image for Kat Kennedy.
475 reviews16.3k followers
December 4, 2013
I have said this before and I’ll say it again. I have no prob­lem with an implau­si­ble story vehi­cle. As long as the ride is good and it relates a moral or philo­soph­i­cal value.

But where the line is drawn is when the world isn’t con­sis­tent and in the con­fines of that world, things don’t make sense.

That’s my limit. That’s when I start get­ting frus­trated and annoyed. And it’s not because an author tried some­thing new, okay? Lau­ren Oliver is AMAZING. She is a great author who is eru­dite and ver­bose and inter­est­ing to lis­ten to. I’ve seen her speak live and frankly to an audi­ence and her abil­ity to relate to them and express her­self is fantastic.

But this novel still didn’t work for me. Delir­ium, unfor­tu­nately, failed for me. Which is sad­den­ing, because Lau­ren Oliver is a good author and I know, with Delir­ium, she was reach­ing out and try­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent. I just wish it had been more successful.

Now, here’s where it all bug­gered up:

1. Incon­sis­tent world building.

The main pro­tag­o­nist says the word “love” twice. Once in con­ver­sa­tion and the sec­ond time men­tally. Love is a con­cept that’s stig­ma­tized to such an extreme degree that even the whis­pered word “sym­pa­thizer” is ver­boten. Yet the main pro­tag­o­nist SAYS it to her aunt – that she LOVES chil­dren. It just doesn’t make sense. And she’s wan­der­ing around with Alex and mak­ing out with him in pub­lic like the con­se­quence for that is a slap on the wrist. Look, she lives in a highly auto­cratic world where even a hint of the dis­ease will land you in prison – and she makes out with her boyfriend in the mid­dle of pub­lic places.

2. Char­ac­ter­i­za­tion.

I loved the char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of Lena. I thought it was accu­rate and real­is­tic. It’s the char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of Alex that left me hol­low and empty. He felt like a place-holder. Sim­ply a text­book demon­stra­tion of today’s YA expec­ta­tions of a love inter­est. Devoted, stalk­er­ish, sad back story. Oliver’s love inter­est in Before I Fall was so much more dynamic even though he com­prised a rel­a­tively small part in the story. Alex felt like a def­i­n­i­tion of desir­able love inter­est instead of actu­ally being a per­son Lena fell in love with.

3. Writ­ing.

I never thought I’d say this because, in my mind, Oliver is – and always will be – a fan­tas­tic writer. But there were aspects of the writ­ing in this book that were obvi­ous, cliche and sim­plis­tic. For exam­ple, Lena is emo­tion­ally stunted but it’s an obvi­ous par­al­lel. When­ever she feels intense emo­tion she blames it on the air con­di­tion­ing or weather etc. She is the result of a child­hood of emo­tional detach­ment – but not really – and this is where it gets per­sonal for me.

Because, if you don’t reli­giously read my reviews, then you wouldn’t know that my son was almost diag­nosed with Attach­ment Dis­or­der. Because when my first son was born, I was one of those weird reli­gious peo­ple that ascribed to books like Baby Wise, etc. For the first six months of his life, he barely looked at me in the eye. Attach­ment dis­or­der babies are those that, from their infancy, do not expe­ri­ence con­sis­tent, lov­ing care. They are chil­dren that learn, early on, that they are not truly loved and this results in a wide swath of behav­ioral and emo­tional problems.

Lena is the result of a child­hood that had a mother who loves her and responded accord­ingly to her needs, but other chil­dren in the soci­ety didn’t receive this – some­thing that I felt was a huge cope-out. What about the char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of a per­son who wasn’t loved? Who was a prod­uct of the sys­tem? I feel like this wasn’t exam­ined enough – wasn’t inspected enough. Like it was han­dled by some­one who just assumed that chil­dren would still reflect some mod­icum of nor­mal­ity after being raised in a world where they aren’t being lov­ingly raised by peo­ple prop­erly attached to them. And the assump­tion that you can have attach­ment with­out love – it’s mind bog­gling because I kind of feel like she was out of her depth on this one.

It’s not Oliver’s fault. But what I wanted from this is a deeper under­stand­ing of soci­ety from the point of view of some­one will­ing to delve into a harder, grit­tier, more real­is­tic story. Some­one will­ing to ask the tough ques­tions and write the tough char­ac­ter­i­za­tion. Instead the novel glosses over a lot of those things and thus felt cheap and shallow.

This review can also be found on our blog, Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.
Profile Image for Stacey.
550 reviews1,550 followers
February 21, 2018
December 2011 review:
I adored Delirium when I first read and reviewed it, which was back in February. I had limited experience with dystopia, only having read Matched, The Hunger Games, and Uglies, but Delirium made it one of favourite genres. I’ve come across many young dystopian novels since then, and having re-read Delirium, I can safely say that it is still one of my favourites and one of the best books I’ve read this year.

Although Delirium is a dystopian novel, it is first and foremost a love story; it doesn’t pretend to be anything else. At eighteen years old, citizens of the USA legally must undergo a procedure – a “cure” – that will result in the them being unable to love anyone ever again, whether it may be a partner, friend or family. When Alex enters her life, Lena must fight for the right to love whomever she wishes.

One of the things that I didn’t mention in my previous review, that really struck me about the novel, is the writing. Lauren Oliver has a talent for using the most beautiful, rich language and imagery to capture a moment perfectly. When I’m reading novels, I try to picture the scenes in my head and sometimes it becomes blurry. I try to focus on it but the author hasn’t provided enough detail for me to do so. Lauren Oliver is the complete opposite. She expertly describes every single scene so that the image in my head comes out crystal clear, from the description of the setting to Lena’s emotions:

“The water is an enormous mirror, tipped with and pink and gold from the sky. In that single, blazing moment as I came around the bend, the sun – curved over the dip of the horizon like a solid gold archway – lets out its final winking rays of light, shattering the darkness of the water, turning everything white for a fraction of a second, and then falls away, sinking, dragging the pink and the red and the purple out of the sky with it, all the colour bleeding away instantly and leaving only dark.

Alex was right. It was gorgeous – one of the best I’ve ever seen."

Another thing I did not pay enough attention to before (because I was eagerly rushing trough the story) is the small fragments of society – the quotation of official documents, rules and regulations, children’s songs, and poetry, which help the reader to mentally construct and imagine the world that Lauren Oliver has created. Even though the story mostly focuses on Lena and Alex’s relationship and the things they discover about each other, we’re constantly aware that they live in a restrictive and severely controlled society.

Delirium is a wonderfully emotional, heartbreaking love story set in a dystopian future. It’s both a gritty and mellow experience. If you’ve not yet jumped on to the dystopian bandwagon, I’d suggest that reading Delirium is a very good start indeed.

“Love, the deadliest of all deadly things: it kills you both when you have it and when you don’t.”


Original February 2011 review:
This book has 400 pages and I finished in less than 24 hours. That already should tell you how much I loved it.

I found Delirium to be a mixture of The Hunger Games and Matched . The premise of Delirium is that this particular dystopian society sees love (or amor deliria nervosa) as a disease that needs to be cured by an operation on the brain. Lena, our protagonist, is nearly 18 years old (the age requirement for having the operation) and is nervous yet excited about her upcoming “procedure” - until she meets Alex.

Delirium is similar to Matched in that citizens do not have a say in who they spend the rest of their life with. The government (“Officials” in Matched, “Regulators” in Delirium) choose who a person is “matched” with and there is no freedom of choice. However, this particular society goes even further and attempts to ensure that a person will never love again. This, according to the Regulators, will make the world a better place: everyone will be happier and safer because love is nothing but destructive. I personally found Delirium to be much more heartbreaking and emotional than Matched and the storyline took a lot less time to develop. The characters' rebellion and resistance to control (as with all dystopian novels!) begins a lot earlier in the novel and this is where the similarities to The Hunger Games begin. This is where we witness the brutality and cruelty of those in charge of these future societies.

However, all three novels are fantastic in their own way and Delirium offers yet another unique look at how a dystopian society could be. It made me want to read even more dystopian literature and I did not feel like I was reading recycled material. I definitely recommend this to people who are already fans of young-adult dystopian literature. And if you haven’t read it before? Do it. You’ll become addicted and emotionally involved in this wonderfully exciting but terrifying genre.

I cannot wait to read Pandemonium (the second novel in the series/trilogy). I’m just sad that I have to wait until 2012!

Thank you Hodder for sending me this book to review!

Dystopian or Not Dystopian? Dystopian

I also reviewed this book over on Pretty Books.
Profile Image for Erica (storybookend).
372 reviews286 followers
December 22, 2022
There are some books written that touch you deeply. Stories that work their way stealthily into your heart, and imbeds itself securely there, and refusing to disperse, leaving you utterly breathless and completely captivated with wondrous awe. Delirium did this for me. There are not many books that can speak to you the way Delirium does. Books that tug at your heartstrings, and make you believe in the impossible. Books that can express what love really is: an all consuming, brilliantly captivating, wrenchingly heartbreaking power that takes control over you. Love that turns your world around, shows you things you never saw before, makes everything brighter and more amazing than you ever thought they could be.

Delirium takes you on the journey of Lena, a normal girl in a loveless society, who is soon immersed in the unthinkable, has found herself facing the most deadly thing ever known to mankind. Love. Lena begins to explore this completely new and forbidden emotion. An emotion that people shun and fear. An emotion that could get her killed. And in the end, she is tried more than she could have possibly imagined. My heart breaks for her, and yet it soars with hers as she discovers this whole new, enthralling world.

Delirium is such a uniquely, enchanting, astounding story. It was beautifully written, brilliantly told. And the ending. I don’t know if I’ve read a more heartbreaking, incredible ending. The last several pages I was on the edge. I couldn’t read fast enough. The story had me captive, refusing to let go until the very last word. I don’t know how I can possibly wait until 2012 for Pandemonium to come out! When February 1 rolls around, get your hands on this book, and don’t let go. Prepare yourself for a wonderful, beautiful love story that hopefully touches you the way it did me.

Thank you, thank you! for Netgalley and HarperCollins for letting me read this arc. It was incredible.
Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
468 reviews176k followers
June 9, 2013
Such a good book. I loved the whole idea of the world even though I found it depressing. It was such a unique concept. There were times when I found myself being annoyed with Lena. I kept thinking to myself "Lena, shut up.", but I grew to really like her character towards the end. Also.. what the heck was that ending? WHY DID YOU DO THAT LAUREN OLIVER. YOU HURT MY HEART.

Oh and can I get more Hana Tate please?
Profile Image for Misty.
796 reviews1,230 followers
January 28, 2015
2.5 - 3

"I hate skin; I hate bones and bodies.  I want to curl up inside of him and be carried there forever."

Earlier this year, I fell in love with Lauren Oliver's debut, Before I Fall.  So understandably, I was very excited to hear about her next book, Delirium.  A dystopian world where love is a disease, written by the clearly very talented Oliver?  Yeah, I can get behind that.  I settled in to wait the long, cruel months until the February release date, when I got a surprise package in the mail from the Polish Outlander -- her ARC of Delirium!  Imagine my delight.  I held off reading it for a few days, just to give myself some distance from Matched, which has a very similar concept, and which I'd just finished.  But I didn't want to wait too long, so, similarities be damned, I went ahead and read it.

I'm going to try to not keep comparing this to Matched, which isn't fair -- Matched had its own review, after all -- but I do have to say that, though each is its own thing, the similarities are pretty strong, and my reaction to each was the same -- I wanted so much more than I got.

Lest you think this review is wholly negative, let me start with the things I did like.  I love the concept, and think it has the potential to be really powerful and fascinating.  There is a flow to it most of the time that kept me reading even when I was frustrated by other things.  And there are these moments that shine through, these beautiful little word gems that Oliver creates, that reminds me of why I loved Before I Fall, and why I was so excited to read this.

But I was so very, very excited for this that I think I was even more let down by it than Matched, which was also something I was eager for.  Before I Fall was fresh and compelling, and I felt like so much of Oliver, so much heart and so much work, went into it.  I didn't feel the same about Delirium.  I'm not going to accuse Oliver of selling out or hopping on a trend, but I do wonder how much passion was behind this story.  It seemed sort of sloppy (and yes, I know, I read an ARC, and that may account for some of it).  But there were so many inconsistencies and questions I had that I couldn't ever commit.  I could only go along so far until logic would intrude.  I would be forced to ask myself things like, If Lena was just bitten (badly) in the leg by a dog, why does Alex kissing her seem to erase not only any pain, but even any mention of the bite, until it's like an afterthought?  How does her family not notice that either a) she's wearing pants in the middle of sweltering August, and limping, or b) she's not wearing pants and the scar is showing and she's limping?  Because it has to be one of those 2 things.  And though the "cure" may not make them care for her safety so much, it doesn't take away their suspicious natures.  [Also, setting aside the fact that she walked home, how did they just walk home?  Just like that.  With raiding parties everywhere, and her bitten terribly, they just strolled on home, illegally, down the street?  How do they get away with all the shit they get away with, in this repressive society?  Hmm...] Things like this were peppered throughout the story, and they just made it nearly impossible to buy in to what was going on.

Smaller things, too, like words and phrases and things we have now that I don't see any use for, or don't believably buy would be in the world Oliver created.  And, of course, the much bigger things, like how did all this -- the discovery of the "deliria", the cure, the restrictions, the beliefs, all of it -- come to be?  I know it may not be what Lauren intended, but with such a seemingly science-influenced dystopia, I need some good scientific reasoning, some "evidence" -- real or gov't created -- that backs everything up, some explanation or plausible scenario that lets this total overhaul of human beliefs and passions come to be in a matter of 60 years or so.  That's a very, VERY brief period of time for such a huge and total change to take place, so I need reality to intrude a little.  I need either some hints of a really big conspiracy, or something so huge and devastating that people as a whole almost go into a state of shock or numbness that allows this to happen.  Because, as a general rule, people don't willingly submit to mass lobotomies or the eradication of their feelings for the people they love -- or hate -- without some serious something acting as a catalyst.  Petty strife and crimes of passion may make you think of Eternal Sunshining your mind spotless, but in an abstract, angry, wouldn't-it-be-lovely kind of way, and not a bring-on-the-procedure kind of way.  Some science, some history, some dogma, some thing beyond the sometimes eerie, sometimes meh snippets of "texts" that start every chapter, would have gone a long way toward helping me willingly suspend my disbelief.

But even if I could have set the worldbuilding and believability aside -- no easy task in a concept novel like this -- for it to be saved, the characters and plot would have had to really shine.
But I felt like everything was a little wooden, a little cardboard, a little less than believable and real.  The love interest, Alex, was okay enough, but why should Lena care about him, and why should I?  I understand why he cares about Lena, but that's not something we really find out until Lena is already head over heels infected/in love, and I don't understand how she got there.  As a reader, in order to take that leap with a character, we need to know why, we need to feel it.  All I got was that he was a boy who payed attention to her, he winked, he smiled, he seemed a bit smarmy and she's hooked.  Now, yes, I get that's enough for a teenage infatuation, and it may be heightened by the taboo nature of it.  I even get that his more easy manner reminded Lena of her mother, who was incurable.

But for Lena, who has always been terrified of the deliria, which tore her world apart, and who has always looked forward to her procedure, and been so afraid of stepping out of the box, who is afraid to say, to even hear, the word love -- for her to completely flip and become reckless and passionate and all the other stuff that comes with being the things she's always feared...hmm.  The only way this really works for me, the only thing that would make me buy it and appreciate it, was if it took the slant that the deliria was real and she'd become infected.  Otherwise, I have no choice but to think this is a cheesy, run of the mill YA romance where one look from a guy makes a girl throw her entire being out the window and become a swooning, fluttery mess with no relation to the person she once was, and who would die for the roguish boy she knows nothing about.  Which is, apparently, what every teenage girl is secretly waiting to do.
Maybe the deliria is real.

Reviewed December 19th, 2010
Profile Image for Olivia.
126 reviews165 followers
March 18, 2020
Before I begin, let me start by warning anyone who has placed this book on their To-Read Shelf: Do not plan on accomplishing anything productive for approximately 24 hours after starting the book. You have been warned. And for anyone who did not read this warning in time, you are more than welcome to join my sleep-deprived sob fest. If only I knew what I was getting myself into when I first picked up the book.

For the past sixty-four years, love was considered a disease which impaired reason and posed a threat to society. A cure was established to protect United States citizens from the debilitating effects of the illness. At the age of 18, each person is required to undergo a procedure, permanently curing them from the sickness. The story follows 18-year-old Lena Haloway, who grew up in Portland, Maine with her aunt and uncle. Lena anxiously counts down the days until her procedure, anticipating the moment she can join the other "cureds" with excitement. This excitement quickly fades as Lena herself succumbs to the disease, becoming hopelessly entangled in a forbidden romance.

I have to admire Oliver for the creative spin she placed on American society when establishing this dystopian world. She managed to create a plausible universe in which love had been almost completely eradicated. I felt a pang of sorrow each time Oliver highlighted the emotionless shell of a community in which parents exhibited no compassion for their children and married couples exchanged no signs of affection for one another. Such examples reveal the underlying theme: a life without love is not worth living.

More importantly, Oliver's writing was flawless. She vividly described each scene, allowing readers to visualise each event as it occurred. Through her writing, Oliver also evokes a vast array of emotions from her readers. When Lena is enraged, readers are fuming. When she breaks down, crying hysterically, readers are right there, sobbing along with her. Her feelings of love, betrayal, and loss transcend all boundaries, lodging themselves in the hearts of readers around the world.

Lena's characterization, although less than stellar at times, does have its perks. Above all, Lena treasures her family and friends. She is terrified at the thought of losing her best friend, Hana, after her procedure. Lena, like the rest of society, was convinced that love was dangerous and potentially life threatening. After experiencing the effects of the disease firsthand, she comes to the startling realization that love is harmless. Lena was determined to discover the truth, no matter how heartbreaking the truth may be.

On the other hand, Lena is not the epitome of perfection - no properly characterized protagonist should be. She struggles to move on from her past, particularly her mother's suicide. Her mother gave up her life for the ones she loved, and Lena is more than willing to do the same. But she continues to visualize her mother leaping from a cliff and slowly falling into the tumultuous waters below (a rather frequently mentioned event throughout the book). Additionally, Lena compares herself to a princess who is waiting for her prince to save her. Yes, she outright states this comparison and is not ashamed to do so. Unfortunately, the concept of a damsel in distress does not appeal to the majority of teens in this day and age, myself included. They would prefer to read about a strong, independent, female protagonist who does not rely on others to come to her rescue. I think we've all outgrown Disney movies at this point.

Lastly, there was the slightly overwhelming ending that left me shaking and speechless. My mother was only slightly concerned when she found me sitting on the floor, rocking back and forth and suffering from mild shock. To avoid giving away the ending, let's just say it was ... unexpected. Life changing. Devastating. Shall I continue, or let you form your own opinion?

"Love, the deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't."
Profile Image for kari.
849 reviews
April 5, 2013

This has all the elements of being a very exciting story, but sad to say, it isn't. The last fifty pages lift it from a two star, barely, but can't save the entirety of the book.
First of all, it's simply too long for what is in here. The storyline isn't bad, but it's far too minutely descriptive and all I can think is, well, this is going to be stretched out to fill three books so, of course, it's overly descriptive. Something has to fill all those pages. Too bad it isn't the story, but street by street bicycling and walking or running. And the sights and smells over and over and over. There are some things that are described in almost the same way several times. This is unneccessary.
And while we're on the subject of unneccessary, I know that Lena is five foot, two. I got that the first time I was told and it didn't need repetition. It was not in need of repetition. Or to put it a little differently while still giving you the same information again: it didn't need repeating.
This whole story could have been tightened up and more than likely the whole proposed three installments would fit within the pages of one book.
I get it, I really do. Why write one book when you can hook readers into three? I mean, it's three sales, three times the money, so kudos to the author on that, but the story really needs to be strong enough to make readers keep coming back for more.
And, as usual, it ends on something of a cliff-hanger so, as a reader, I'm left disappointed.
However, there are things that I really liked about the story and for which I applaud Lauren Oliver and which make me think she's capable of better than what's here.
The chapter headings with quotes from The Book of SHHH, nursery rhymes, playground chants, Comprehensive Compilation of Dangerous Words and Ideas, government pamphlets, schoolbooks and others are simply brilliant and add to the story in subtle ways. Amor Deliria Nervosa sounds like what doctors might call love if they wanted to classify it as a disease. There are lots of little tidbits like this that are clever and creative and make me wish for more from this book.
I also really like that she put in that indifference, not hate, is the opposite of love. It's a thoughtful small conversation, but it is also the basis of the story. The government has decided that they prefer the people to be indifferent, uncaring, and I think that actually is rather profound.
I did like the characters. I've heard the complaint that Lena has no personality and I think that's true, but she lives in a society that having no personality is considered a good thing. No one is encouraged to be different or have interests or feel passionate about anything so the fact that she's fairly unformed makes sense for the world she lives in. When she finally makes her choices, her life opens up and she finds a strength in herself.
The character of Alex is well-drawn and his attraction to her makes sense. I liked them together.
One of the problems with the writing of the book is that the first few chapters introduce lots of characters and backstory and it's kind of a lot to slog through. And yet, even with all of that, too much isn't fully explained or developed. How did they come up with the idea that love is a disease?
The action really doesn't pick up until the final hundred pages and then there are some surprises, but by that time I was already a bit bored.
Additionally, there are some continuity errors. When things like this happen, it stops the story for me. I have to go back and reference the information. In a book that repeats itself as much as this one does, you'd think it would be easy to keep the facts straight.
For instance, Lena lives in a two-story house except that at one time she thinks that her aunt and uncle's whole apartment would fit in the living room of a house she's in. Or she's playing in the ocean with Alex and it says how her shoes are filled with water several times, but she had kicked her shoes off when she got to the beach and she grabs them up to put back on when she runs out of the water. That was within a few pages so it should have been easy to keep that straight.
The most flagrant one was the time left until Lena's cure which skips all around. When it's down to just seventeen days, her aunt says it's several weeks away. Seventeen days is two and a half weeks, not several. Small things, I know, but it interrupted the flow of a story which was already dragging and not flowing well.
I think it would have made for a much more interesting dynamic and Lena's choice would have been more dramatic had her paired boy been someone as good as or close to as good as Alex. Instead we get this short guy who is snotty (literally, he has allergies to everything, so he's full of snot), listless and unattractive to Lena. It would have added some tenson if he had been a possible choice, someone with whom she could at least be content. Not that I'm suggesting a love triangle, not at all, oh no, but I think her pair being someone less repulsive (not that short guys are repulsive, but the mucus factor...) would have made her choice more of a choice instead of making it seem to be the only possible choice.
In this world you can be executed for breaking the rules and yet, Lena does so almost every day after she meets Alex. At one point they are walking down the street together on opposite sides of the sidewalk to make it appear they aren't walking together. Um, how big exactly is this sidewalk? If I saw two people walking along side by side, I'd assume they are together, even if they are walking on opposite sides. I had to read this over because I thought it was opposite sides of the street, but nope, sidewalk in broad daylight. This made no sense to me.
Last, but not least, the motorcycle. While I do love me some hero riding in on a white horse or, in place of that, a shiny motorcycle, there needs to be at least a bit of dialogue on how this happened. How about, "Where did you get this?" shouted over the sound of the engine with, "Stole it!" as a reply. At least give me this much or earlier in the book tell me he has a motorcyle. This came out of nowhere, almost a deus ex machina or, in this case, deus ex motorcycle.
All in all, not a bad read, not the best.
Will I read the next books? *frustrated sigh* Probably.
Profile Image for Evgnossia O'Hara.
102 reviews206 followers
November 2, 2017
Review was originally published on my blog Through the Chapters

What if we had to live in an alternative universe? What if this universe would be the same but not exactly equivalent to ours? What if it would be illegal to feel anything? What if love would be considered as a mortal sin? What if we had to spend almost all our lives not as human beings but something in between, since everything that breathes into us humanity would not exist at all? What if…? What if…?

Is it even possible to be deprived of all the emotions? Well, according to Lauren Oliver is it and she describes this effectively in her book. Oliver has conceived this idea, a world without love or any kind of emotions, to give us the chance to feel and to picture ourselves in this dystopian world. She envisions an alternative universe without dreams, without goals due to the absence of the most powerful weapon of the human’s race. Love.

It was extremely interesting and at the same time intimidating to read and to picture this system. The author’s writing style is one the most powerful tools, as it facilitates the readers to imagine and to be an inseparable part of the “amor deliria nervosa” world. Her descriptions are so realistic and so stunning that the story absorbs completely the mind and the emotions of the audience, making it impossible to put this book down.

One point that I cannot overlook, is the beginning of each chapter. Oliver gives us some history about the world that she brings into life through some made-up historical, religious facts. Those facts add to the story some reasoning and comprehension, as they make it more easy to understand all the struggle of our main characters to feel what they try, so desperately, to suppress.

Personally, the most dreadful moment that made me conceive the author’s massage wholly, was the parents’ behaviour towards their children. To put it differently, they were cold and apathetic like robots or even worse. This moment send chills through all my body for the frightful and unbearable thought, that maybe the world that Oliver describes, is not as imaginary as it may seem.

There are many aspects in the real life, which can be compared to the Lauren’s fictional world. Indeed, there are so many people who prefer to live on the autopilot in order to avoid not only love but also the change in their everyday lives. Unfortunately, for many people an ordinary life without a purpose or even the absence of the willing to have a purpose, is more preferable and an easy one to live in. The resistance to change and the indifference towards our fellow humans suggest a world, where the inhabitants prefer to stay in their comfort zones and pretend that this is the way things work in the world, and we are not able to change them. Yet, we are the ones who have the power to change every injustice.

In the final analysis, this story is not only about the absence of love. It is a story about the importance of friendship, family and hope in dark times. It is a journey of each one of us, from the fear to feel to the perception of the human essence to be able to experience love, happiness, pain and sadness at their greatest point. It teaches us to embrace the difference and to fight for being able to choose our life and our fate, a right which belongs to us since time immemorial.
Profile Image for Dija.
413 reviews230 followers
March 4, 2012
So a day before the release of Pandemonium, I finally get around to reading Delirium. And after that devastating ending, my relief knows no bounds.

I don't know how you all survived the past year without raiding Oliver's home and/or holding her publisher at gunpoint for an ARC, but I'm so glad I don't have to prove my non-existent patience with this one, because frankly, I about died reading that last chapter.

Honestly, I hated Lena for most of the book. She's so damn weak and I couldn't help but think that Hana would have been a much better heroine. I still partially feel that way, because Lena's character doesn't really fit in with the whole rebellion scenario, but I guess that's the entire point. I really do hope Lena grows a backbone in Pandemonium though, one on her own, without the help of Alex and Hana.

And Alex...I like to think of him as an alternate version of Kent from Before I Fall. I loved the latter so so much, but there wasn't enough of him in BIF, so I liked pretending Alex was actually Kent in spirit. I'm deluded, I know.

And like I felt with Lena, I didn't geniunely like Alex. He's great as far as heroes go, but a little too perfect. I would have continued like that for the rest of the series, I believe, had the ending not happened the way it did. But since it did happen that way, it made me view the guy as more than just some tasty fictional candy. I know in my head that but my heart still cries over the possibility.

Off to read Pandemonium now. Here's praying there won't be a love triangle and that

Favorite quotes:
Sometimes I feel like if you just watch things, just sit still and let the world exist in front of you—sometimes I swear that just for a second time freezes and the world pauses in its tilt. Just for a second. And if you somehow found a way to live in that second, then you would live forever.

here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
—From “i carry your heart with me"

I love you. Remember. They cannot take it.

3.5/5 stars

For more reviews, visit my blog.
Profile Image for emma.
1,869 reviews54.6k followers
November 19, 2021
i read this entire thing on a road trip. couldn't put it down.

then the second i finished it, i was like, welp. that sucked.

for that confusing feeling: 2 stars!

part of a series i'm doing in which i review books i read a long time ago, and i'm always very witty and intelligent about it
Profile Image for Jen.
248 reviews207 followers
January 7, 2011
I had heard a lot of wonderful early buzz about Delirium. I also heard about the buckets of tears that resulted from reading said book. I manned up a little before marking this one as "reading now" on my Nook. I thought I was prepared, you guys.


Delirium is one of those books that makes your eyes second guess what they're reading, because how can anyone write such beautiful, beautiful things? It is chock full of phrases that you want to memorize and save for one of those moments when a loved one is going through a hard time, then lay it on them and take full credit for it. (I'd never do that, but it's tempting!)

This storyline was unsettling and tragic, with the aversion to love and the treatment of it as if it's a disease--amor deliria nervosa.I couldn't imagine a life without love, nor would I want to. But reading about it makes for an exhilarating experience. Oliver's creation of this world where the United States will basically lay the smackdown on anyone who is in love. The word "despair" is prominent in my mind when thinking about the tone of Delirium. It was very, very sad.

It took awhile for Lena to grow on me. I get it, she's just doing what she knows she's supposed to. She's following the rules and staying on the straight and narrow path to the final destination of having that lovin' feeling sucked out of her brain, thanks to The Cure ("Love Song" may or may not have played in my head every time I read those words.) I fell in love with her voice once she started to see things for what they really were.

And then there's Alex. Oh man. All it took was that ONE WORD (which you'll understand once you read it) and I was hooked. Alex reminded me a lot of Ewan McGregor's character in Moulin Rouge, going on about freedom, beauty, truth, and love in his dreamy fashion. I was in quite a pickle once I met Alex. It was a constant struggle between savoring every single word that Oliver penned and flipping ahead to ANY page where Alex's name was present and devouring the deliciousness. I loved his strength and his outlook, and I loved Alex and Lena together. The dynamic of their relationship made my heart explode. Delirium is an incredible, AMAZING love story. I can't think of a situation where the lovers are MORE star-crossed than this. Dude. They're going to literally remove the ability to love from her BRAIN.

See, I'd tell you to prepare yourself for this massive cliffhanger ending, but it's just not possible. This ending ruined me. I felt like sometime gave me a swift punch to the gut when I turned that last page. I think I flipped forward, hoping that past all the blank pages, there'd be some Comic Sans text saying "JUST KIDDING!" and then some explanation or some SEMBLANCE of resolution to hold me over until frickin' 2012 when Pandemonium comes out.

Lauren Oliver, you hurt my feelings. BUT IT HURTS SO GOOD.
Profile Image for The Burning Rose (Jess).
162 reviews374 followers
October 6, 2016
“...And Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare.”
“And why is that?” Evaluator Three asks.
“It’s beautiful.”
“Beautiful?” Evaluator One wrinkles her nose.
There’s a zinging, frigid tension in the air, and I realize I’ve made a big, big mistake.
“That’s an interesting word to use. Very interesting. Perhaps you find suffering beautiful? Perhaps you enjoy violence?”
“I just mean... there’s something so sad about it...” I’m struggling, floundering, feeling like I’m drowning now, in the white light and the roaring. Sacrifice. I want to say something about sacrifice, but the word doesn’t come.

It was ...wow.
I never read a book by Lauren Oliver before. I absolutely had to.
First of all, I must say- Lauren Oliver and I have the same mind.
Even if the book was boring to death, I guess I was enjoying it because Lauren's characters has the same perspective on the world just like me.
So I don't know if I'm biased or not, but I really enjoyed this book.

let's talk about the characters.

I read many reviews about this book before I picked it up, and almost in all of them, were written things that are not so pleasant about Lena. So let's say that I started the book, expecting not to like her.
and perhaps this is the reason why (or maybe not), but I really loved Lena.
She was so... human. so realistic.
She was insecure.
She believed, like everyone else, to the lies they tell to the people about the "deliria".
She loved herself, but she hated herself.
She didn't always behaved properly.
She didn't always managed to keep her mouth shut.
She was whiny but brave. She was weak but able to stand on her own. She knew how to love, but she also knew hate.

It may sound superficial to you, but once he said his name was Alex, he almost took a little place in my heart. I didn't like him right away, of course. (I'm not that weird) (Or maybe I am) but I love the name Alex so much, and I enjoyed every time Lena said his name. (I never came across the name Alex in a book at the past, except once, and he was a shitty person.)
and besides that?
Well, let's say that you would want a boyfriend like Alex.
(Anything else I want to say about him will be considered as a spoiler.)

I can continue to write about how much this book is amazing and about the genuine idea of it, but in any case I don't have too much time and I really want to move to the second book.
(I also decided to read the novellas, so...)

Oh, and if you read the book, we can conclude that the end of the book blew your mind, right? ;)
Profile Image for Kai Spellmeier.
Author 6 books13.7k followers
April 25, 2021
“He who leaps for the sky may fall, it's true. But he may also fly.”

A girl and a boy in a world where love is a sickness that can be cured.
Set in a dystopian Portland, Maine, the novel tells the story of Lena, 17, just before she receives a life-altering operation, that will forever take her feelings away.

I know I'm late. Like, really late. So many people have already read this and given an overall very good rating.
While I love the idea and creativity behing the story, I had some issues reading this. At first, I had a very slow start. A seemingly naive (and kind of boring) main character, too many words and thoughts, not enough plot. I would've been perfectly happy if the book was 100 pages shorter.
The characters weren't exceptional either, but luckily Lena had a huge character developement. She uncovered secrets, developed an opinion, discovered her courage. I also hope to see more of some side characters(Anabel, Hana, Grace). Luckily, the plot picked up as well.

To sum it up, a very average novel. It did not leave me in awe, but I enjoyed it nevertheless.

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Profile Image for Charlotte May.
720 reviews1,116 followers
March 25, 2019
"Love, the deadliest of all deadly things: it kills you both when you have it and when you don't."

To be fair, I wasn't expecting much from this novel. It was written in 2011, when dystopian books were at the height of popularity, and I guarantee if I had read this when I was a young teen, I would have devoured it.
However, I am now a cynical 25 year old, and books like this don't affect me. YA has come a long way since this was released, and I just noticed a lot of flaws (for me anyway).

Lena lives in Portland, where a wall has been built around their borders, and Love is believed to be a disease. This deliria can be cured by a vaccine that every citizen receives when they are 18 years old.

As you expect, Lena meets a boy and suddenly everything she has ever believed or been made to believe is thrown into disarray. Maybe Love isn't such a bad thing, maybe the powers that be have been lying to them all this time.

I loved the concept. It was different, and interesting. However, Lena is supposed to be 17 - almost 18 and she comes across like a 14 year old. I know this may have something to do with her naivety and the way she was brought up, but I still found it difficult to accept. Also her relationship with Alex is THE definition of insta-love. Look it up in the dictionary and they will be there. There is no legitimate way that they could have fallen so quickly (again just in my view at least).

I noticed a lot of similarities with The Declaration but I preferred that book so much more. I probably will still read book 2 as I want to see where the storyline goes and how everything pans out. But overall, nothing mind blowing.

"Love, it will kill you and save you, both."

This is my new plan with ordering library books - order 1 new release and then order 1 that has been on my TBR for years. So this is my chosen book that has been on my TBR since 2016 :)
Profile Image for oliviasbooks.
778 reviews519 followers
March 7, 2011
Okay. A review - or better a hopefully short explanation - after reading 104 pages, which in the case of "Delirium" means, I am still in the middle of the introductory chapters before the "real story" starts.

I do not know what I had expected storywise, when I pre-ordered the book. There were two factors, that made me do it, though: I had been very impressed by the author's courageous debut Before I Fall and the emotions reading it exposed me to. And - like almost every YA book lover out here - I am on the lookout for great dystopian fiction. Since I have consumed several representatives of that species which simply weren't worth the time I concluded that one by an author whose earlier work I admired should be a safe choice.

Yes, although I did not have fixed expectations concerning the story or the setting, I did have certain anticipations concerning the havoc Ms Oliver would wreak in my mind. After turning a quarter of the pages I am still waiting for my heart to contract, for my mind to reel, for my conscience to have difficulties in taking sides. Instead, I am getting a little bored, since I cannot detect something really new, and the only effort my mind is making (I feel brain-amputated, too, because I cannot love a book I am supposed to love) is to evaluate, whether the teenage heroine Magdalena’s calmness and adaptiveness and believe in the system are realistic or not. (A few weeks ago I watched a documentary about the importance of an infant’s first year for its intellectual and emotional development. Research shows that the exaggerated, fond conversation parents have with their babies – all that positive grimacing and cooing and constant contact-keeping - is so very crucial. Babies who were cared for by parents suffering severe depressions who kept blank faces and did not interact much with their infants, quickly stopped searching for emotional responses in their parents’ faces and were diagnosed as having notable developmental delays later.) Magdalena is one of the rare kids who was cuddled, comforted and loved in secret by her mom. Therefore, in my opinion, she should have more urges to have emotional outbursts than to painfully follow the rules. But I am not sure. Maybe her story is realistic the way it is depicted.

What is is not:

Riveting or shocking or frightening like, for instance, the film Equilibrium, which really shows a controlled and altered society, the consequences of the cropped ability to feel. I think even without the visuals Equilibrium as a book would have sent me into a turmoil a hundred times stronger than Delirium.

It is also not as well explained, as skillfully multi-layered, and as intricately shown from an inside-angle as The Giver by Lois Lowry, although the latter has a lot less pages to make the situation stomach-wrenchingly uncomfortable and eerie to the reader.

And last it is not as exciting as the Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld, which offers a setting that does not differ so much from „Delirium“: Authorities dealt with the human faults that led to a global catastrophe by turning everybody over 15 into pretty, rather dumb and peaceful people, who mind their jobs, meet their kids now and then and are content with partying and working. Like Lena Tally looks forward to her transformation - in her case from ugly to pretty - , to her move into the pretties’ dormitory ... until her best friend starts to install doubts into her mind. And ... whoosh ... the reader is drawn into a breathless thrill-ride that lasts three volumes and makes countless unexpected turns.
I flipped through the remaining three quarters of „Delirium“ and – as well as I can judge by catching a phrase here and there – the road to the cliffy ending seems to be pretty straight and allows time for picking pretty flowers on the way.

So. That was the explanation for my taking the next exit and grabbing the next book on my pile.
I think, I’ll go for a historical romance – highly unusual for me.

I advise the still undecided to read either The Giver, the Uglies or both and to watch Equilibrium.

Street Corner Bookers’ Pile Reduction Challenge, #11 (challenger: Kristy)
Profile Image for Μaria Vrisanaki .
189 reviews134 followers
August 10, 2018
“Οι πιο επικίνδυνες αρρώστιες είναι αυτές που μας κάνουν να πιστεύουμε ότι είμαστε καλά”


Σε μία κοινωνία όπου όλα λειτουργούν σωστά και προγραμματισμένα, ακόμα και το ζευγάρωμα και ο γάμος, ο έρωτας είναι η χειρότερη αρρώστια που δεν μπορεί να γιατρευτεί, όχι προτού οι πολίτες υποστούν στα δέκατα όγδοα γενέθλιά τους την ‘εγχείρηση’ που θα τους γιατρέψει μια για πάντα.

Η Αμόρ Ντελίρια Νερβόζα είναι η πιο επικίνδυνη ασθένεια.

Προκαλεί δυσκολία συγκέντρωσης.
Ανεβάζει τη θερμοκρασία.
Προκαλεί εφίδρωση.
Αυξάνει την ευφορία ή την απόγνωση, ανάλογα την περίσταση.
Κόβει την όρεξη.
Προκαλεί απώλεια βάρους, αϋπνία, παράνοια.
Στερεί την ικανότητα να βλέπεις καθαρά και να παίρνεις μόνος αποφάσεις.
Οδηγεί στη συναισθηματική ή και σωματική παράλυση και τελικά στην αυτοκτονία!


Αυτά τα δεδομένα ήταν υπεραρκετά για να με κάνουν να ενθουσιαστώ!!!

Παραδείγματα που γνωρίζουμε από τη λογοτεχνία ή τα θρησκευτικά παρουσιάζονται σε αυτό το βιβλίο σαν μαθήματα κατά της Αμόρ Ντελίρια Νερβόζα!

Ο Ρωμαίος και η Ιουλιέτα αποτελούν ένα από τα πρώτα διδάγματα στα σχολεία των παιδιών. Ιδού πού οδηγεί ο έρωτας. Αυτά θα πάθεις αν κολλήσεις την Αμόρ Ντελίρια Νερβόζα.


Και πολλά άλλα που εκτόξευσαν τον ενθουσιασμό μου στα ύψη!
Και όπως είναι φυσικό, η ηρωίδα θα κολλήσει την ασθένεια!!


Γιατί λοιπόν δεν έβαλα καλύτερο βαθμό;

Όσο αριστουργηματική κι αν μου φαινόταν η ιδέα, και πιστέψτε με ξετρελαθηκα, η εκτέλεση με χάλασε λίγο.

Πρώτο και σημαντικό! Πολλές λεπτομέρειες. Πολλά λόγια και λίγη ουσία. Αν κοιτάξω το βιβλίο στο σύνολό του, τελικά δεν είδα και πολλά μέσα σε 440 σελίδες.
Δεύτερο και επίσης σημαντικό. Ο έρωτας δεν με συνεπήρε καθόλου, και λυπάμαι πολύ γι’ αυτό. Περιμενα να δω το απόλυτο!!! Είχα πολύ υψηλές προσδοκίες για τον έρωτα, αφού είναι το κύριο θέμα του βιβλίου. Δεν μπήκα μέσα στην ιστορία, δεν ενθουσιάστηκα, δεν τον έζησα και απογοητεύομαι τόσο πολύυυ!!!


Τρίτον. Η αφήγηση είχε μία απαισιόδοξη νότα που με χάλασε. Λίγες ήταν οι φορές που κάτι πήγε να γίνει, αλλά και πάλι χάθηκε πάλι. ήθελα να δω ενθουσιασμό τρελό.

Πολύ λυπάμαι που δεν το αγάπησα. Λάτρεψα την ιδέα τουλάχιστον!!! <3

Ίσως να συνεχίσω με το δεύτερο λίγο αργότερα.
Profile Image for Ninoska Goris.
269 reviews162 followers
July 23, 2023
Español - English

En este mundo distópico el amor ha sido considerado una enfermedad mortal llamada delirio o amor deliria nervosa. La cura es obligatoria para el amor, que todos deben recibir al cumplir los 18 años. La idea detrás de la cura es que eliminará las emociones intensas y los sentimientos románticos para lograr una sociedad más estable y segura.

La protagonista del libro es Lena Haloway, una joven que está ansiosa por recibir la cura y vivir una vida sin los riesgos y dolores asociados con el amor. Sin embargo, a medida que se acerca su fecha de curación, Lena conoce a Alex, un chico encantador y misterioso que la desafía y la introduce en un mundo lleno de emociones y sentimientos prohibidos.

A medida que Lena y Alex se involucran en una relación clandestina, ella comienza a cuestionar las creencias de su sociedad y a dudar de la efectividad de la cura del amor. A través de sus experiencias y encuentros con personas que viven fuera de las restricciones de la sociedad, Lena se enfrenta a una difícil elección entre seguir las reglas o arriesgarse a vivir una vida más auténtica y llena de emociones.

Este libro explora temas como el amor, la libertad individual, la rebelión contra las normas establecidas y el costo de sacrificar las emociones humanas para mantener el control social.


In this dystopian world love has been deemed a deadly disease called delirium or amor deliria nervosa. It is mandatory the cure for love, which everyone must receive upon turning 18. The idea behind the cure is to eliminate intense emotions and romantic feelings to achieve a more stable and safe society.

The protagonist of the book is Lena Haloway, a young girl who is eager to receive the cure and live a life without the risks and pains associated with love. However, as her cure date approaches, Lena meets Alex, a charming and mysterious boy who challenges her and introduces her to a world full of forbidden emotions and feelings.

As Lena and Alex become involved in a clandestine relationship, she starts to question her society's beliefs and doubts the effectiveness of the love cure. Through her experiences and encounters with people living outside the society's restrictions, Lena faces a difficult choice between following the rules or risking to live a more authentic and emotion-filled life.

This book explores themes such as love, individual freedom, rebellion against established norms, and the cost of sacrificing human emotions to maintain social control.
Profile Image for Chesca (thecrownedpages).
309 reviews161 followers
December 15, 2016
A read for The Quarterly Book Club’s 2016 Series Reread Challenge
“I love you. Remember. They cannot take it.”

Lauren Oliver’s Delirium has once again astounded me. It is one of my best-loved dystopia series since I first read it. All the feelings that overwhelmed me before came rushing back, enveloping me in an embrace that reminds me of the beauty of a night sky, captivating with the speckling of stars.

Lena Haloway grew up looking forward to the day that she will be cured. She believed that undergoing the procedure would make her happy, and save her from the pain that her mother and her older sister went through when they were infected with the Amor Deliria Nervosa, what we commonly call ‘love’. But everything changed when a ruckus, involving cows in wigs and dresses, occurred during her evaluation. She lifted her eyes and met his. Nothing was ever the same for Lena ever since.

Okay, maybe that was not the best overview of the book, but let me tell you this: Delirium is going to open up the floodgates of your hearts; you won’t be able to stop it.

When I started rereading this, I was surprised by the fact that there was so much I have forgotten about its story. It was as if my brain blotted out all the exciting details so I could fully enjoy it again. The truth is I have enjoyed it more this time.

The world that Lauren Oliver built was a thought-provoking one. It made me appreciate more what we have now: love. She was able to write down a possible future if people started to be swallowed up by their own fears of pain and instability. It reminded me of something that I’ve read about advertising, that people create product infomercials with the thought of showing people what could dismay them, with an immediate solution attached to it. That’s what I saw with the government and the laws in Delirium. It showed their nation the terrible effects of love and the nightmares that could happen if they ever indulged to it. Their leaders offered false security, trapping them in what I’d like to call a “safe zone”, limiting themselves with promises of order and happiness. I honestly think that this system could happen to us. If people keep feeling disappointed, if others keep making them see themselves as failures, someone might just make this our new reality.

My emotions became more intense as I understood more each of the characters and saw how each of them was fighting their own battles. I want to talk about the three that stood out the most for me due to their choices and perspective on the matters they were dealing with.

Let me start with Lena. Lena, our protagonist exquisitely changed from who she was at the beginning of the book. Her eyes and her heart opened up to the things she never saw before. She realized all the lies of her world that the government had founded on fear. I love that at first she was very hesitant to believe what the Invalids, resisters, and sympathizers were fighting for. She was very stubborn and would fight for what she knew in herself was right, for the things that the laws have instilled in them. In the end, I found that she became a very strong character, which reminds me that I should add her to my list of female protagonists. She’s become very admirable, willing to brave anything just so she could fight for the freedom and the love that she now has in her.

Lena’s family background was something that readers should take note of. It was one of the aspects of the story that gripped my heart the tightest. It was heartbreaking every time she reminisced their memories together when she was younger, most especially those when Rachel, her older sister, was still uncured. There was a huge difference between her life then and the one she had after the tragedy that destroyed her family.
”His hair is a crown of leaves, of thorns, of flames. His eyes are blazing with light, more light than all the lights in every city in the whole world, more light than we could ever invent if we had ten thousand billion years.

Alex, Lena’s love interest, though I found his character very flat, he has been Lena’s driving force in her constant development as a person. Because of him and his knowledge of the cure’s corrupt nature, he was able to turn things around, pushing Lena out of her comfort zone. I admire him for being patient with Lena and for being very careful when it comes to their plans for the two of them. Both of their lives could be compromised, but Alex was never afraid as long as he could give Lena the love that he thinks she deserved. For him, it was the only thing that mattered and nothing else.

Next, I would like to talk about Hana, Lena’s bestfriend. Hana is Lena’s complete opposite but they were always there for each other. She was adventurous and rebellious, the popular girl who had everything, but still acted like she had nothing to lose. Lena cared so much for her. They were drifting apart at some points of the story, and then turning back to each other after a while. As Hana was coming closer to her deadline, counting down the days until their procedures, Lena was starting to feel boundless. It felt like Hana, who was free at the beginning was slowly walking towards a cage while Lena was on her way out.

The ending was very pleasing and there is no better way of executing it. It was action-packed and extremely dangerous. Lena shed her old self and was reborn when she took that slim chance, paying the price for a new and better life.

I utterly adore Lauren Oliver’s writing. Her words are easily-flowing like stream or rushing water down the falls. I could decorate my room with the beauty of her words. I could listen to them all day, even if it’s just about describing Alex’s hair. But I noticed in this installment the overuse of the words suck, sucking, sucked, and all the other forms of that word. Yes, I can’t help but notice that she used it to describe a number of things in the book, inserting them in her figures of speech like building blocks to a house. Even though she could have replaced them with other words, I still highly delighted in her work, for she painted the most stunning images in my mind, letting me see them in full color and detail.

I’m giving this a 4-star rating instead of a 5 because of only one reason: there were some parts that bored me. But I understand that he pacing felt a bit slow at some point because the story focused more on Lena’s metamorphosis emotionally and the transformation of her beliefs. It was carefully done like she was metal tested through fire and turned to a sharp-edged sword.

Overall, I highly recommend this. If you’re looking for a book that would make you think and feel, pick this one up. You won’t regret it.

“You can build walls all the way to the sky and I will find a way to fly above them. You can try to pin me down with a hundred thousand arms, but I will find a way to resist. And there are many of us out there, more than you think. People who refuse to stop believing. People who refuse to come to earth. People who love in a world without walls, people who love into hate, into refusal, against hope, and without fear.”

Profile Image for Jennifer.
662 reviews2,256 followers
July 6, 2012
WOW balled my eyes out! I am so depressed! ALEX! That was extremely intense and it didn't end at all like I expected. I need to get away from these depressing books for awhile.

Love killed Lena's mom so she wants nothing to do with it. She can't wait to get the cure. So of course right before her cure she falls in love. Alex was so sweet and amazing! I loved the time they spent together. The ending damn neared killed me!

The idea that love is a disease was so unique. The way they describe it, had you never felt it, you might truly believe it was something dangerous. People do crazy things when feelings are running high. Love can make you feel great and can also make you depressed. The writing was so beautiful. I especially loved the way they explained without love you wouldn't even love your pets or children. That would be so sad. I think to feel the high you must feel the low. A book that will keep you thinking!

"I love you. Remember. They cannot take it"

"You can't be happy unless you're unhappy sometimes"

"Love: It will kill you and save you, both"

"The most dangerous sicknesses are those that make us believe we are well"

"It's so strange how life works: You want something and you wait and wait and feel like it's taking forever to come. Then it happens and it's over and all you want to do is curl back up in that moment before things changed."
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Elle.
34 reviews844 followers
June 24, 2011

Let’s all gather round and pretend that Lauren Oliver is a surgeon. A highly skilled, kick-ass champion of a surgeon.

Now, let's assume that Delirium is the patient.

And if these statements are true, then the characters are the amoebas that are aggressively attacking the patient and the plot is the brain tumour that will bring it to its tragic end.

Because let's be honest, this book was a bad idea.

It would be as if I woke up tomorrow and decided it was a terrific stroke of genius to wear my purple sombrero to the office. (Yes I do have one)

I am willing to let this one slide, however. Because I'm a forgiving individual and I want Lauren Oliver to succeed and make embarrassing amounts of money. I want this for her because I adored Before I Fall and I suspect she has a few more of the likes of those left in her back pocket before she generates any more of this garbage. Right Dr. Oliver?

And with that promise in mind, I am GENEROUSLY awarding 2 stars: one for the writing, and one for the... uh... because that's just how I roll, bitches.

Profile Image for Felicity .
25 reviews2,211 followers
July 15, 2017
FAR OUT. Did it really have to end like that....? 😢
Such a clever idea though!! Really good read but oh my...I need a minute.
Profile Image for Steph Sinclair.
461 reviews11.1k followers
April 6, 2011

I really wanted to love this book. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad, but it just didn't add up to the hype I thought it would. I would say I give it more of 3 1/2 stars.

Delirium is about a girl name Lena who lives in a future where love is considered a disease. At 18 everyone under goes surgery to remove the ability to love. However, a few months before her surgery and birthday, she meets Alex and falls in love. Obviously, this complicates things.

To be honest, it was difficult to place myself in Lena's world. It just seemed so...far fetched. Maybe it's because every time I think if a dystopian society, I think of Katniss and The Hunger Games. If you are looking for something like The Hunger Games, this is is not it. Delirium focuses more on Lena and Alex's relationship than the actual world. Maybe that's why I felt it hard to believe. I don't know.

I feel that the first half of the book was rather bland to me. It didn't really start getting interesting until after the climax. And that is an awful lot of pages to keep me waiting.

I really did enjoy the book tho. It was beautifully written, especially the prose in the beginning of each chapter.

While I don't think it it is as good as Before I Fall, I will read the sequel because c'mon Lauren Oliver, that ending was just harsh! Lol.

More reviews and more at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.
Profile Image for Elisabeth Plimpton.
176 reviews172 followers
April 9, 2022
My first YA book in quite a while.

Delirium was an interesting concept for a book. It portrays a utopian society that is actually more dystopian. Love is forbidden and considered a disease. Adults get cured by having brain surgery at the age of 18. They then get an approved career path and match for marriage. The cure takes away your ability to feel emotions deeply, and in turn, makes it easier for people to live by a controlled set of rules. The government believes that love makes people crazy, causing war and harm to society. Some resisters, called invalids, live outside the protected boarder of the US. However, the cure doesn’t always work and some people find a way to disguise themselves, though, the consequences for resistance are brutal.

At the age of 17, Lena is living in Portland, Maine with her aunt. Her father died at a young age, and her mother took her own life after three failed attempts at the cure procedure. Lena is an impressionable teen, who is torn between order and freedom. Soon Lena meets Alex, an invalid hiding in plain sight. They quickly fall in love, and he helps Lena discover the truth about her family. Can Lena leave behind the promise of a stable future for love? She must weigh her options of living safely within walls or out in the unknown with choice.

Delirium had some nice messages, but at times it felt like it tried too hard to be deep. My takeaways were that life needs meaning. Humans want to bond with one another, and not just on a superficial level, but on a deeper level. We crave connection, and that’s not a bad thing to feel. The book showed that when something is forbidden or restricted, it only makes you want it more. It illustrated how society fears what they cannot control, and sheltering people for their own good can often backfire.

The plot was predictable at times, but there were some good twists that I didn’t see coming. The writing was very descriptive, and some of the imagery was a bit much. Being near 500 pages, the book felt a bit too long with the events happening slowly. The last hundred pages were the most action-packed. I liked the unique mix of characters and how they were developed by the end. They learn to help one another, make their own choices, and rebel in small ways.

The ending was shocking, dramatic, and a bit disappointing. I probably won’t be reading the next two books in the trilogy, as the story seems to go in an entirely different direction. However, I still enjoyed exploring this interesting concept for a dystopian society.
Profile Image for sandeep.
102 reviews71 followers
May 8, 2018
5/5 Stars

I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I do!

The concept of love being a disease was just great.

Really enjoyed the characters and loved their development throughout the book.

Lauren Oliver delivered a beautiful and intense story about forbidden love.

Profile Image for Sita.
108 reviews58 followers
August 3, 2011
I tried I really did, I loved Before I fall, and this book sounded so great, but I couldn't bring myself to get past the first 100 pages. This book is probably good for some people, but I just couldn't bring myself to finish it.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews33 followers
June 6, 2018
Delirium (Delirium, #1), Lauren Oliver
Delirium is the first in her dystopian trilogy. It tells the story of a society where love has been considered a disease and everyone has to go through a special treatment on their eighteenth birthday to be cured of the illness. The book's protagonist, Lena, meets a boy who shows her not everything is as it seems. Published on January 1, 2011, by HarperCollins (HarperTeen).
Characters: Hana Tate, Magdalena "Lena" Ella Haloway-Tiddle, Alex Sheathes, Carol Tiddle, Grace Tiddle.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: هجدهم ماه سپتامبر سال 2012 میلادی
عنوان: شیدایی - کتاب اول ؛ نویسنده: لورن اولیور؛ مترجم: مهتاب هادوی؛ تهران؛ آذرباد، 1396؛ در 466 ص؛ شابک: 9786006225357؛ فروست: شیدایی؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی - سده 21 م
عنوان: جنون - کتاب اول ؛ نویسنده: لورن اولیور؛ مترجم: مریم مقدس؛ نسیم قیاسی؛ تهران؛ شهر قلم، 1396؛ در 448 ص؛ شابک: 9786003203976؛ فروست: شیدایی؛
ا. شربیانی
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