Brandi's Reviews > Delirium

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
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's review
Jun 14, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2011, audiobooks, favorites, teen, random-reads-column, librandian-blog


Random Reads

By Lauren Oliver

After centuries of allowing emotions to control the actions of society, the government has finally come up with a way to regulate the disease that causes outbreaks of unyielding feelings and blatant passion responsible for violence and wars. Everyone gets the procedure to remove the fatal illness, amor deliria nervosa, at the age of eighteen. Anyone who does not submit to the procedure may infect others with the highly contagious disease. Resisters are referred to as invalids and are held in horrible prisoners. There are a few lucky ones who manage to escape and live their lives on the other side of the fence, in the Wilds. Books were written describing the dangers of living with the disease and Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is taught at schools as a cautionary tale.

In less than three months, Lena will be cured. Before the procedure, Lena must be evaluated by scientists and doctors and prove that she will not be a sympathizer to those with the disease. Lena has mixed feelings about the procedure as her mother had the procedure a number of times and was never fully cured. The numerous procedures eventually led to Lena’s mother’s suicide. Lena wonders what will happen when she is cured. Will her body adjust or will it reject the cure and allow the disease to win? Lena’s evaluation jitters are temporarily put on hold when a herd of cattle is released into the evaluation building. In the midst of the chaos, Lena looks up to the observation deck and sees Alex, a boy with a dangerous secret.

Alex doesn’t act like most of the cured people Lena knows. In fact, Alex knows more about the cure and the sympathizers than anyone should. Every piece of information that Alex tells Lena leads her farther and farther away from the cure and closer to life with the delirium. Every moment Alex and Lena spend together is breaking the law but how far can love push them?

Delirium brings up interesting, thought-provoking questions about the underlying elements of criminal acts, but also shows what life would be like without love or emotion. Oliver’s world is a bit fuzzy at times, like how much of the country subscribes to the procedure and who is really in charge of the law, but readers will overlook the questionable issues presented for a story that is romantic, yet action-packed.


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