Oni's Reviews > Delirium

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
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it was ok
bookshelves: science-fiction, young-adult, dystopia

Definitely not my type. Remind me next time to be cautious to read YA genre. Beware you out-there sci-fi fans. This is not a sci-fi book. It is a teenage love story with a hint of sci-fi.

This novel is telling the story of the main character Lena, who lived in a supposedly a utopian society, which is peaceful because "love" no longer exist.

First, the premise is bad. Love (or according to this novel: amor delirium nervosa) is a disease. If it is a disease, what is the pathogen? Virus, bacteria, amoeba, or what? Then, what is the vector carrying the disease? Insect, airborne, water borne? None! It is bad science. The cause is simply raging hormone in adolescence, which is neither a disease or a threat to human society. It is a process of growing up.

Second, assuming it is a disease, the cure is definitely ineffective. The ancient has already found the perfect cure for this disease (at least for the male part). It is called castration. You don't need hi-tech, just a sharp knife. In order to procreate, you can simply store the sperm before doing the castration.

Third, assuming it is a disease, it is not called love based on the symptoms. It is called teenage angst, teenage rebellion, puppy love. When you fall in love you think that that is the most important thing in this world, not global warming, financial crisis or world justice. And the cure is also simple, it is called growing up.

The sci-fi movie "Equilibrium", starred by Christian Bale and Sean, explored this theme much better. The disease is the human emotion, which sometime hinder us from using rational thought. So the entire population is vaccinated to suppress the emotion. But when emotion is taken, we are half the human we are.

This book (and the following series) definitely aims for teenagers with their daily routine problems: not allowed by parent to go to wild parties, listening to trash music, going out with boyfriends. And the parents supposedly create this dystopia. In the eyes of teenagers, every parents are fascist, then. The entire book is built on this premise: an analogy of teenage rebellion against parental authority. Maybe this is the cause of the booming of this book, because it touch the reality faced by teenagers.

But again, this is not a sci-fi novel. I give it a two star instead of one only because it is well written, especially the note before every chapter. The nursery rhyme is the best part. Otherwise it is simply worthless.
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Reading Progress

August 16, 2012 – Started Reading
August 16, 2012 – Shelved
August 20, 2012 – Finished Reading
January 3, 2013 – Shelved as: science-fiction
March 17, 2015 – Shelved as: young-adult
March 17, 2015 – Shelved as: dystopia

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