Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Release Date: February 1, 2011
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Genre: YA Romance
Challenge: 100 Books in 2011
Buy the Book: Amazon
Lena Haloway is content in her safe, government-managed society. She feels (mostly) relaxed about the future in which her husband and career will be decided, and looks forward to turning 18, when she’ll be cured of deliria, a.k.a. love. She tries not to think about her mother’s suicide (her last words to Lena were a forbidden “I love you”) or the supposed “Invalid” community made up of the uncured just beyond her Portland, Maine, border. There’s no real point—she believes her government knows how to best protect its people, and should do so at any cost. But 95 days before her cure, Lena meets Alex, a confident and mysterious young man who makes her heart flutter and her skin turn red-hot. As their romance blossoms, Lena begins to doubt the intentions of those in power, and fears that her world will turn gray should she submit to the procedure. In this powerful and beautifully written novel, Lauren Oliver, the bestselling author of Before I Fall, throws readers into a tightly controlled society where options don’t exist, and shows not only the lengths one will go for a chance at freedom, but also the true meaning of sacrifice. -- Jessica Schein
First of all, let me just say that I think Lauren Oliver is an amazing writer, who beautifully constructs her words to form amazing stories. This isn't the first Lauren Oliver book I've read and I can assure you, it won't be the last. In fact, rumor has it that Delirium is just the first book in a trilogy about Lena and the dystopian society in which she has grown up in. However, I personally felt like this book could have been much shorter, and still had the same effect. I'm guessing that Oliver had to put a lot of detail into the book, simply to set up the stage for all future books. At least, that's what I'm going to choose to believe at this point.
Overall - I enjoyed this book. I felt connected to Lena, and began to really feel anger for her. I was involved in her friendship with Hana, the emotional roller coaster. I was interested in her rebellious "teenage" ways, and I loved the romance between Lena and Alex. I'm thankful that the romance wasn't a "love at first site" kind of romance, but that the two of them actually had to somewhat work at it. In the beginning, Lena just accepted the government's authority and control, but by the end of the book, Lena was a true "resister."
Delirium describes love as a disease (amor deliria nervosa), and the cure for this disease is a procedure that effectively removes the nerves in the brain that allow a person to love, to express emotion, or to feel emotion. Because of Lena's past, and her mother being infected by this disease, Lena is desperate to get the procedure done before she becomes like her mother. And then, she meets Alex, the boy who exposes her to love and life outside of Portland.
While the book may start off slower than I would have liked, the ending definitely left me wanting more of Lena. I'm very much looking forward to the next installment of Delirium, expected sometime in 2012.