Delirium by Lauren Oliver [Review]

Society’s greatest evil has finally been eradicated.

The deliria that is love, has been cured, no longer are citizen under its thrall, they are free to live their lives in a safe, predictable and measured way, without any of the troubles that existed when people actually thought love was a good thing.

America has shut its borders and demands that all citizens are “cured” on or as nears as is safe to their eighteenth birthday. With out the problem of finding someone to love who loves you back, potential partners are carefully selected by the government, following an exam to determine what your position in society will be

Lena’s utter certainty in the cure and and belief that it was the right thing, reminded me a lot of Anna in Gemma Malley’s The Declaration, both girls not only accepted their lot in life, but fully believed in it, and initially at least would have fought for it, makes reading both books a disquieting experience at times.

But removing people’s ability to love, and all that means, because it’s not just romantic love that falls by the wayside, but a side-effect means that you’ll cease to care about any lifelong friendships and passions you have, makes this one of the most genuinely creepy dystopias I’ve ever read.

Lena’s brainwashing is such that even when she meets and falls in love with Alex, mere weeks before her cure, all she wants to do at first get to that cure, and rid herself of these confusing feelings.

Eventually, Lena realises she would rather live rough in “the wilds” with Alex, than the half-existence, life after the cure would be.

It all builds to a shocking conclusion that is the perfect ending to the book.  I have to say if any slight-of-hand trickery is used when the sequel comes around I’ll be mightily ticked off, however much I might want it to be true. (Yes, I know I was reading an ARC so a few details may have changed, when the book is released. But there is a specific line that enforces my viewpoint on this.)

It’s not perfect by any means, there’s no explanation for instance, as to why hormonally charged teenagers are allowed anywhere near each other pre-cure, when they are the most at risk of contracting the deliria. (I should note that Alex is believed to be post-cure hence safe to be around) Whilst opportunities to mingle are limited, you would have expected a much stricter segregation.

But this is a minor mingle as the story works very well and the world building is otherwise excellent.

Highly recommended.

Delirium is released Feb 2011 by Harper Collins in the US and Hodder & Stoughton in the UK, put it on your wishlists now!

Pre Order: Delirium by Lauren Oliver from The Book Depository

Disclaimer: My copy of Delirium was provided through @netgalley for review purposes. The UK publisher also sent me a copy after I had read the book but before I posted this review.

The UK publishers Hodder & Stoughton, were also kind enough to send me an image for the cover of the UK edition, so which one do you prefer?!

22 thoughts on “Delirium by Lauren Oliver [Review]

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  • November 26 at 7:00 pm

    I cannot wait to get my hands on this… it sounds great.
    I’d combine the covers if it were up to me… use the US cover, but add the birds from the UK cover. Maybe that is just because I love birds…

  • November 25 at 2:03 am

    Loved! Minus a few flaws (which you mention here) this was a fantastic read. I thought the plot was great, the characters interesting and the way Oliver built the surrouding world was believable given the notion of Love being a disease. The sequel is a long way off!

    • November 25 at 6:09 pm

      Yeah, one of the problems with getting to read ARCs is that possible sequels are even further away! 😐

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  • November 20 at 10:16 pm

    Wow. I’ve never heard of Delirium, but it certainly has a weird, creepy premise. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about it – I might have to check it out sometime.

  • November 17 at 12:36 am

    I loved this book. I felt as though Lauren Oliver really took her time and allowed for character and world development. I, too, wondered why the pre-ops were allowed to have such intense contact, but let that wonder go. I loved the ending, too. Do you think that there will be a second book or is this a stand-alone?

    • November 17 at 8:14 pm

      I can’t imagine there not being a sequel can you?

      • November 17 at 10:57 pm

        I don’t think that the ending was a cliffhanger, but I would love to see what happens…I loved the ending, but don’t feel like I’m done with the story! There probably won’t be a sequel, but I’d read it if there were one!

        • November 18 at 11:41 pm

          I just finished this one and I thought it was fantastic.

          I noticed on goodreads that this is slated to be a trilogy, so that should satisfy any questions over the ending!

          • November 19 at 12:53 am

            Oh, thanks! I didn’t even think to look. Good to know. I guess I’ll get to find out what happens after the ending after all!

  • November 16 at 8:37 pm

    Ah! You hit on the point I noticed before I even received my ARC. I was wondering how they would explain the teens mingling before being cured. Darn. Ah well, it still sounds good and I’m still planning to read it as part of my YAD2 reading. Thanks for the review!

    • November 17 at 8:11 pm

      You should definitely read it as soon as you can. 😀

  • November 16 at 2:35 am

    I can’t believe I missed this one at BEA. Then again, it was tremendously overwhelming. 🙂

    • November 16 at 2:39 pm

      You’re not the first to mention missing it at BEA 🙁 I think you’ll love when you do get hold of a copy!

  • November 16 at 1:09 am

    I am DYING to read this book. It sounds so fantastic…Heather’s reading this one right now too and it sounds so intriguing!

    • November 16 at 2:04 am

      It’s a great read. You so need to get a copy!

  • November 16 at 12:12 am

    I loved Before I Fall so much that I added this one to my wish list without even checking to see what it was about. I’m glad to see that you recommend it!

    • November 16 at 2:02 am

      It’s very good. I really need to read, Before I Fall!

  • November 15 at 11:55 pm

    I absolutely cannot wait to read this! I’m so mad that I didn’t know about it when I went to BEA!!

    • November 16 at 2:01 am

      It’s certainly worth getting hold of! (I got my ARC from @netgalley if you want to read it on your Kindle)

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