Delirium by Lauren Oliver, published 2011 by Hodder.
Read: September 2014
Genre: Young Adult/Sci-Fi/Dystopia/Romance/Adventure
Get It Now: Wordery
Goodreads Synopsis: They say the cure for Love will make me happy and safe forever. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy. I’ve always believed them. Until now. Now everything has changed. Now, I’d rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie.
I thought this was such an amazing concept for a novel, a world where love is considered a disease! I’m sure anyone who’s ever had their heart broken has considered it as such, and wouldn’t have minded taking the cure at the time! Oliver builds a very intricate world that really did sweep me off my feet and plunge me head-first into a realistic dystopian society. Pretty much all of the characters had detailed back-stories, and many of the relationships presented (among the “uncureds”) – between friends, family and partners, were intense and emotional.
While part of me really enjoyed the world Oliver builds through her beautiful and descriptive writing, another part of me was very impatient for the actual elements of the story to unfold. I’m not sure if this impatience was brought about by my desire to find out what happens, or by (dare I say it?) my slight boredom at times. But it was only slight. Oliver’s writing is beautiful, there’s no denying that, this book is very quote-worthy and occasionally thought-provoking, but at the same time I feel that less can sometimes be more, and as a reader I wanted the story to develop with a little more speed. So far, this only seems to be a bit of an issue in the first book of the series, as I’m almost finished book 2 and the pace of the story-telling has quickened, though still in Oliver’s beautiful style.
Our main character, Lena, goes through quite the transformation in this novel, and Oliver handles her character development expertly. Often in these sorts of stories, changes in a character’s personality can feel forced, or can seem to come about without obvious reasons. In Delirium, we see a young and unsure girl begin to transform into a questioning and more confident young woman.
A lot of the characters in this book have great story-arcs, some of which we get to read about in more detail than others. I loved so many of the characters in this book, and have serious soft spots for Hana, the main character’s best friend, Alex, the love interest, and Grace, the main character’s younger cousin, who I hope we may get to see more of in the rest of the series?
I felt that Oliver was planting a lot of seeds in the first book, I have theories and hopes for what I want to happen in the novel, and what I think some of the outcomes may be, but I’m not 100% sure. She could take this story anywhere. The book ends on a hold-your-breath-and-wish-it-weren’t-true cliffhanger, and for the first time in my life (I think), I just had to Wikipedia the series to find a brief synopsis of book two. I just couldn’t go into it not knowing! (There you go, Trish, first time for everything!).
“Hate isn’t the most dangerous thing, he’d said, indifference is.”
“I love you. Remember. They cannot take it.”
One of the main reasons I can’t stretch to a 5/5 for this novel is because of my issues with its pacing, though I’m still not sure what I put that down to. I did find myself skimming certain chapters or sections, on more than one occasion, but overall I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would, and I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy. I have high hopes it will become one of my new favourites. Also, I can finally watch the Delirium TV show pilot episode, after waiting to read the book first!