Review: Delirium

Delirium by Lauren Oliver Book Cover

Delirium by Lauren Oliverpublished 2011 by Hodder.

Read: September 2014
Genre: Young Adult/Sci-Fi/Dystopia/Romance/Adventure
Source: Purchased
#Pages: 393
Get It Now: Wordery

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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.

The Review

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.”

The Rating


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!

About Rachel

Avid reader & #bookblogger. Lover of all things business. A fan of drinks & dancing. Ever optimistic. Feminist.

13 Responses

  1. I’ve not read it yet but I keep coming across it and wondering if I should get it and give it a go. I think after reading your review I’ll have to do just that!


  2. Elen @ A World of Reviews

    I’m so glad you loved it! You have to read the other books because they’re even better, especially the latest one.

    And that pronunciation guide is so useful – half way through the second book I realised that I’d been saying Chaol completely wrong, and it’s still hard for me to say it right. 🙂


  3. Tara

    The TV show is definitely a trip to watch! I don’t know what they would have done with the show to stretch it to a season or multiple seasons. I’m with you on the 4 star rating for this — I liked it, but something was missing that kept if from being awesome for me. But I did continue the rest of the series and enjoyed Pandemonium quite a bit, so I look forward to your reviews of those!


  4. Cait

    I want to read this!!! I read Panic by Lauren Oliver and was kind of underwhelmed. It hasn’t turned me off her writing though! I want to read this and her If I Fall one (although I keep getting it confused with If I Stay. Dang it people. Stop with the “ifs”. I’m getting confused. >_< lol!!) I'm REALLY glad you liked this, even if the pacing was a bit off. I didn't realise it was a show though? Did it shut down after the first episode??!


  5. I have the whole series but have yet to start it, I really want to though. I have put it off just because I have heard that the sequel is disappointing and the third book even worse. That makes me nervous… I don’t know if I can read another series that ends badly. I don’t know… it sounds so good though!


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