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Monday, September 19, 2011

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Release: February 1, 2011

Source: Purchased
Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.
Two summers ago I read Lauren Oliver’s debut, Before I Fall, on the recommendation of, oh, about a hundred bloggers. You’ll notice that I never reviewed the book. That’s because I really just didn’t like it and didn’t know why. Then a few weeks later my sister read the book and loved it, so I figured maybe I just didn’t click with the main character. After all, she was far more like my sister than me. Yes, that was probably it.

When Delirium came out, it was once again met with a great deal of praise from other bloggers. People just love Oliver’s books. Obviously I was missing something, so I picked up Delirium and decided to give it a shot.

Sadly, I once again was not a big fan. Despite how great of a person Oliver is (I met her at TAC and BEA in 2010), I just cannot seem to get into her books. Once again, I’m not really sure why.

This time I could relate more to the main character. Lena was shy and studious and respectful, much like me. I also loved the concept of Delirium: love being viewed as a disease. Plus, unlike other dystopians, there was much more semblance between Lena’s world and our own. All signs pointed to a great read that was right down my ally.

Yet, I couldn’t get into the story. From the get go I could see where the book was headed. I had a general idea of how it would end (all dystopians are similar in that regard) and as the book progressed I could see the various plot points coming. Only, it took forever for the story to get there. The pages dragged on and on and on, approaching a twist I already was expecting. It made me antsy and a little frustrated with Lena. If I could see this coming, surely she should too.

Now, I would like to say that there was a lot of good in this book: good characters, good scenes, good writing. On more than one occasion I found myself while reading a particularly lovely scene or stopping to reread a particularly beautiful line. Oliver is a talented writer; that is undeniable. The real issue was that these good parts were often separated by ten or twenty pages of long, descriptive prose that made my eyes cross.

So, once again, it seems that Oliver’s book and I are not compatible. Still, I know I’ll probably end up reading Pandemonium when it comes out. Like I said, Oliver has a lot of talent and there’s great potential in Lena’s story. I don’t think I’m quite ready to give up on either of them.

Hopefully, if you give Delirium a chance, you end up liking it more than me.

3 stars


  1. Awh! :( I'm sad to hear that you didn't like Before I Fall and Delirium. I loved both of them, the latter more than the former. Delirium is one of my favorite reads of the year... Sigh. Hopefully, you'll like Oliver's future releases more.

  2. I give you a lot of credit for not judging an author based on only one book and reading Delirium at all. I like oliver's books, the first more than the second...but I really appreciate your honesty!


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