Friday 18 March 2011

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Pages - 393

Published by Hodder and Stoughton in January 2011
Book: Kindly sent by publisher.

It has been sixty-four years since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty-three since the scientists perfected a cure. Everyone else in my family had had the procedure already. My older sister, Rachel, has been disease free for nine years now. She's been safe from love for so long, she says she can't even remember its symptoms. I'm scheduled to have my procedure in exactly ninety-five days, on September 3. My birthday.

Lena Halloway has always looked forward to the day when she will be cured of the disease amor deliria nervosa. She remembers quite clearly how it affected her mother and she doesn't want to die from the same disease.

As the day of her cure grows ever closer, Lena is shocked to find herself changing her opinion of the cure. Especially when she meets Alex. Lena begins to wonder if the cure really is the best thing for society. Surely
 love is the answer and not the disease.

When I began to read this book, I found myself in awe of Lauren Oliver's world building abilities.  Through her vivid descriptions, she has created a believable society with a hint of Big Brother lurking in the background. Lauren Oliver clearly spent a long time researching and developing this book in order to give it such an authentic reality. Her detailed descriptions of the effects of  love on the innocent, were uncannily accurate,leaving me shuddering with a possible premonition of love being outlawed throughout the world.

It took me a little while to warm to Lena, as she came across as rather childish to begin with and only interested in her own self importance. However as her character grew and the society controlled blinkers fell away from her eyes, I could not help but grow to love her.  She became a devious and feisty young woman, my favourite kind of female protaganist!

The relationship between Lena and Alex took a little while to ignite,slowly burned, then exploded on to the pages. The forbidden boundaries of their relationship, intertwined with recurrent whispers of Romeo and Juliet, created such an intensity that I found it impossible to put the book down.

I felt that the characters who had been cured were extremely well written. The fact that they were unable to exhibit  any signs of emotion at all, was clearly shown through their disregard to crying children and injured pets. They gave me the distinct impression of androids, unable to comprehend  feelings or reveal emotions.

The story ended with an unexpected yet powerful cliffhanger, that left me bewildered and breathless. I feel helpless in my lack of knowledge of their futures and can only wait with anxiety until the release of the second book in the series, Pandemonium.

Having read Matched, I found I couldn't leave this review without a comment about it in relation to Delirium. I will not compare them as from my personal perspective there is no comparison. Within Delirium love is a virulant disease, whereas in Matched, love isn't the main issue; finding the perfect match is.  Out of the two dystopian worlds, Delirium was definitely more realistic and scarily achievable than Matched. Delirium didn't leave me feeling suffocated in the same way that  Matched did.

For all lovers of dystopian fiction, I do feel Lauren Oliver has created a new world for us to step into.


  1. I had a real hard time with the world-building in this one.

  2. Oh wow this sounds like an excellent story. LOL a cure for love.

  3. Amanda - a few people have said the same, but I found it easier to believe than the one in Matched.

    Kathy - so happy to see you blogging again. Big hugs. Wouldn't it be weird if we couldn't feel any emotion.

  4. Coffee and a Book Chick - you will love it.

  5. I actually loved Matched more than Delirium. I just did not like Lena that much.
    It is a completely haunting novel though

  6. Asamum I preferred Lena. She annoyed me to begin with but then she grew on me.

  7. I've heard a lot of good things about this book. I'm glad you liked it.

  8. This sounds such an interesting one - a little like a film I saw not long ago, I forget the name now but it was on late at night and a similar theme, people had to take injections to quell feelings and sensations...

    Interesting one, will look out for it.

  9. Oh there's a surprise, according to my blog roll this is a post called coveting books.

    I love the concept of love being a disease so will certainly be looking this one up, thanks for a great review.

  10. Darlene - you would enjoy it.

    Carmen - I haven't heard of this film. Must know more!

    Petty Witter - yep that's tomorrow's post. My computer is playing silly games with me today! Aargh!

  11. You've convinced me that I need to give this one a try!

  12. I loved Matched so I have a feeling I would love Delirium too. Now if I can just get a copy from the library - there's a long line of holds. :)

  13. Bermudaonion - yay! I am pleased.

    Blodeuedd - it has to be done.

    Alyce - this one is less controlling, so definitely worth reading.

  14. I like the premise, I'm adding this to my wishlist. Great review!

  15. I almost got this at Borders over the weekend but wasn't really sure what the book was about. Now that I've read your review I really wish I'd gotten it. Love dystopian fiction and this sounds great!

  16. I've seen so many reviews of this book now - both good and bad. This definitely sounds like an intriguing one. I like the idea that love would be seen as a disease - that's what draws me to this story. Might give it a go. :)


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