Sunday, December 26, 2010

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

(Photo taken from Goodreads)

Title: Delirium
Author:  Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061726826
ISBN-13: 978-0061726828
Publication Date:  2/1/2011
Advanced reader's e-proof sent to the reviewer from NetGalley

This book is two of things I try to avoid when choosing books:  Sci-Fi, and part of a series.  But I kept seeing this on other blogs and I was curious to know what the fuss was about anyway.  When I read the blurb, it sounded interesting, so against my better judgment (I passed on The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood!), I requested for an advanced reader's copy on NetGalley and Voila!  I got a copy.   So let it be known that I got a copy from the publisher through NetGalley and this review is partly for them - mostly for me. :D

The Story According to Goodreads

"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."

At first glance,  I thought the plot was a bit lame, but what got me was how would Lena manage to go through with everything?  I have a vague idea for an ending, but I wanted to see for myself what the author would do for this story.  

The story builds slowly, cautiously answering every question, taking you step by step through the entire plot to fully absorb the conflict's impact.  This book is written in a gradual fashion:  Gradually enticing, gradually amazing, and gradually shocking.  I like how the author feeds on the reader's curiosity and covers every minute detail, no stone unturned.  

With regard to the characters, I like their quirks, their distinct personalities, and the 'sheepness' of the 'cured' characters.  It is a given fact that love affects people differently, which gives us individuality, and here, by removing love, the author perfectly creates 'human robots.'  Lena is the perfect study of the troubled teenager, going through an identity crisis:  Does she really want to be 'cured'?  Is she really like her mother?  Or does she really want to be like her mother?  The story shows Lena's transformation from troubled teen to a strong and mature human being.  

The dialogue is good, if sparse, with the narration at times becoming verbose although clear most times.  I have this urge to skip through most of the descriptions of scenery, etc. and to just move on to the next conversation, I just tire of the enumeration of minor details - maybe that's the point of the whole writing:  Nothing is considered minor detail, every description is exhausted for the sake of the readers.  But that sense of urgency with which this book is written pulled me into wanting to go on to the next scenes than to keep reading on the present one when it's already settled and should really move on. 

The problem I have with this book is not the Sci-Fi bit, I'm past that now since the story is written convincingly (everything's possible!), what bothers me is the ending for this book.  This is not something you can read on its own, you really have to go check out the next book, and the next, and the next, until it reaches like HP 7 - oh wait, that's for Harry Potter, my bad.  Earlier I've already established that I don't like series much purely because I don't want to go roasting in my own juices waiting for the next installment.  I do not want to be like those people who lurk around the web and the bookstores looking for the next book in a series, threatening to kill themselves if they cannot read the next one.  I want to be able to read my book, finish it, and die happy.  But this one made me read it, made me like it, and now, it's making me go wait and get the next one.  Oh how I hate you, Lauren Oliver, for writing such a beautiful piece, that now leaves me hankering for me.  Let this not be just a simple review but a warning to you, dear author:  We are waiting for the next book, and we demand it to be as good, if not better, as the first.


  1. I've been so looking forward in reading Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. I actually thought that Delirium is the sequel to it. I was mistaken. Delirium looks pretty amazing based on your review and I would someday like to read it. But I'm going to stick on Before I Fall first then Delirium. Hopefully I can get a copy soon! :-)

    Bookable Reads ☺

  2. Glad you liked the review. Yeah, you better read this one. I've been seeing a lot of Before I Fall in bookstores, you should go grab a copy yourself already :D

  3. I just got this one from NetGalley, too!
    haha, I love your comments about books in series. For me, I love series for basically the same reasons you hate them. I love that anticipation of waiting for the next book. Sometimes the anticipation can be just too much to bear. But I love it all the same!

  4. Aylee: It's really a matter of preference. But I think I might watch out for the next installment for this one.


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