Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: 7th February 2012
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Description: Ninety-five days, and then I'll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It's hard to be patient. It's hard not to be afraid while I'm still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn't touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver is a unique concept in the plethora of dystopia novels available nowadays. It makes quite an interesting read.

Set in a dystopian society where love is considered a disease and a cure has been developed, Delirium is essentially a story about the cost of love.  It follows the story of Lena Haloway, whose ideals are changed when she falls in love just before she is cured. Her encounter with love helps her unravel the secrets behind the government’s propaganda and her own past. Not only is this story novel and unique, it is also thought provoking. It provides a commentary on fundamental emotions and what affect the absence of love has on society. The book elicits questions about how relationships are psychologically different from the norm.  Oliver also discusses how loveless relationships would function. For example, marriages are depicted as business deals made by the government.
Dystopias are often a hit or a miss for me, and this book in particular was one I has a few issues with. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but I was not completely sold on the premise and worldbuilding. I was also confused as to why the world had evolved to be against love. This book, I am sure is one that I will enjoy more upon re-reading when the small details will not bother me as much.  The epigraphs present at the start of each chapter were an asset to this book as they provided a window into the world and helped explain the dystopian society and the rules that govern it.

The writing itself was phenomenal. Lauren Oliver is one talented writer.  This book had some of the most beautiful writing I have seen in awhile. Her writing is graceful, elegant and very descriptive. The sentences Oliver writes are poetry and lyrics mixed together. They evoke beautiful crisp imagery and raw emotion.

Lena felt like your every day girl. She starts of as a shy girl, who follows the rules. She firmly believes that the cure holds safety and happiness. Her journey of falling in love with Alex challenges and changes her. She begins to question the government and takes bolder risks, overall developing into a more stronger and resilient character. The change in Lena is subtle and gradual and does not arise out of a single moment of clarity. The romantic relationship between Alex and Lena is very endearing.  Alex was a very loyal, supporting and caring romantic interest. However I found my self-wanting to know more about him.  The romantic relationship was very smooth sailing. I wished there had been more conflict between these two that was not due to the external society and its rules.  Hana was another great character. Her controlled rebellious ways was a great contrast to Lena’s own growing rebellion.

Overall Delirium is a truly creative concept, with beautiful words making it an interesting read. I will definitely be picking up Pandemonium to read in the future.

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