Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium (Lauren Oliver)

by Lauren Oliver
Delirium #1
Publication date: 02 February 2011
HarperTeen, Paperback, 441 pages
Source: Library

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They say that the cure for Love will make me happy and safe forever.

And 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.

Lena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life, until ninety-five days before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, when she falls in love.

Rating: ★★★½

Hola amigos, Dee here, 1/3 of APH.

Well, so here’s what’s so special about having three authors for the blog. You get different perspectives on the books read, and you get to understand in what manner each of us devour the story – so read on. This is my review for Lauren Oliver’s Delirium – happy analyzing!

Before I started reading Delirium, I’ll have to admit that I was reluctant to, because normally, I’d like to taste a little less romance than the book had so lavishly been endowed with. And quite frankly, I’ll be painfully honest here so please, if you must, go ahead and brace yourself. Just saying, this may seem more like an analysis than a review. LOL. (Warning: spoilers ahead!)

I liked Delirium. I can’t say the same for Pandemonium. (I’ve decided to post the Pandemonium review later, sorry guys! But hey, don’t you just love cliffhangers? :-P)

Well let’s start with Delirium. The setting, a tad bit more advanced, and propaganda-filled United States of America, was ingenious. Yes, Lauren Oliver had delivered a setting to readers which was imaginable, relatable and yet so distant from the open U.S. we know of today. Needless to say, I marveled at how Lauren Oliver’s mind conjured up such a place, which was embellished with thrilling detail and flaws. I enjoyed reading on how Lauren Oliver built up the background of the story, how she deftly fabricated the intriguing details of Lena’s community – the values they hold close to themselves and the individualistic mindset of the – unfortunately – brainwashed population.

To be honest, I preferred Hana to Lena in the beginning. She was more open, outgoing, daring, adventurous, gregarious – Lena’s best friend with the irresponsible and act-as-I-please attitude. Lena was more… Subdued. She was close-minded, and her thoughts were always peppered with this statement: I WANT TO GO THROUGH WITH THE PROCEDURE BECAUSE I WANT TO BE CURED. Well, Lena’s change in mindset – from YES to the Procedure to NO to the Procedure is emphasized very much this way (which was GOOD), however I wasn’t very fond of it. It’s like saying ‘I LOVE COUNTRY MUSIC’ to ‘I HATE COUNTRY MUSIC’ in about two months. Don’t tell me that this doesn’t sound ridiculous. And I wished Hana and Lena would be less… contrasting. You don’t see a Shrek and Donkey everyday.

I would very much like Lena to be more skeptical, less hardcore for bring pro-Procedure.

The catalyst (for the change in mindset of Lena) is, obviously, Alex. As a whole, his character was all-rounded. But I wouldn’t say well-rounded. He had no major flaw like Lena’s close-mindedness and dependency on her friends (and later Alex) or Hana’s stubbornness and independency. Alex was too perfect. That’s al I can say. (Even though, hey, I liked him and Lena together. Teehee.)

Despite enjoying the read, I found myself getting somewhat lost in the first part of the book. The plot was rather unbalanced. The first half of the book moved too slowly, and the ending was rushed. The pace in the first half didn’t move as fast as I would have liked it to, but fortunately, in that period of time, there was time to build the setting and allow the reader to soak in the atmosphere – especially the development of certain major characters – which was a crucial technique Lauren Oliver adopted to allow us to better understand the characters, since the book is so character-driven rather than based on circumstance. The thing I didn’t like was that the initial portion of the plot got too sidetracked by unnecessary drama – which did little in the aspect of character development or to propel the characters to take action.

The second half was much, much better, and much, much more enjoyable – there was more than willingness on my part to flip the pages and devour the book. The relationship between Lena and her mother could have been introduced at a deeper level in the beginning, but I guess the fact that Lena and Alex were both involved in finding more about her mother made their romantic relationship more endearing (which I loved), and less on the surface of ‘I love you and you love me’. It established a more emotional connection between Alex and Lena, which goes down deeper, compared to any high-school flings between some jock-and-nerd many other books concentrate so heavily on.

The ending was sadly, abrupt and moved too fast. Although I liked the independency Lena gained at the end of the book, I just wished that there would be some kind of reassurance for her. She was too alone. Maybe something Alex would shove into her hands before he sacrificed himself? A note, a letter, some kind of physical form of a promise – that he’ll be back for her.

Because, he obviously will.

Overall, I liked Delirium, it was an interesting read and it refreshed the dystopian world. But.. well, according to my rating, I gave it a ‘3.5 out of 5’ stars. Not that I wanted it to be in the ‘3’ range, but I found it hard to give it a ‘4’. (Let’s just say I’m a pretty difficult reader to convince, because I read in a much more analytically, and go less with my emotions – unless the book is absolutely mind-blowing.) Delirium was on par with what i had expected it to be. What about the subsequent book following it?  So.. Let’s see what I’d bring forth in my review for Lauren Oliver’s Pandemonium (Book 2)!

Till next time.


2 thoughts on “Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

  1. Pingback: Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver | A Page of Heaven


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