Friday, June 24, 2011

Book Review - Delirium

by Lauren Oliver

Synopsis: (From 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.

Why I Picked this Book:  I will be honest.  First reason: The cover.  I do love that cover.  Then reading the premise... If you don't know by now, I am a sucker for a good ruined society.  So, book: Snagged!

My Thoughts:
Delirium was a great take on an old thing.  I keep wondering how many times we can destroy the world, ruin society, and break the rules.  Delirium gave me one more way to check off on the list.

In Delirium, love is a disease.  Like, literally.  And America has found the cure.  They cut into your brain once you are eighteen, and remove the love.  Then everyone is happy and lives their lives with their assigned partners and dies in peace.  How great, huh?

Lena thought so too.  She was raised believing in this cure.  She believed in her small society.  Then, wham, life starts happening.  Her long time friend starts to rebel.  She meets a boy (gasp) and starts to feel feelings for him (bigger gasp).  Soon, life as she knew it was sure to never be the same again.  Was the cure really the right choice?  Or was love actually worth the risk?

I felt I could relate well to Lena.  Though at times she was somewhat stubborn and naive... aren't we all?  There is an obvious progression of her character throughout the book.  It was great to see her grow, and learn, and love.  I had memories of being a teenage girl, battling love and the world.  Oh, memories...

The idea of love as a disease?  I loved it.  Every chapter began with a random excerpt from "The Book of Shhh" or other writings.  It all defined love as a disease, an illness, something that could only cause damage and pain.  A delirium (oh, there you go...)  This take on love really did intrigue me.  It is something so simple.  So essential to human existence.  And in Delirium, they have almost wiped it out.

So, did I have issues at all with this book?
It was the love.  Ok, just from reading the synopsis, you have to know this will be about a love story.  That is a no-brainer.  I just wish the execution of it all had been done... different.  There was so much that could have been done with this concept.  Instead, it was just one of the usual:

The boy is madly in love with the girl.  She has to learn to love him.  He is devoted to her from the very moment their eyes meet.  He says everything just right.  Lots of drippy love words and oo-ahh moments.  Then...

Ok, you get the picture.  Alot of times, when Alex was talking, I found myself thinking "Ok, no guy every says that."  Maybe it was his over-compensating for the lack of love in the world.  I do get that.  Still...  The love story just bugged me.  It wasn't fully believable, even for a YA book.  His love was just too... perfect.  And fast.

Near the end of the book I found myself skimming a bit, trying to get to the good stuff.  I hate when that happens.  Granted the good stuff did happen, and I was overall happy with the ending.  (Which... by the way... was the most realist part of the entire book.  Thank you, Lauren Oliver, for keeping it real.  Some decisions that were made I did not expect.  And the final bit... yup, didn't think that would be the end!)  Still, I did skim until I hit those moments.  I can't say if it was ramblage or over-done love or what.  But something there made me want to skip parts, for some reason.

Overall, I did enjoy Delirium.  Though I cannot say it was one of my most favorite reads of the year, I happily will keep it on my shelf and loan it out to friends to experience.  Let us hope love stays around for years to come.  I cherish my delirium.

My Rating
(strong 4 out of 5 stars)


Kimmel Tippets said...

That is a very intriguing premise. I don't know what I would do in a world without love. What a sad thought. I'm going to have to read this one for sure!

Anonymous said...

Wow, this book sounds fantastic! I'll have to check it out, thanks for the recommendation. The cover is gorgeous. :)


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