Author: Lauren Oliver
Release Date: February 1, 2011
Genre: Dystopian, Teen/YA, Science Fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Lena lives in a world where there is no such thing as love. Love is seen as a disease, and therefore, people are cured of it when they turn eighteen. They never have to worry about catching the dangerous amor deliria nervosa. Lena is just a few months from her eighteenth birthday when she begins to question the world she lives in. Is all this really for their protection, or is it to keep them under control?
Lauren Oliver’s debut novel Before I Fall really surprised and impressed me, so when I heard she had a dystopian novel coming out, I wanted to read it before I even knew what it was about. When I heard, though, I was a little hesitant. Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows I am very skeptical of romances in YA novels, just because I have trouble buying it. Here was a book that seemed to center on love – would I enjoy it?
I should have known that Lauren Oliver is just too talented of an author to let me down. I really enjoyed Delirium and was surprised how much it moved me. Lena is a great character. She’s a typical seventeen year old – unsure of herself, a little bit insecure. But she has more to worry about than anyone in our world – she’s scared of being evaluated, frightened of the pain the procedure might inflict on her. She’s certain she wants love removed from herself though – after all, it’s a dangerous disease. But once she begins to question what she’s been taught, what’s been ingrained into her, all hell breaks loose.
I also appreciated how Oliver treated love in this novel. It’s not just about the romantic kind of love. It’s about the love between sisters, the love a mother feels for her children – all that is gone. Had the entire focus been on Lena and her love interest, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed this novel nearly as much. But Oliver makes it much broader, realizing that not being able to love your children is just as tragic as not being able to fall in love with a girl or boy of your choice.
Delirium presents a scary, insidious world that seems harmless on the surface. Enough was explained about the present state of the United States to satisfy me, yet I have so many more questions. Judging from the end of the novel, there will probably be a sequel. I certainly hope there will, as I’m eager to have more of my questions answered and to find out what happens to Lena next.
Lauren Oliver’s look at a dystopian future was creative and very well executed. She has solidified herself in my mind as a go-to author; going forward, I’m willing to read anything she writes because I trust her judgment and her writing talent. I look forward to seeing what she does next, and certainly hope that it’s a sequel to Delirium!