By Lauren Oliver
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 government 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.
Lauren Oliver’s style of writing is beautiful and unique. The way she weaves metaphors and personifications into her story leaves her sentences flawless and riddled with hidden meanings. She makes the unsurprising beautiful and tragic.
Lena, our protagonist, lives in a world where Love is considered a disease. Deliria is dangerous and fatal. Nonetheless, upon stumbling onto a rebellious uncured boy living in the midst of a carefully controlled society she finds herself willingly submitting herself to the disease and it’s many symptoms. Slowly discovering that in order to achieve real happiness she must give in to the one thing she spent her whole life carefully avoiding.
The book had a slow pace, it took time to build Lena up and establish her past. However the book was strongly based off her relationship with the previously mentioned uncured boy and I felt that Lena’s character development suffered because of it. She was going through a life-changing situation; relinquishing all the ideals she had grown up with in favour of coming to terms with a harsher reality. As such she largely relied on her new love interest. Always looking towards him as a source of comfort and turning to him as a saviour in her times of need. I was hoping that a part of this transition would be Lena taking her future into her own hands.
The novel also explores how love impacts friendship and family. How the loss of love impacts friendship, family, duty and people’s ability to reach out and show compassion. Furthermore, while I enjoyed this novel I was frustrated by the lack of action taken by Lena.
Overall, I like the novel but I was not particularly moved by Lena. However, Delirium’s final chapter was a cliff hanger that squeezed at my heart strings and propelled me to pick up the sequel. Hopefully we will get to see her grow into herself in the upcoming novels as a consequence of her changing perspective and precarious situation at the end of the novel.
Delirium was a novel built up by those around me and as a result when I started reading the novel I was rather disappointed. I loved Lauren Olivier’s way of writing I found it to always be engaging and interesting. I struggled to get through the novel due to the slow moving pace throughout the novel. I thought the idea of catching Deliria was a plausible theory in our day and age. I could imagine living a country where Deliria existed. Lauren Olivier is able to transport the reader to a country where such mentalities exist. I was greatly impressed at the level in which I was engaged in the novel, the sole problem I was faced with was once i had finally put down the novel. Once I had put down the novel it took me a while before I picked it up again. Once I had time to analyse what had taken place in the novel or in this instance the lack of what had happened so far I was simply not encouraged to continue reading. Although I did not love the novel I was encouraged to read the second novel due to the suspenseful ending of the first in the trilogy.
I would recommend this novel to patient readers although the novel is not amazing the second is excellent and it therefore becomes worth reading the first novel.