Delirium, by Lauren Oliver

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Harper Collins TEEN
Format: eGalley (courtesy of Netgalley)
Genre: Dystopia, Young Adult
Publication Date: 2.1.11

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.

I think it would be appropriate--so you get an idea of what you're in for--to begin my review by showing you my status updates while I was reading this book:

Okay. I'm now past the not being able to think part, and into the freaking out part. I have been thinking about this book over and over in my mind, trying to pinpoint the exact reason why I loved this book. There are just too many to many specific points to talk about. I'll sum it all up by saying that the words in this book spoke to me on a level not many books do. The thoughts that went through the protagonist's mind felt real, and were sometimes heartbreaking. There were so many times when I had to: pause; think; remember I'm not really in the book. I love getting lost in books. I love thinking I'm really the character. And Lauren Oliver did that with Delirium.
"One of the strangest things about life is that it will chug on, blind and oblivious, even as your private world--your little carved-out sphere--is twisting and morphing, even breaking apart."
Lauren Oliver, Delirium
But before I can gush, I need to get the bad stuff out of the way. My three main gripes:

*Small spoiler that really won't ruin the story for you*
The world seemed real. The reason for needing the cure was a stretch (I doubt America would have gone along with it easily), but still plausible. What I didn't think was plausible, is that there were secret parties where bands played, and people had fun, while government enforcers crawled the streets, none the wiser. I just don't think that could happen, and I don't think that--having grown up in such a strictly regulated world--anyone would be dumb enough to blast music in an open area with amplifiers and everything, no matter how far away the location is. I'm not saying a secret gathering couldn't happen; it most likely would. I'm just saying that the whole idea of being so loud, so out in the open with out even lookouts, just contradicts the freezing fear that takes hold of anyone whenever breaking the law is mentioned. I would think they would be a little more secretive about it, that's all.
*End of spoiler*

The only gripe I have that really made a dent in my ability to stay in the story, was the main love interest: Alex. His character does everything a love interest should...but I'm not sure why. I don't feel like I really got to know him enough, and I really wanted to. I mean, he's the main guy! I can't say any more because it's too big of a spoiler, but let's just say that he is a character that the reader should have been able to feel more attached to.

I mentioned that the need for the cure was kind of a stretch. It is. Although it could happen, it is never explained why, or how, the entire US decided to go along with taking away all basic human rights, in favor of the cure. In fact, aside from just a few mentions of a war, there is not mention of how such a huge change in everything America stands for, was accepted, and society fully changed, in only 64 years. When I first started reading, it really bugged me that I didn't know these things. But as I read on, I began to forget my need to know. Even longer, and I didn't care. Lauren Oliver's writing sucked me in. All I wanted to know was what would happen next. But towards the end, I did get a tiny sliver of information, if only from reading between the lines. I have no idea if I'm right or not, but for now I'm placated. I think things may reveal themselves in the next book (um...if there is another one. I really hope there is). And if not, I am fully able to accept the book without this information. The story makes up for the lost information.

...which brings me to the gushing:
Lauren Oliver not only made the world seem real (even if it lacked a plausible reason for existing), complete with references to heinous books supposedly published after the "cure" was found, but she made a character who thinks with her soul! Lena--the protagonist--was responsible for many thought-provoking passages. I read them over, and over, each one taking deep thoughts and feelings, and turning them into beautiful passages. Her writing made it all seem real, like watching real life unfold before your eyes. She brought thoughts, and feelings, and emotions to the table, and laid them out to picked up by the reader. She put into words, feelings that are hard to describe. I loved the times Lena stopped to think, whether it was about Alex, the procedure, or something else; it was always deep, and moving. Quote-lovers are going to go insane with this book.
"The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it, and when you don't."
-In reference to love, by Lauren Oliver, Delirium
I'm going insane with this book. I didn't want to put it down, especially after the ending when my heart was left in the book, and I sat there, mouth open, mind dazed and unthinking. Yeah. I need to find out if there will be a sequel.

In short: I loved it. Yes, it had its shortcomings, but the story and the writing made up for most of them. All-in-all, I think it was a genius idea, and I highly recommend reading it when it hits shelves in two weeks

My rating is 100.5; definitely a fever-inducer! I may have a bit of amor deliria nervosa myself, after reading this. Or is that the Reading Fever? Actually, I think it's both. Yay for sicknesses!

Read this book!

Read this if
...you are a romantic at heart, you don't believe love is a disease, and you want to really feel what you read.

Content Warnings
*No spoilers this time, just a warning!* 
The only questionable content in this book, is a noticeable amount of swearing, including the 'F' word, which is used a couple of times.


  1. Thanks! I originally had a much larger (uglier) version, but I re-made it into this. :)

  2. Great review! I have a copy of this sitting on my bookshelf that I really need to start reading.

    Just in regards to issue 1, I really don't find it that ridiculous. In World War II, the "Swing Kids" (basically Swing dancing, which was considered taboo then) blasted their music and went out dancing and partying in secret places all the time. The Nazis knew they existed, they just a hard time catching them. I haven't actually read the book though, so it might not be the same.

    I AM A QUOTE LOVER! I must say, I love the couple of quotes that you posted :) I already knew that Lauren Oliver had a way with words from her debut novel, BEFORE I FALL, but I'm now even more excited to read this one :) Thanks for the review!

  3. I'm so glad you like the quotes! There are so many good ones in Delirium; you'll see when you read it.

    And thanks for letting em know about the "Swing Kids." I had no idea. That means that most of the gatherings could have happened, and changes my mind about a lot of it. There is one part, though (the open-air gathering), that I still find hard to believe.

    Thanks for commenting!

  4. I recently read this one and thought it was terrific. Your review is fabulous!

  5. Alison: Thank you! I'm glad you liked it as well.

  6. Your review is fantastic! I loved it as well. I slightly agree about the Alex thing. I mean, I loved him, but not as much as I loved... let's say Four from Divergent. And the ending! My goodness, I was going insane over it!

  7. Thanks Sophia! I'm glad you agree. He was a cool guy, but I wish I had gotten to know him more. Thanks for stopping by!


Thanks for commenting! I read each and every one, and reply as soon as I can :)

Please note: The Reading Fever is an award-free zone. I am very flattered, but comments are all the thanks I need.


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