Monday, December 27, 2010

Delirium: I had CHILLS at the haunting, SO GOOD!

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.

Book Review:
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
5 out of 5 stars

I had chills--CHILLS--at the end of Lauren Oliver's Delirium. It was like I could hear Muse's "Uprising" playing in the background as I read the last passage. I was unbelievably moved by this resistance movement that will fight for the right to love. I had to read the last page out loud to my non-literary husband (something I haven't done since "Katniss, there is no District 12") just so that I could share it with someone.

Fans of young adult dystopian fiction, rejoice! A remarkable new series has been added to our genre. I've been reading dystopian fiction way before there ever was The Hunger Games, and I was captivated by Delirium. This novel combines so many classic elements of dystopian literature into a moving, heart-rending tale of the ultimate forbidden love--not only is Lena forbidden to chose whom she will love, but she is forbidden to love PERIOD. I saw echoes of so many favorite dystopian works in Delirium (1984, Anthem, and perhaps the first YA dystopian novel, John Christopher's The White Mountains).

I was hooked from the very beginning. I love the premise, and Lauren Oliver really delivered. Although the first quarter of the book drags in places, once Oliver hits her stride, the story grips your heart and emotions and doesn't let go. Oliver takes us on this fascinating journey of self-discovery with Lena, as Lena slowly learns to trust her heart, question the "truths" she's always been taught, and ultimately choose for herself. I loved seeing Lena gradually awaken from the slumber this world places on the mind as Alex show her how to think and feel and LOVE for herself.

And that ending? I was blown away. Oliver foreshadowed it throughout the book, but I was still floored. There are certain events that I REALLY hope are possible for the next book based on that ending, so I read the last few pages several times to see if there's any hope there, and believe there is. Was that vague enough to keep it spoiler free?

Delirium is a thought-provoking tale that had me riveted. It combines some of my favorite elements--forbidden love, dystopian world, resistance movement--into one compelling book that will haunt you well after you've read that stunning last passage.


  1. I absolutely love your review! Was on the fence about this one, but you've convinced me to give it a try!
    Also - new follower :D Pleased to meet you!

  2. Hi, got your blog link from goodreads. =)

    I totally, completely agree with you... this book was magnificent, and you've absolutely done it justice with your review and description.