3 February 2011

Review: DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver ****

There was a time when love was the most important thing in the world. People would go to the end of the earth to find it. They would tell lies for it. Even kill for it.

Then, at last, they found the cure.

Now, everything is different. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Haloway 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 then, with only ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable ...
Yes, this book just came out and everyone and their monkey is reviewing it! Like everyone else, I can't help comparing it to its predecessor, Oliver's outstanding debut Before I Fall, which I absolutely adored and it just blew me away. I read it ages ago and have been looking forward to Delirium ever since. I was lucky enough to score shiny proof, but I admit I was a little anxious to read it because ... I mean, how could Lauren ever surpass the brilliance that was her debut?! I've also seen several mixed reviews so I had no idea what to expect so I figured I might as well give it a try and see what's up ...

Well, I wasn't disappoint, but I wasn't really blown away either (expect by the ending, but more on that later). As I expected, I didn't find it better than Before I Fall, but it certainly wasn't a bad read, far from it! If I had to use one word to describe it, I'd say it was POWERFUL and it had more of an effect on me than I thought initially ...

But let's discuss the plot first. I'm sure you aaaaaall know very well what this is about, set in the not-too-distant future when love is considered to be the most horrible disease and in order to prevent catching it, all the citizens have a curing procedure done at 18 - a sort of brain surgery that prevents them from not only falling in love, but it also erases on their emotions, both negative and positive ones. It's for their best, the (oppresive) society tells them, and everyone believes it. Lena, our heroine, is almost 18 and she cannot wait to have the procedure done and to be paired with her match and live happily ever after ... right? But then she remember her mother, who was apparently uncurable, and how she danced and sang, so unlike other robotic parents ... and how all her love was the end of her. She also learns about the world that exists outside the strict society rules and she can't help being intrigued. Lastly, there's also this boy ... But he's been cured so nothing will happen ... right? Before Lena knows it, her world is turned upside down and everything she's ever known or believed in turns out to be a lie ...

Lena, like the book itself, is a bit boring at first. I'll admit that I just couldn't seem to connect to either the story or her at first, but as things started changing, so did my feelings for it and as things kept happening and the story gained some depth and picked up the pace, I found myself really warming up to the characters. I loved how Lena slowly gained dimension and turned from this shy little creature into a fierce kickass girl who refuses to be held down and is willing to take risks and follow her heart.

There were a couple of really shocking twists along the way, which will hopefully be resolved in the next books, and the ending had me in tears. The final pages were incredibly gripping - I read them with my eyes and mouth wide open, and as I closed the book, I just started bawling my eyes out thinking, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, surely this isn't what it looks like?!?!?!?!" That ending just broke my heart and it was then that I realized how strongly I actually cared about the characters, which was a surprise to me too, heh.

The ending, as devastating as it was, really paves the way for the next book in the trilogy and I cannot wait to read it as there's just so much to be resolved!

All in all, this book is VERY different to Before I Fall, mainly in terms of the setting and characters, but what both books have in common is that a) they're both incredibly lyrical and amazingly well written, and b) that they creep up on you and though you may roll your eyes at both books at first, you'll find yourself head over heels in love with them by the end. But I guess that's the Lauren Oliver magic for ya! ;)

overall rating:
plot: 4/5 | writing: 5/5 | characters: 5/5 | cover: 4/5


6 comments:

Leanna (Daisy Chain Book Reviews) said...

I had many as the same thoughts as you on this one (yeah, I posted my review today too, just like everybody else!). I thought it was slow at first and had trouble connecting to Lena, but I really liked it by the end. Loved that ending!! Loved your review too! :)

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Excellent review. Thanks for the warning about the ending.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Nice review. I really want to read this one. I need to read Before I Fall though too. Yeah, I'm behind...but I DO own BIF so it's a start.

-Lauren

Katie Edwards said...

I've just started this after all the hype over the past few months. No doubt I'll have a review up before the end of the weekend.

Sunshine said...

This is definitely on my TBR list. I have heard that a lot of people really liked this book and I can't wait to read it.
This site is so pretty and I'm a new follower!

HANNAH said...

i am half way through before i fall and its amazing. cant wait to read this trailer was really good too!! :)

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