Delirium by Lauren Oliver
February 1, 2011
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 Holway 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.
Crazy. Insane. Mind Boggling. Amazing. Any of these four descriptions would be perfect for describing the wonder of this novel. Almost instantaneously Lauren Oliver sucks the reader into a world that is so real it’s scary. What makes it so scary is that this “world” isn’t some crazy planet in a far-away galaxy, her story is set in future United States- which makes this unfavorable fate seem way too possible.
Lena has always been a rule follower. She’s been determined to stray from her mother’s footsteps. Her mother was infected with the Deliria. After three failed operations, she took her own life, leaving her two small children behind. The word suicide had forever tainted the Holoway name, and Lena just wants to blend into the crowd. So in turn, she is always home by curfew, only listens to government approved music and only reads government approved books. She doesn’t want to become what everyone expects of her, infected.
Ninety-five days. Ninety–four days. Only Ninety-three days till the operation. Lena counts down daily, desperately hoping the days would come sooner. The day she is free from the possibility of love, is the day she is free from danger. The day when she will be happy forever. That is until her best friend starts breaking the rules. Lena feels that it is her duty to protect her. And when this happens, Lena meets Alex.
From this point on, Lena’s life gets turned upside down. Everything she’s worked for becomes meaningless. She discovers all the lies she’s been told and some impact her greatly. So greatly that she is willing to do the impossible.
Lauren Oliver’s novel is an absolute must-read. The total absence of love makes the reader see the beauty of everyday things. A hug, holding hands – both simple gestures, yet, what would you do if they were gone? Delirium makes the reader once again see the magic in poetry or fairytales. All the everyday aspect of life we take advantage of become hugely important. What if in ten years every single one of them is illegal? Would you break the law and risk your life, or give in to live “happily ever after”?
I would recommend this to anyone 13 and up because there are scenes that are a bit violent. I would especially recommend this to fans of Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series. Is someone else’s happily ever after enough for you? Or will you risk everything to discover your own “ever after”, even if it turns out not so happy?