Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Harper, 2011
303 pages
Ebook Challenge
3.5/5 stars

Source: Uncorrected eproof from Netgalley

Summary: People used to think that love was a good thing, not realizing that their headaches, knee pains, strokes, etc were usually caused by love.  Now the situation is better because there's a cure, administered at the age of eighteen.  Lena cannot wait for the cure.  Her mother suffered from love all her life before dying and Lena wants the cure in order to become normal, calm, and dignified.  But just weeks before her scheduled treatment, her best friend starts acting oddly and she meets a boy with whom she actually falls in love.

Thoughts: There's been a lot of buzz in the blogosphere about this book and it's obvious why.  Oliver's first book Before I Fall was a critical smash and she continues her beautiful writing in Delirium.  However I was much less pleased with this book.

First it turns out that it is supposed to serve as the first book in a trilogy; I had thought it would be a standalone like Before I Fall.  Thus Oliver spends a lot of time creating the world and it is boring.  I kept waiting for something to happen and interest me in the story.  Then things do happen but I was pretty annoyed with Lena by that point.  I did not want to read about how good looking she found Alex, how nervous she was about what she was doing, and my personal breaking point was about halfway through when she sneaked out of the house, supposedly to go warn her friend out about regulators seeking the uncured after curfew.  I didn't believe Lena's rationale that she had to leave and I thought she was a complete idiot for doing so.

As the story progresses, it unfolds like many dystopians that I've read with the main character slowly coming to the realization that the government is manipulating people, is doing wrong, etc, etc.  I may be a bit tired of dystopians and am plunging into some more mysteries and contemporary in the foreseeable future.

However I do still like Oliver's writing, it's absolutely beautiful, and the ending was very shocking to me.

1. Super sad part: Lena comes across a dog that was shot by the regulators and is dying in the street-the saddest part of the book as far as I'm concerned.
2. Ending: Alex dies and I'm not sure I want to read the sequels without him in them, even though I did get tired of Lena gushing about his stupid eye color.

Someone else who reviewed this book with similar feelings to me (but who wrote about it better) is Small Review.

Overall: A very slow dystopian that some people might find more rewarding than I did.

Cover: I don't like this cover very much; I do think the blue is pretty and the basic concept could be used for all three books but it's not attractive to me.  If I hadn't read Before I Fall or hadn't been a part of the YA blogosphere, I probably would not have read it.

Out today in stores! Links for more info:
Barnes and Noble


  1. I am trying to avoid book series at the moment, so I'll wait a while with Delirium. However, I do intend to read it, as I have read very few dystopian novels and feel drawn to the genre. But I suppose I'll get tired of it too, eventually.:) Dystopian endings do tend to get repetitive, don't they? But I do think that in this respect (any many others), Brave New World by Huxley stands out. If you haven't read this dystopian novel, I recommend it.

    Great review!

  2. I so completely agree with you! Haha, you're so harsh about Lena, but, yeah, can't say I disagree. The whole scene when she was sneaking out was just a little off for me. It didn't make a lot of sense.

    You sad spoiler? Oh gosh I was so angry when I read that part of the book! It felt so unnecessary too. It was so graphic and felt kind of cheap. Like a thin attempt to drive home the point that the regulators are totally evil.

    You're so sweet for including my link. Thank you! I'll edit mine to link back to you. :)

  3. I am getting unsure about this one. First I saw people raving about it, but now I am seeing people telling it like it is. And I am no fan of slow


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