Mar 7, 2013

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publishing Date: February 11, 2011
Pages/Format: 441, Paperback

They say that the cure for Love will make me happy and safe forever

And I've always believed them.

Until now.

Now everything has changed.

Now, I'd rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie.

Lena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life, until ninety-five days before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, when she falls in love.

Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: Delirious?

Maybe that's a word to describe it. Delirious, as in lost and confused, not quite sure what I thought of this book. It's a very popular series, and one I've heard a lot of good things about. I liked it, but I'm not sure how much or if I loved it. I feared it would be too much like The Matched Trilogy, which I wasn't a huge fan of; it wasn't quite like that, but it definitely had its similarities. (Not that I'd like it less because it's like another series. I could've read this first then Matched and thought Matched was similar.) I wish I knew where I stand with this book, but I don't. Hopefully, the next two books--Pandemonium and Requiem--will help me decide.

I don't think I fell head-over-heels in love with the characters, but I did like them. Lena had her issues--first, being afraid of getting the amor deliria nervosa, and then she's afraid of losing it. She was a good main character, and I didn't mind reading from her POV. Her life isn't the prettiest: her parents are both dead, one from the love disease; her sister is cured and not very loving; and the family she lives with is just okay. But then she meets Alex...ahhh, Alex. He's not a Top Ten Boyfriend, but I did like him, and anticipated pages filled with his name. He was a really good guy who did good things. (And I totally pictured Daren Kagasoff playing him the whole time!) Hana was a good friend, for the most part. (Friendships have their ups and downs, don't they?) The thing about the characters was that the cured ones aren't supposed to love and really care much about others, so I judged them sometimes, wondering if a loveless person would really do this or that. I think there were several instances where I thought, If they don't love, then how/why is this happening?, and that bothered me.

Oliver's writing is elegant and serious--kind of literary, which is the kind of writing I think lean toward. There were some parts of it I wasn't a fan of and some repeat words and phrases--I started to cringe every time I read "suddenly". But overall, it was beneficiary to the story, and really well done. As for the story itself, the concept is great. A world without love? How is that even possible? But scientists have come up with a cure for love, for amor deliria nervosa, and it almost always works. Once you're cured--it's not deemed safe until age eighteen--you don't seem to have much awareness of your surroundings, not any care for it. Your kid is crying on the sidewalk? You're not going to comfort him/her. Sure, you get married--but you're matched with someone, and it's not love. Love is a disease, and love is dangerous. People who won't get cured and choose love--they get punished, or live in the Wilds and are called Invalids. It's a very interesting world, and I think it's fantastic, but for someone reason I feel like something was missing. What that something is, I just don't know. (It may be because I had somewhat high expectations. It may also be because I've seen spoilers and quotes and have some minor ideas of what will happen in the series.)

Delirium was not a bad book--it was a good book! But for some reason, I just can't figure out why and if I loved it. (Did someone give me the cure when I was sleeping?) Writing this review has been somewhat difficult, and I just don't know what to say. However, with eloquent writing, an interesting story line, and likeable characters, this is a book I wouldn't avoid reading.

Did I like it? Yes.
Did I love it? I'm not sure.
Would I reread it? Possibly...
Would I purchase it? Already have it.
Would I recommend it? I think so. A LOT of people love it.


  1. I really didn't like this book but part of that was because I thought it was a standalone that moved too slow. I wonder if I would enjoy reading all three back to back, knowing that together they comprise one story? Needless to say I'm not as passionate about it as a lot of other bloggers are.

  2. I have heard that this book was really slow up until the end. I haven't let myself read it because the new one just came out a few days ago and I wasn't up for waiting for yet another book. I feel like it's one of those books that is so popular but I'd have to FORCE myself to read it.

  3. I liked Delirium, but then I read Pandemonium and I fell in love!!! I'm now obsessed and cannot wait to start Requiem!! Pandemonium is incredible and I highly suggest it! I think your blog is great, so I nominated you for the Liebster Award. :) Here's a link to the rules, If you don't accept awards, no worries!! :)

  4. This was the first book by Lauren Oliver I've read. I did try to read Before I Fall but I just couldn't make my way through it. This book is written awesomely. I love that it was written from Lena's point of view. I love the detail that was given to her feelings and her surroundings.


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