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Mar 11, 2012

Book Review: Delirium

Delirium (Delirium, #1)Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 1st, 2011

Find Lauren Oliver Online: Twitter | Website | Blog | Facebook
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 government 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.
My $0.02

Wow, Delirium is nothing short of amazing!  I knew before I even started reading that everyone loved it for a reason and sure enough, every good thing anyone said about it was the truth.  It didn’t take long for me to get wrapped up in the words and the beauty of Ms. Oliver’s writing.  Every few paragraphs, the descriptions that Oliver delivered just left me breathless.  I wanted to take a highlighter and light every single word up!  Oliver’s writing flowed together and it was soft and gentle with the truth swimming beneath it all.

It was a trip to read about amor deliria nervosa—what it is, what it does, what it means—I couldn’t wrap my head around it.  I just knew that I kept thinking, “Wow, Lauren Oliver is a pure genius!”  To take this idea of love, something so common to us, and twist it into something so forbidden…just blew my mind away and up into the clouds, into little pieces of nothingness.

Here we are, introduced into this world where without love, all is good in the world.  It’s drilled into everyone’s minds that love, is the deadliest of all deadly things.  Lena can’t wait to get cured so she can be happy…because that’s what they’ve drilled into her.

            Unhappiness is bondage; therefore, happiness is freedom.
            The way to find happiness is through the cure.
            Therefore, it is only through the cure that one finds freedom.

While I’m reading this, my mind’s going off and shouting, “What the eff? What kind of BS is that?!” But of course, this is a fictional story we’re talking about here. ;)  I’m not going to go into detail the plot of the story because you could read and find out for yourself, but I am going to talk about all the times Lena had with Alex because those moments are what stood out to me the most, like they should.  It’s no surprise that Lena and Alex are the leading male and female of Delirium…just so no one’s surprised or spoiled or anything like that.  Anyway, I couldn’t get enough of all the times they spent together.  When they were together it wasn’t like an omg-you’re-so-hot-and-I-want-you kind of thing, it was gentle and sweet and soft—like when you blow bubbles and sometimes you catch a bubble in the palm of your hands and then you cup them together ever so calmly as to not pop the bubble—their love was fragile.  It was sweet, innocent, passionate; they didn’t have to say anything at all to convey the candle of love burning ever so brightly within them.  It was, they are, the Romeo and Juliet of our time.

To point out a few favorite scenes of mine:

·      • When Alex recites back to Lena what she said during her first evaluation. Which is why I nearly jump out of my skin when he leans forward and directs a single word into my ear: “Gray.”

·      • The barn party scene. Alex: “Would you like to?”
Lena: “Would I like to what?”
Alex: “Dance.”
We dance.

·     • When Alex saves her. …and there’s an arm around my waist and a voice in my ear—a voice so familiar in that moment it’s like I’ve been waiting for it all along, like I’ve been hearing it forever in my dreams—breathing out, “This way.”

and last, but most definitely not least:

·     • The tiny wooden shed scene. Lena: “Why do you care?”
Alex: “I told you. I like you.”
Lena: “You don’t know me.”
Alex: “I want to, though.”

Like I said, and I’ll keep saying, Lauren Oliver is a genius, she might even be my hero and another reason why is because in Delirium she kept bringing up how life always goes on.  It doesn’t stop, or slow down for anyone.  There were a few scenes where Lena described how certain events would occur, yet the next day, everything kept going on like usual—people got up to go to work, people got up to clean the house, do the dishes, brush their teeth, go to school, etc. as if nothing ever happened.  And it…just the idea of it, put into words, struck me dumb.  You know how when an idea hits you so hard, you don’t know how to think or function for a while?  Well, yeah Delirium was that idea that hit me like a freight train—caught me in the headlights, leaving me stunned.

Delirium is brilliant and it undeniably wedged its way up into my favorites shelf!  When I turned that last page of the book, Delirium left me with a feeling of happiness and sadness.  Sadness for Lena and Alex because….WAAAAH, how could Delirium just end like that; totally tore me apart!  But happiness also, because it definitely makes you think twice about what you have and after I closed the book, it made me want to love harder, it made me want to shout I love you at the top of my lungs to anyone who cared to listen, it made me hopeful, it made me full, it made me more brave, it made me never, ever want to stop loving, even if I loved the littlest, craziest, weirdest things.  Love.  I’m only eighteen—and what do I know about love—but from all my years, I’ve come to learn that love is a beauty and a beast; there are times when it’s the most amazing thing in the world and times when all you have are black days.  Yet despite all the blackest days of all the blackest days, it’s better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.

Okay, I didn’t mean to get all philosophical on you there but I don’t know man, Delirium did something to me and…deep sigh.  I just love it crazy!  I want everyone to stop reading whatever book they’re reading at the moment and go out and purchase Delirium and Pandemonium (because it’s out and because it’s what I’m going to do after this) and start reading them as fast as you possibly can.  I don’t know how someone cannot not read this book; everyone has too and that’s all there is to it!

Links to purchase Delirium: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


  1. Ah! I LOVED Delirium, and this review was absolutely amazing. You put it in words perfectly.
    I knew there was a reason I liked you. ;)

    And DUDE. I love the Angelfire Legion button. Can you maybe make one with Cadan on it? =D

  2. Hey Riv!

    Thank yoooou! And as for the Angelfire Legion button, I'm not sure. CAM made them; I got the image from her facebook page. Lemme check to see if she made one with Cadan's face....ah, I didn't find any but if I do, I'll make the grab code and everything. Just for you. <333

  3. Loved your review!! I felt the same way when reading it!! You must read Pandemonium !!! <3

  4. It's SUCH a good book!!!! I just love all your favorite parts you highlighted. Especially the dancing one. So perfect. I hope you end up enjoying Pandemonium just as much! They're are both great books for different reasons. :)

  5. This book is definitely one of the most creative dystopians I've ever read. I liked your review and agree that Alex and Lena's relationship was so perfect and delicate. Here's my review if you're interested https://sites.google.com/site/bookblogeannucci/delirium.

  6. YAY your back!! :-)

    I read this book last year and I totally loved it. It was one of those books for me that once I put it down I couldn't stop thinking about it till I could pick it up again. The story has stayed with me. I'm really looking forward to the next book which I think is out this year(???!). Especially after that ending. It involved me crying for a loooooooooooong time. xx

  7. THAT ENDING--YES. THAT CRAZY, CRAZY ENDING. Wah, your excerpts with Alex make me want to cry all over again, especially after reading Pandemonium. I'm dying, dying, dying, I swear. I'm so happy to hear that you loved this book. GET ON READING PANDEMONIUM, MOMO! Now! And then cry when the ending comes. Lauren Oliver loves torturing her readers, after all. :)

  8. Haven't read this one yet, but am dying to. Gorgeous cover, gorgeous writing, and rave reviews like this = Must Read. Thanks for the review! I love reading them! :)

  9. This looks awesome! Definitely must read it. I just finished "The Obsidian Pebble" by RA Jones (http://www.rajonesauthor.com/) and I think you might like it! It's exciting and spooky. Thanks for the great review!!

  10. One single word for this book... AMAZING. Best distopian style book yet.


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