Friday, January 21, 2011

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Release Date: February 1st, 2011

A stunning novel, set in an alternate present in Portland, Maine.

Love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called "the Cure," in Lauren Oliver's stunning second novel, DELIRIUM.

Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life.She will be evaluated by the government, which will choose her husband for her. But then she meets Alex, a boy from the Wilds who is living under the government's radar, and she falls in love, threatening both their lives.

In this world, affection is prohibited. Touching and hugging are suspicious behaviors, even among family members. But despite government obtrusiveness, people find ways to connect and to be together... And after meeting Alex, Lena understands that an emotional connection to another person is something she's always been missing--and now it's something she won't live without.

It's way past my bedtime, but I just finished this book and I had to get my thoughts out. I'm afraid if I wait until morning, I won't say all that I want to.

This was one of the most heart-wrenching, beautiful novels I've read in quite a while. I have read Ms. Oliver's book Before I Fall and I did not care for it. I'll leave it at that. Because of that experience, I was wary to read this, even though it sounded like a fascinating story. The story actually reminded me of a cross between two books-- one I liked: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld and one I LOVED: Matched by Ally Condie. The concept of love as a disease- it was thought-provoking.

This was yet another novel in which the government has gone a little haywire and taken far more control than they should, up to the point of actually doing brain surgery to "cure" citizens of love, passion, desire, and pain. As I read, I kept thinking what a sad existence that would be. To be evaluated by people who know nothing about you, have a mate assigned to you based on the answers given during the evaluation, having half of your brain cut out to become an emotionless shell, and live your life in a dazed sort of unfeeling stupor. Never feeling attachment to anyone or anything, and never missing anything from the eighteen blissfully "uncured" years you experienced--if you can even remember them.

Lena never questioned the system. After her mother failed to be cured three separate times, and committed suicide to avoid undergoing a fourth surgery, Lena counted down the days until she would be "cured" forever of the disease that claimed her mother's life. The summer before her eighteenth birthday, Lena meets Alex and a chain of experiences forces Lena to question everything she's ever been taught. I really liked Lena's character and how she evolved so much by the end of the book. I was impressed with Lena's character development. In the beginning of the book, I was undecided about her. I really wanted her to be a strong main character and I didn't see that for her at first. By the last page, I loved Lena. I loved her fight and her fire. I thought her growth was well written and realistic. 

I liked Alex from the very beginning of this book. From the first moment Lena saw him standing on the observation deck laughing, I knew I would love this book. I just knew it. He was so confident. Not in a pompous, obnoxious way, but in a calm, cool, and collected natural way. I knew he would be the one to change Lena's mind. And I was right.

This book, this story- it broke my heart. How could people think they were doing the right thing? By the last page, I was in tears. I don't know that it really could have ended in a more devastatingly fitting way. I think you'd be crazy NOT to read this book. I think this is one I'm going to have to permanently add to my bookshelf. Yes, it was that good. And I'm sure it's one I'll have on my mind for weeks to come.

A HUGE thank you to HarperCollins for this fantastic book!

Happy Reading!


Stacy said...

Oh can't wait to read this one!

Candace said...

I LOVED LOVED LOVED this book as well! It was AMAZING! I can't wait for the next one!

Scoot said...

I loved this book, thanks for the review!