Release Date: 2/1/11(Hardcover)
Age Group: Young Adult (14+)
Source: Online (NetGalley)Overall Feelings: Moving, captivating!
Faster, Less Detailed Review: A beautiful novel, one that will keep you glued to its pages up 'til the very end. I mean, I read it in one sitting of 2.5 hours.
Delirium tells the tale of a young girl who has to decide whether to conform as the rest of society has done or choose the ultimate freedom, follow her heart. This novel shows her struggles, hardships as Lena Haloway agonizes over her decision: stay with her 'cured' family, let the government provide her with a match or give in to the unthinkable: love?
So the words 'dystopian society' gets tossed around a lot when dealing with certain books. This concept can most definitely be applied to Lauren Oliver's Delirium. It depicts a dark vision of the future, an undesirable one, yet realistic nonetheless. I felt like at any moment the government could suddenly decide that love is a dangerous disease, one which the general population needs to be cured of. And that's probably one of the most thrilling, tense aspects of the book. The concept is possible.
I was sure, from the moment I read the description, that Delirium was going to be a hit. Big factor of it's success, at least with me, would be the setup. Lauren Oliver managed to convince me that this society is real for the moment and this is what's happening. The government has decreed love, or more correctly, amor deliria nervosa, as a dangerous, fatal illness that everyone needs to be cured from. All persons over eighteen must be released from the possibility of obtaining such a disease. It was sickening, for me, to watch how the US population allowed others to make decisions for them: whether or not they should love, who to be with, who to marry, who to procreate with, what kind of job to have, where to go on with education. It was disgusting. Over the course of the book, I developed a festering resentment for the government portrayed in this society.
Second biggie for me was the characters. These characters were real. You felt for them. In some ways you WERE them. At one point in your life, you felt as Lena felt: insecure, alone, and scared to love and be loved. Or perhaps you could resonate more with Alex: the boy who lost both his parents, grew up on forbidden land, born illegally so to speak, and was eventually separated from everything he'd ever known to fight for something he believed in. Or maybe you could identify more with Lena's older sister, Rachel, who took the chance to love despite what society thought, only to have her heart broken, and free-fall into a dark place, one of pain, of emptiness, sorrow, then gave in to the opportunity to make the pain go away forever. And while I was reading, I thought, would I be as brave as Lena's mother and risk everything, give up everything just to feel love, including the pain it brings?
Though I was stunned by the time I got to the end, the ending played a huge role in my loving this novel, thinking it great. While I was shocked and sad, I turned it over in my head for awhile, and came to the conclusion that any other ending wouldn't have done the book justice. It needed to end the way that it did. Even though I may not have wanted it, may not have liked it, it was a great closing to this beautiful novel, one that I think spoke louder than anything else in the book.
Want something amazing to read? Want a book that will keep you mesmerized 'til you get to the end? Pick up a copy of Delirium. Actually, I should say to pre-order it. *sigh* But, I do wish they could have given the cover a little more umph. It was so, so good, and yet the cover doesn't have too much going on. I do like the style of the font though. That's something. xD!
Thanks for reading!