Sunday, February 20, 2011

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Delirium (Delirium #1)
Author: Lauren Oliver
Number of Pages: 441
Rating: 4.5/5
Release: February 1, 2011

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 governments 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.

I have to admit, I was putting this book off for a while. I wasn't sure what to expect. Bloggers were comparing it to Matched and while I liked Matched, it didn't live up to the hype for me. So I went into Delirium hoping to be surprised. And I was. 

The premise of Delirium was interesting enough but not enough to capture me right away. I knew it would be a romance but what I was looking for was substance. I hate reading a book where the girl and boy fall in love in less than a week of meeting and say "I love you" as if it's nothing. It's completely unrealistic. That being said, the relationship in Delirium was nothing like that. Lena and Alex, her love interest, actually spent time together and got to know each other. They went through good times and hard times together. They looked out for each other. Their relationship felt real; they actually worked at it. 

And that wasn't the only relationship in the book. We get to see the relationships between Lena and her best friend, her aunt, her sister, her cousins. Every single relationship in Lena's life is affected by the deliria; it's interesting to see how each relationship evolves or is destroyed by this disease.

Lauren Oliver is a genius with words. They just flowed out of the pages. She was descriptive but in an implicit way. Her sentences could have 5 million different meanings depending on your perspective. Her writing was just beautiful.     

The plot was great as well; after about a hundred pages, the pace really started to pick up. The issues and adventures that Lena got into really helped the plot overall. Little things from the beginning would come up throughout the book, tying the plot together. The end was a bit rushed for me. I loved that it was heartbreakingly sad though. And I especially loved how there was an intricate background to the story. Lauren was able to gracefully paint a story for every character that she mentions, no matter how minor. And the feelings throughout the novel were so electric and charged; I could literally feel them leaping out of the pages. I was so invested in this book that even though it was over 400 pages long, it still ended too quickly. 

The characters were all believable and their progress was obvious. I can't lie, Lena kind of annoyed me in the beginning. She followed the rules religiously. Her best friend, Hana, was the ultimate rule breaker. They were complete opposites. I felt more attached to Hana in the beginning. But that changed throughout the novel. I grew to like Lena more and more because she really did evolve into an actual human being with her own opinions, thoughts, fears, and ambitions. Alex brought out this beautiful rebellious side to her. It was always there and Hana did begin to extract it but Alex was able to pull it out of her all the way. 

Along with Lena and Hana, I also fell in love with Alex. I've always had a thing for bad boys, both in books and real life, so of course I loved Alex. He was the bad/good boy though. He was a rule breaker but he was...a good rule breaker. He did bad things for good reasons. He's one those characters that you just can't help but like. His personality and his life will just win you over.  

Another character that deserves an honorable mention is Lena's cousin Gracie. She doesn't speak to anyone but Lena throughout the book despite being old enough to talk. But what we learn about her through Lena is enough to show me that she has a lot of potential and I hope that she plays a pivotal role in the next two books. 

Overall, this book delivered much more than I expected. I can't wait to read Pandemonium! 

Also, my amazing friend Brodie wrote a great review for Delirium over on her blog Eleusinian Mysteries. Check it out and don't forgot to hit the follow button while you're there! 

Thanks to HarperCollins and NetGalley for the galley! 


  1. Oh, fantastic review! I could not agree more with everything that you said. Lauren Oliver never fails to blow me away with the beautifully tragic worlds she creates. I am so glad you loved this!

    And aww, thank you for linking to my blog! :) <3

  2. @Brodie: I just HAD to link you! You're review was mindblowing; I swear your writing is just lyrical!

    I haven't read Before I Fall yet but I'm going to get my hands on it soon. I can't get enough of Lauren's writing!

  3. Seriously, you're making me blush haha! Thank you for your awesome comments (just read the goddess test one!) I don't think my reviews are that great, but I try!

    I LOVE yours! Seriously, you make me want to reread Delirium with this. Sigh. Ohh, I hope you can get Before I Fall! I so want to hear what you think!