Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Posted December 6th, 2012 in book review / 16 comments


Delirium Series, #1

by Lauren Oliver

Publisher: HarperCollins (Feb. 2012)
Genre: YA, Dystopia
Format: Paperback (441 pages)
Source: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 stars)

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.

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At A Glance
This is one of the most poetic books I have ever read. It was quite beautiful. Too bad it wasn’t as engrossing as I hoped.

The Good
Here’s The Story…
Lena has been waiting for this one moment for years. To finally be cured for love. Love is a nasty disease that makes people go crazy. Without love, the world is at peace and no one has to worry about anything as long as the government keeps curing everyone. Then Lena finds out the truth. Love is beautiful, love is amazing, and love is powerful. Love is worth living but the government will never let love “infect” anyone again. They will brutalize, maim, and kill to keep love from getting out. Lena has fallen in love, but will she survive long enough to enjoy it?

Crazy Little Thing Called Love…
Love is a disease? Come on, like I wasn’t going to try out this book after hearing that. You know for a fact that once you read the book summary, you can’t help but pick up this book to see what all the fuss is about. And just a few pages in, I was blown away by the lyrical and poetic quality of writing Delirium had to offer. Oliver knows her way around a word. Sometimes I got lost in the overall rhythm of the book. It’s very cohesive and relaxing. I don’t think I am describing it right, but trust me, you read this book and you will notice the difference from other books.

Lena In Love…
Lena really interested me. In the beginning, she’s a dream citizen. She wants the procedure that will cure her against love. She wants what the government is spewing, that she will be happy and safe after the procedure. But as she slowly finds out the truth, she becomes an accidental rebel. You think the people around her are the ones who take chances and fight the authority, but Lena grows into an awesome rogue of her own. Especially after meeting Alex. Alex is everything she should be staying away from. But Lena can’t stay away from someone so different. He’s not like the other “robots”–what I like to call the cured. When Alex looks into her eyes, Lena’s world narrows. All she wants is for them to be together. Through the love they share, Lena empowers herself to take chances, to fight her fate.

Alex is a tricky little bugger. I was a little scared of him at first. I wasn’t sure what his deal was. But as I saw his love for Lena grow, I fell in love with him too. He’s sweet, deep, and caring. I knew Lena was safe whenever he was around. I found myself wanting to know more about him, about his life before Lena. And I wasn’t disappointed. Oliver is really good at providing the information we crave about our characters.

The Fam…
I was excited to see Oliver added some major drama about Lena’s mom and other family members. I would read separate stories for all of them because they each have a story hidden somewhere.

Don’t Touch My Brain…
The world in Delirium was simply terrifying. I would be scared out of my mind to go against the government. These people will kill with glee to keep their world controlled. They mess with people’s brains! Not cool. My thinking bits are just fine where they are.

This is the End…
The ending was pretty awesome. I was so freakin’ nervous and excited at the same time. I think the ending was perfect for this book, though some may be a little sad about what happens. I can tell you one thing, you won’t be able to stop yourself from buying book 2 because Delirium leaves you desperate for more.

The Bad
My biggest problem is nothing really happens until page 220. It was so slow. I often found myself bored and just wanting more out of the whole thing. There was so much potential left untapped. The concept is amazing but the plot didn’t utilize the uniqueness of the topic. And the descriptions were too long. It was like Oliver was trying to fill in space. This book could have been written in half the pages and been better.

The Snuggly
The romance was very YAish. I very much enjoyed the the slow build of romance between Lena and Alex. It was extremely sweet…and forbidden.

Final Thoughts
If it wasn’t so boring for a good two-thirds of the book, this would have received a 5 star rating. But not enough happened for me to have fallen in love with Delirium. That being said, I still enjoyed it. I loved the characters and the concept still intrigues me. I might buy the second book someday. Recommend for those who don’t mind slow books with great concepts.

“I love you. Remember. They cannot take it” 
“Love: a single word, a wispy thing, a word no bigger or longer than an edge. That’s what it is: an edge; a razor. It draws up through the center of your life, cutting everything in two. Before and after. The rest of the world falls away on either side.” 
“Love: It will kill you and save you, both” 
“Mama, Mama, help me get home
I’m out in the woods, I am out on my own.
I found me a werewolf, a nasty old mutt
It showed me its teeth and went straight for my gut.

Mama, Mama, help me get home
I’m out in the woods, I am out on my own.
I was stopped by a vampire, a rotting old wreck
It showed me its teeth and went straight for my neck.

Mama, Mama, put me to bed
I won’t make it home, I’m already half-dead.
I met an Invalid, and fell for his art
He showed me his smile, and went straight for my heart.”

Delirium Series:
Book #1: Delirium
Book #2: Pandemonium
Book #3: Requiem (March 5th, 2013)

Similar Books:
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
(Just click the link for my 5 star review. I think Shatter Me was way better than Delirium but it has the same feel.

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16 Responses to “Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver”

  1. Sarah Elizabeth

    I have heard both good and bad things about this book. I’ve just won a copy though so I’ll have to see what it is like myself. I agree that the idea of love as a disease is really intruiging, I’m just not looking forward to the first 220 pages now!

  2. jabelfield

    I’m actually reading this one right now, and it whilst I’m enjoying it, it does seem to be taking forever to get through. I mean, a week for me is a long time to spend on one book. And I still have 30% left to go. But, like I said, I am enjoying it. :o)

  3. Elisa

    I have this on my shelf and have been flirting with the idea of cracking it open. I think I will wait for a little bit since I am all about the quick read right now. When I want something slower and need something well written I will grab it up. I read Before I Fall recently and I agree, I love the way Oliver writes!
    Great review!

  4. Ashley

    Aww I’m sorry you got a bit bored in the middle! It’s been a while since I read it, but I don’t think I got bored. But I did end up with a CRAZY NASTY sunburn since I read it in the sun all day. *sigh*

    I’m really curious to see what you think of Pandemonium. My thought is that since you were bored a bit during Delirium then Pandemonium will really bore you.. just because Delirium didn’t bore me but Pandemonium REALLY bored me LOL. But I don’t know.. I can’t wait to see what you think! 😛

  5. Sarah (saz101)

    Ooooh, Jenn, I keep seeing this described as poetic and wondering why the hell I haven’t read this yet! I saw Lauren speak earlier in the year and… if you ever get the chance? She is AMAZING.

    I actually just haven’t felt any compulsion to read it before your review and now? hmmm… Totally something there.
    It’s a shame it’s slow, but I might be able to get past that if the writing’s as lovely as you say ♥

    • Jennifer Bielman

      Now, this is the type of book I think you would like. I don’t know why exactly, but I was reading it and said “This is something Sarah would love.” I just got that feeling.

  6. Ryan Snyder

    haha. i love the little poem. 😀 that poem alone makes me want to read the book. I hate when the action is slow to show up, though. But when I start to read it, I shall go into it knowing the awesome will take a while to arrive. 🙂 love your review.

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