01 January 2014

Delirium

Author: Lauren Oliver
Series: Delirium #1
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Verdict: Borrow

Any interesting thought if nothing else; what if the power of love was thought to be a virus, and that at the age of eighteen you were essentially lobotomized to remove your capacity for love?  And, it appears, your ability to love is not the only thing you lose, but most sense of strong reactions or feelings.  Essentially, every one over the age of eighteen becomes a bit of a robot or zombie.  The premise reminds me a little of Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies, a “trilogy” I absolutely loved growing up and still enjoying today.

Like the main character in the Uglies series, Lena starts out counting down the days until she is finally able to receive the cure for love.  Her mother, deep in the throws of love after three botched surgeries, finally committed suicide after not being able to survive with the disease, and it seems Lena fears nothing more than falling pray to the same disease, especially since her older sister fell victim to it for a time as well before she was cured.

But as the time to her cure looms closer, Lena is lured into a bit of a rebel mode, thanks to her friend Hana.  And before she knows it, Lena finds herself falling for the mysterious Alex, and begins to realize that perhaps that love is not the horrible disease that everyone has led her to believe and that, even if it is, maybe it is a disease worth having.

Again, any interesting premise if nothing else, but the idea of love being a disease set it a typical dystopian society unfortunately leads to a rather standard and fluffed out young adult romance novel.  Lena, instead of counting down the days to her surgery in excitement, now counts down to them with a bit of dread and she finds herself torn between her relationship with Alex and her fear of turning into her mother.  And as she begins to unravel the secrets and lies of the community she has grown up in, she begins to question what really is at risk in her utopian society.


While this book was a bit of a skim read as I glanced over most of Lena’s inner dialogue and quite a bit of the dialogue between the characters as well, the series at least as potential for the next novel in the series, Pandemonium.  It definitely ends on a cliffhanger, and the cliffhanger leads me to believe that the sequel will be more action packed and a little less teen romance angst than Delirium, so I will continue on and see how it all unravels.

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