It is clear, the new genre of dystopian romance is here to stay Apparently, paranormal romance formula Ican'tbewithyoucauseImightkillyou is getting old, so now we will be bombarded with trilogies showcasing new formula Ican'tbewithyoucausethisbaddystopianworldistearingusapart Ugh! And why did Lauren Oliver decide to dabble in this genre instead of sticking to what she knows best? I am trying to be nice here, but Oliver has no talent for speculative fiction I worry about this career choice of hers, because as of now she, as an author, is lost to me for at least 3 years I am not interested inDelirium books.I love dystopias, I love how authors take current social and political trends and extrapolate them into future showing to us what can happen if these trends persist The versions of future envisioned by Margaret Atwood built upon consequences of excessive genetic engineering or Paolo Bacigalupi's upon global warming and exhaustion of natural resources are plausible and horrifying Lauren Oliver's dystopia is based on a premise that love is considered to be a serious, lifethreatening sickness, and thus outlawed Outlawing love, apparently, solves all world problems Now, I can buy a world where strong emotions are suppressed (see The Giver) People in such world would be subdued and docile, and thus lack drive for power and violence But love? Really? The characters in this book cured of love, still get aggravated, annoyed, worried They just don't love their spouses and kids And retain almost all other emotions.And the horrible consequences such premise brings about neighborhood patrols, segregated (by sex) schools, arranged marriages, the horror! If, according to the author, this society is so constrictive, why is it so easy for teens to avoid curfews, to have parties with alcohol, to meet up in abandoned houses for some schmexy times, to fake being cured of love, to breach supposedly guarded borders? What is written to be scary and menacing in the Delirium's society just isn't As a dystopia, this novel fails completely The only aspect of the setting that is interesting is that how author twists Christian mythos to adapt to the loveisadangeroussickness premise.The focus of the story, and an excuse to write this dystopia, is, of course, a romance I wish I could say I enjoyed at least this aspect of Delirium, but I didn't really It is mildlyexciting than the one in Matched, slightly steamier, and at least doesn't have a love triangle (yet) But there is still a selfinsert main character (shy, ordinary, plain) and the main male emo squeeze, quoting poetry, who falls for her anyway I am exhausted by this arrangement Authors, why don't you write books about something a littleimportant than a monthold teen romance? Especially if you choose to create a dystopian novel, which, by definition, encompasses the entire world and supposedly endangers and oppresses all humanity. There are some books written that touch you deeply Stories that work their way stealthily into your heart, and imbeds itself securely there, and refusing to disperse, leaving you utterly breathless and completely captivated with wondrous awe Delirium did this for me There are not many books that can speak to you the way Delirium does Books that tug at your heartstrings, and make you believe in the impossible Books that can express what love really is: an all consuming, brilliantly captivating, wrenchingly heartbreaking power that takes control over you Love that turns your world around, shows you things you never saw before, makes everything brighter andamazing than you ever thought they could be Delirium takes you on the journey of Lena, a normal girl in a loveless society, who is soon immersed in the unthinkable, has found herself facing the most deadly thing ever known to mankind Love Lena begins to explore this completely new and forbidden emotion An emotion that people shun and fear An emotion that could get her killed And in the end, she is triedthan she could have possibly imagined My heart breaks for her, and yet it soars with hers as she discovers this whole new, enthralling world Delirium is such a uniquely, enchanting, astounding story It was beautifully written, brilliantly told And the ending I don’t know if I’ve read aheartbreaking, incredible ending The last several pages I was on the edge I couldn’t read fast enough The story had me captive, refusing to let go until the very last word I don’t know how I can possibly wait until 2012 for Pandemonium to come out! When February 1 rolls around, get your hands on this book, and don’t let go Prepare yourself for a wonderful, beautiful love story that hopefully touches you the way it did me.Thank you, thank you! for Netgalley and HarperCollins for letting me read this arc It was incredible.Update 5/25/11: Delirium is being made into a movie! Brilliant! That completely just made my day :D I have said this before and I’ll say it again I have no problem with an implausible story vehicle As long as the ride is good and it relates a moral or philosophical value.But where the line is drawn is when the world isn’t consistent and in the confines of that world, things don’t make sense.That’s my limit That’s when I start getting frustrated and annoyed And it’s not because an author tried something new, okay? Lauren Oliver is AMAZING She is a great author who is erudite and verbose and interesting to listen to I’ve seen her speak live and frankly to an audience and her ability to relate to them and express herself is fantastic.But this novel still didn’t work for me Delirium, unfortunately, failed for me Which is saddening, because Lauren Oliver is a good author and I know, with Delirium, she was reaching out and trying something different I just wish it had beensuccessful.Now, here’s where it all buggered up:1 Inconsistent world building.The main protagonist says the word “love” twice Once in conversation and the second time mentally Love is a concept that’s stigmatized to such an extreme degree that even the whispered word “sympathizer” is verboten Yet the main protagonist SAYS it to her aunt – that she LOVES children It just doesn’t make sense And she’s wandering around with Alex and making out with him in public like the consequence for that is a slap on the wrist Look, she lives in a highly autocratic world where even a hint of the disease will land you in prison – and she makes out with her boyfriend in the middle of public places.2 Characterization.I loved the characterization of Lena I thought it was accurate and realistic It’s the characterization of Alex that left me hollow and empty He felt like a placeholder Simply a textbook demonstration of today’s YA expectations of a love interest Devoted, stalkerish, sad back story Oliver’s love interest in Before I Fall was so muchdynamic even though he comprised a relatively small part in the story Alex felt like a definition of desirable love interest instead of actually being a person Lena fell in love with.3 Writing.I never thought I’d say this because, in my mind, Oliver is – and always will be – a fantastic writer But there were aspects of the writing in this book that were obvious, cliche and simplistic For example, Lena is emotionally stunted but it’s an obvious parallel Whenever she feels intense emotion she blames it on the air conditioning or weather etc She is the result of a childhood of emotional detachment – but not really – and this is where it gets personal for me.Because, if you don’t religiously read my reviews, then you wouldn’t know that my son was almost diagnosed with Attachment Disorder Because when my first son was born, I was one of those weird religious people that ascribed to books like Baby Wise, etc For the first six months of his life, he barely looked at me in the eye Attachment disorder babies are those that, from their infancy, do not experience consistent, loving care They are children that learn, early on, that they are not truly loved and this results in a wide swath of behavioral and emotional problems.Lena is the result of a childhood that had a mother who loves her and responded accordingly to her needs, but other children in the society didn’t receive this – something that I felt was a huge copeout What about the characterization of a person who wasn’t loved? Who was a product of the system? I feel like this wasn’t examined enough – wasn’t inspected enough Like it was handled by someone who just assumed that children would still reflect some modicum of normality after being raised in a world where they aren’t being lovingly raised by people properly attached to them And the assumption that you can have attachment without love – it’s mind boggling because I kind of feel like she was out of her depth on this one.It’s not Oliver’s fault But what I wanted from this is a deeper understanding of society from the point of view of someone willing to delve into a harder, grittier,realistic story Someone willing to ask the tough questions and write the tough characterization Instead the novel glosses over a lot of those things and thus felt cheap and shallow.This review can also be found on our blog, Cuddlebuggery Book Blog. December 2011 review:I adored Delirium when I first read and reviewed it, which was back in February I had limited experience with dystopia, only having read Matched, The Hunger Games, and Uglies, but Delirium made it one of favourite genres I’ve come across many young dystopian novels since then, and having reread Delirium, I can safely say that it is still one of my favourites and one of the best books I’ve read this year.Although Delirium is a dystopian novel, it is first and foremost a love story; it doesn’t pretend to be anything else At eighteen years old, citizens of the USA legally must undergo a procedure – a “cure” – that will result in the them being unable to love anyone ever again, whether it may be a partner, friend or family When Alex enters her life, Lena must fight for the right to love whomever she wishes.One of the things that I didn’t mention in my previous review, that really struck me about the novel, is the writing Lauren Oliver has a talent for using the most beautiful, rich language and imagery to capture a moment perfectly When I’m reading novels, I try to picture the scenes in my head and sometimes it becomes blurry I try to focus on it but the author hasn’t provided enough detail for me to do so Lauren Oliver is the complete opposite She expertly describes every single scene so that the image in my head comes out crystal clear, from the description of the setting to Lena’s emotions: “The water is an enormous mirror, tipped with and pink and gold from the sky In that single, blazing moment as I came around the bend, the sun – curved over the dip of the horizon like a solid gold archway – lets out its final winking rays of light, shattering the darkness of the water, turning everything white for a fraction of a second, and then falls away, sinking, dragging the pink and the red and the purple out of the sky with it, all the colour bleeding away instantly and leaving only dark.Alex was right It was gorgeous – one of the best I’ve ever seen Another thing I did not pay enough attention to before (because I was eagerly rushing trough the story) is the small fragments of society – the quotation of official documents, rules and regulations, children’s songs, and poetry, which help the reader to mentally construct and imagine the world that Lauren Oliver has created Even though the story mostly focuses on Lena and Alex’s relationship and the things they discover about each other, we’re constantly aware that they live in a restrictive and severely controlled society.Delirium is a wonderfully emotional, heartbreaking love story set in a dystopian future It’s both a gritty and mellow experience If you’ve not yet jumped on to the dystopian bandwagon, I’d suggest that reading Delirium is a very good start indeed.“Love, the deadliest of all deadly things: it kills you both when you have it and when you don’t.”Original February 2011 review:This book has 400 pages and I finished in less than 24 hours That already should tell you how much I loved it I found Delirium to be a mixture of The Hunger Games and Matched The premise of Delirium is that this particular dystopian society sees love (or amor deliria nervosa) as a disease that needs to be cured by an operation on the brain Lena, our protagonist, is nearly 18 years old (the age requirement for having the operation) and is nervous yet excited about her upcoming “procedure” until she meets Alex Delirium is similar to Matched in that citizens do not have a say in who they spend the rest of their life with The government (“Officials” in Matched, “Regulators” in Delirium) choose who a person is “matched” with and there is no freedom of choice However, this particular society goes even further and attempts to ensure that a person will never love again This, according to the Regulators, will make the world a better place: everyone will be happier and safer because love is nothing but destructive I personally found Delirium to be muchheartbreaking and emotional than Matched and the storyline took a lot less time to develop The characters' rebellion and resistance to control (as with all dystopian novels!) begins a lot earlier in the novel and this is where the similarities to The Hunger Games begin This is where we witness the brutality and cruelty of those in charge of these future societies.However, all three novels are fantastic in their own way and Delirium offers yet another unique look at how a dystopian society could be It made me want to read evendystopian literature and I did not feel like I was reading recycled material I definitely recommend this to people who are already fans of youngadult dystopian literature And if you haven’t read it before? Do it You’ll become addicted and emotionally involved in this wonderfully exciting but terrifying genre I cannot wait to read Pandemonium (the second novel in the series/trilogy) I’m just sad that I have to wait until 2012! Thank you Hodder for sending me this book to review!Dystopian or Not Dystopian? DystopianI also reviewed this book over on Pretty Books. ( FREE ) ♶ Delirium ⚓ Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thingThey didn’t understand that once lovethe deliriablooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold Things are different now Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government 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 happyBut with ninetyfive days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love Truly Madly Darcy (A Pride and Prejudice Variation) people thought love was a good thingThey didn’t understand that once lovethe deliriablooms in your blood Infinity, Causation, and Paradox there is no escaping its hold Things are different now Scientists are able to eradicate love The Queen & the Homo Jock King and the government 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 Let Go: Release Yourself From Anxiety measured Against All Odds predictable The Problemist and happyBut with ninetyfive days left until her treatment Sigwa: Isang Antolohiya ng Maiikling Kuwento Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love
2 / 5Dystopian fiction, particularly the young adult kind, is plummeting downhill at 100 mileanhour. Such a good book I loved the whole idea of the world even though I found it depressing It was such a unique concept There were times when I found myself being annoyed with Lena I kept thinking to myself Lena, shut up., but I grew to really like her character towards the end Also. what the heck was that ending? WHY DID YOU DO THAT LAUREN OLIVER YOU HURT MY HEART Oh and can I getHana Tate please? 2.5 3I hate skin; I hate bones and bodies. I want to curl up inside of him and be carried there forever.Earlier this year, I fell in love with Lauren Oliver's debut, Before I Fall. So understandably, I was very excited to hear about her next book, Delirium. A dystopian world where love is a disease, written by the clearly very talented Oliver? Yeah, I can get behind that. I settled in to wait the long, cruel months until the February release date, when I got a surprise package in the mail from the Polish Outlander her ARC of Delirium! Imagine my delight. I held off reading it for a few days, just to give myself some distance from Matched, which has a very similar concept, and which I'd just finished. But I didn't want to wait too long, so, similarities be damned, I went ahead and read it.I'm going to try to not keep comparing this to Matched, which isn't fair Matched had its own review, after all but I do have to say that, though each is its own thing, the similarities are pretty strong, and my reaction to each was the same I wanted so muchthan I got.Lest you think this review is wholly negative, let me start with the things I did like. I love the concept, and think it has the potential to be really powerful and fascinating. There is a flow to it most of the time that kept me reading even when I was frustrated by other things. And there are these moments that shine through, these beautiful little word gems that Oliver creates, that reminds me of why I loved Before I Fall, and why I was so excited to read this.But.But I was so very, very excited for this that I think I was evenlet down by it than Matched, which was also something I was eager for. Before I Fall was fresh and compelling, and I felt like so much of Oliver, so much heart and so much work, went into it. I didn't feel the same about Delirium. I'm not going to accuse Oliver of selling out or hopping on a trend, but I do wonder how much passion was behind this story. It seemed sort of sloppy (and yes, I know, I read an ARC, and that may account for some of it). But there were so many inconsistencies and questions I had that I couldn't ever commit. I could only go along so far until logic would intrude. I would be forced to ask myself things like, If Lena was just bitten (badly) in the leg by a dog, why does Alex kissing her seem to erase not only any pain, but even any mention of the bite, until it's like an afterthought? How does her family not notice that either a) she's wearing pants in the middle of sweltering August, and limping, or b) she's not wearing pants and the scar is showing and she's limping? Because it has to be one of those 2 things. And though the cure may not make them care for her safety so much, it doesn't take away their suspicious natures. [Also, setting aside the fact that she walked home, how did they just walk home? Just like that. With raiding parties everywhere, and her bitten terribly, they just strolled on home, illegally, down the street? How do they get away with all the shit they get away with, in this repressive society? Hmm] Things like this were peppered throughout the story, and they just made it nearly impossible to buy in to what was going on.Smaller things, too, like words and phrases and things we have now that I don't see any use for, or don't believably buy would be in the world Oliver created. And, of course, the much bigger things, like how did all this the discovery of the deliria, the cure, the restrictions, the beliefs, all of it come to be? I know it may not be what Lauren intended, but with such a seemingly scienceinfluenced dystopia, I need some good scientific reasoning, some evidence real or gov't created that backs everything up, some explanation or plausible scenario that lets this total overhaul of human beliefs and passions come to be in a matter of 60 years or so. That's a very, VERY brief period of time for such a huge and total change to take place, so I need reality to intrude a little. I need either some hints of a really big conspiracy, or something so huge and devastating that people as a whole almost go into a state of shock or numbness that allows this to happen. Because, as a general rule, people don't willingly submit to mass lobotomies or the eradication of their feelings for the people they love or hate without some serious something acting as a catalyst. Petty strife and crimes of passion may make you think of Eternal Sunshining your mind spotless, but in an abstract, angry, wouldn'titbelovely kind of way, and not a bringontheprocedure kind of way. Some science, some history, some dogma, some thing beyond the sometimes eerie, sometimes meh snippets of texts that start every chapter, would have gone a long way toward helping me willingly suspend my disbelief.But even if I could have set the worldbuilding and believability aside no easy task in a concept novel like this for it to be saved, the characters and plot would have had to really shine.But I felt like everything was a little wooden, a little cardboard, a little less than believable and real. The love interest, Alex, was okay enough, but why should Lena care about him, and why should I? I understand why he cares about Lena, but that's not something we really find out until Lena is already head over heels infected/in love, and I don't understand how she got there. As a reader, in order to take that leap with a character, we need to know why, we need to feel it. All I got was that he was a boy who payed attention to her, he winked, he smiled, he seemed a bit smarmy and she's hooked. Now, yes, I get that's enough for a teenage infatuation, and it may be heightened by the taboo nature of it. I even get that hiseasy manner reminded Lena of her mother, who was incurable.But for Lena, who has always been terrified of the deliria, which tore her world apart, and who has always looked forward to her procedure, and been so afraid of stepping out of the box, who is afraid to say, to even hear, the word love for her to completely flip and become reckless and passionate and all the other stuff that comes with being the things she's always fearedhmm. The only way this really works for me, the only thing that would make me buy it and appreciate it, was if it took the slant that the deliria was real and she'd become infected. Otherwise, I have no choice but to think this is a cheesy, run of the mill YA romance where one look from a guy makes a girl throw her entire being out the window and become a swooning, fluttery mess with no relation to the person she once was, and who would die for the roguish boy she knows nothing about. Which is, apparently, what every teenage girl is secretly waiting to do.Maybe the deliria is real.Reviewed December 19th, 2010 Before I begin, let me start by warning anyone who has placed this book on their ToRead Shelf: Do not plan on accomplishing anything productive for approximately 24 hours after starting the book You have been warned And for anyone who did not read this warning in time, you arethan welcome to join my sleepdeprived sob fest If only I knew what I was getting myself into when I first picked up the book.For the past sixtyfour years, love was considered a disease which impaired reason and posed a threat to society A cure was established to protect United States citizens from the debilitating effects of the illness At the age of 18, each person is required to undergo a procedure, permanently curing them from the sickness The story follows 18yearold Lena Haloway, who grew up in Portland, Maine with her aunt and uncle Lena anxiously counts down the days until her procedure, anticipating the moment she can join the other cureds with excitement This excitement quickly fades as Lena herself succumbs to the disease, becoming hopelessly entangled in a forbidden romance.I have to admire Oliver for the creative spin she placed on American society when establishing this dystopian world She managed to create a plausible universe in which love had been almost completely eradicated I felt a pang of sorrow each time Oliver highlighted the emotionless shell of a community in which parents exhibited no compassion for their children and married couples exchanged no signs of affection for one another Such examples reveal the underlying theme: a life without love is not worth living.More importantly, Oliver's writing was flawless She vividly described each scene, allowing readers to visualise each event as it occurred Through her writing, Oliver also evokes a vast array of emotions from her readers When Lena is enraged, readers are fuming When she breaks down, crying hysterically, readers are right there, sobbing along with her Her feelings of love, betrayal, and loss transcend all boundaries, lodging themselves in the hearts of readers around the world.Lena's characterization, although less than stellar at times, does have its perks Above all, Lena treasures her family and friends She is terrified at the thought of losing her best friend, Hana, after her procedure Lena, like the rest of society, was convinced that love was dangerous and potentially life threatening After experiencing the effects of the disease firsthand, she comes to the startling realization that love is harmless Lena was determined to discover the truth, no matter how heartbreaking the truth may be.On the other hand, Lena is not the epitome of perfection no properly characterized protagonist should be She struggles to move on from her past, particularly her mother's suicide Her mother gave up her life for the ones she loved, and Lena isthan willing to do the same But she continues to visualize her mother leaping from a cliff and slowly falling into the tumultuous waters below (a rather frequently mentioned event throughout the book) Additionally, Lena compares herself to a princess who is waiting for her prince to save her Yes, she outright states this comparison and is not ashamed to do so Unfortunately, the concept of a damsel in distress does not appeal to the majority of teens in this day and age, myself included They would prefer to read about a strong, independent, female protagonist who does not rely on others to come to her rescue I think we've all outgrown Disney movies at this point.Lastly, there was the slightly overwhelming ending that left me shaking and speechless My mother was only slightly concerned when she found me sitting on the floor, rocking back and forth and suffering from mild shock To avoid giving away the ending, let's just say it was unexpected Life changing Devastating Shall I continue, or let you form your own opinion?Love, the deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't. Review was originally published on my blog Through the ChaptersWhat if we had to live in an alternative universe? What if this universe would be the same but not exactly equivalent to ours? What if it would be illegal to feel anything? What if love would be considered as a mortal sin? What if we had to spend almost all our lives not as human beings but something in between, since everything that breathes into us humanity would not exist at all? What if…? What if…?Is it even possible to be deprived of all the emotions? Well, according to Lauren Oliver is it and she describes this effectively in her book Oliver has conceived this idea, a world without love or any kind of emotions, to give us the chance to feel and to picture ourselves in this dystopian world She envisions an alternative universe without dreams, without goals due to the absence of the most powerful weapon of the human’s race Love.It was extremely interesting and at the same time intimidating to read and to picture this system The author’s writing style is one the most powerful tools, as it facilitates the readers to imagine and to be an inseparable part of the “amor deliria nervosa” world Her descriptions are so realistic and so stunning that the story absorbs completely the mind and the emotions of the audience, making it impossible to put this book down.One point that I cannot overlook, is the beginning of each chapter Oliver gives us some history about the world that she brings into life through some madeup historical, religious facts Those facts add to the story some reasoning and comprehension, as they make iteasy to understand all the struggle of our main characters to feel what they try, so desperately, to suppress.Personally, the most dreadful moment that made me conceive the author’s massage wholly, was the parents’ behaviour towards their children To put it differently, they were cold and apathetic like robots or even worse This moment send chills through all my body for the frightful and unbearable thought, that maybe the world that Oliver describes, is not as imaginary as it may seem.There are many aspects in the real life, which can be compared to the Lauren’s fictional world Indeed, there are so many people who prefer to live on the autopilot in order to avoid not only love but also the change in their everyday lives Unfortunately, for many people an ordinary life without a purpose or even the absence of the willing to have a purpose, ispreferable and an easy one to live in The resistance to change and the indifference towards our fellow humans suggest a world, where the inhabitants prefer to stay in their comfort zones and pretend that this is the way things work in the world, and we are not able to change them Yet, we are the ones who have the power to change every injustice.In the final analysis, this story is not only about the absence of love It is a story about the importance of friendship, family and hope in dark times It is a journey of each one of us, from the fear to feel to the perception of the human essence to be able to experience love, happiness, pain and sadness at their greatest point It teaches us to embrace the difference and to fight for being able to choose our life and our fate, a right which belongs to us since time immemorial.