Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Book Review: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Ninety-five days, and then I'll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It's hard to be patient. It's hard not to be afraid while I'm still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn't touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't.
Review: "Hearts are fragile things. That's why you have to be so careful."
I think that my love for the dystopian genre has been apparent in some previous blog posts of mine, so you may assume that I enjoyed Delirium right up to the last page. If you made this assumption, then you are correct... to a certain extent.
Lauren Oliver's concept of love being a disease that everyone had to be cured from was genius. I mean, we've all heard the term "lovesick" before so it was only a matter of time before an author took this idea and ran with it. In Portland - the setting of Lena's story - love is known by its scientific name: amor deliria nervosa. People are educated about the disease from a young age to the point where they're scared of it, except they can't be cured until they're 18 years old in order to avoid possible brain damage or long term side effects. Word is after you're cured, all types of pain disappear especially the pain caused from love. Anyone or anything that has to do with love is banned from the city. There's heavy segregation between boys and girls, strict curfews, and random house raids performed by the government. I wasn't even a character in the book and I didn't feel safe.
Lena was an okay character. You know... the story is focused on her, but she's not like BAM-OMG-AMAZING. Her overall adventure is WOW-HOLYCRAP-HOLDUP material starting from her first evaluation where she meets Alex. Before the 18 year olds are cured, they have to go through a standard interview whose results are used to pair couples up to be married after graduating from school. Remember, after the cure they have little to no emotions and act like robots just casually walking through life. Unfortunately, or fortunately for Lena because she wasn't doing so hot with answering questions under pressure, her interview was interrupted by a herd of cows running through the government labs. That's right. A herd of cows. This is the type of thing that makes me wonder if Lauren Oliver was experiencing writer's block and thought to herself, "Well, cows are cool. Maybe I should add those in there and confuse Lena out of her mind." Although it was the perfect segue to the introduction to Lover Bo- I mean, Alex who just so happened to be hanging out on the roof of the lab.
Okay, so the girl who is terrified of love and needs to be cured meets a boy. The rest of the story is predictable, right? Wrong, nope, incorrecto. Once I submerged myself in the story (because honestly, I started re-reading this book several times until I got into it), I couldn't put it down. Technically, I couldn't put my phone down because it was an e-book and maybe that's the reason it took me so long to get into it, but... MORAL OF THE STORY IS THIS:
Reading this book will infect you with amor deliria nervosa. And may rekindle your love for reading.
Just a warning.