Friday, 11 May 2012

Review of Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

3,5 stars 

Lena Haloway is content in her safe, government-managed society. She feels (mostly) relaxed about the future in which her husband and career will be decided, and looks forward to turning 18, when she’ll be cured of deliria, a.k.a. love. She tries not to think about her mother’s suicide (her last words to Lena were a forbidden “I love you”) or the supposed “Invalid” community made up of the uncured just beyond her Portland, Maine, border. There’s no real point—she believes her government knows how to best protect its people, and should do so at any cost. But 95 days before her cure, Lena meets Alex, a confident and mysterious young man who makes her heart flutter and her skin turn red-hot. As their romance blossoms, Lena begins to doubt the intentions of those in power, and fears that her world will turn gray should she submit to the procedure. In this powerful and beautifully written novel, Lauren Oliver, the bestselling author ofBefore I Fall, throws readers into a tightly controlled society where options don’t exist, and shows not only the lengths one will go for a chance at freedom, but also the true meaning of sacrifice. --Jessica Schein *blurb from Goodreads


I liked it but I didn't LOVE it. My problems mostly came from the how it works as a dystopia. Paolo Bacigalupi (who wrote the YA dystopian: Ship Breaker) says it a lot better than I ever will.

"Dystopias should be insurgent. They should force readers to question who they are, what their society is like, and what they take for granted. A good dystopia will illuminate the horrors right before our eyes, and one can hope that if it does its job well, it will create empathy and humanity in world that is sorely lacking."
So while they've got the horror part locked down -never feeling too much- it doesn't deliver on critisism on society. Why is love dangerous? I mean sometimes it really sucks but it isn't a threat. Mysogony, misandrie, dicrimination, homophobia, racism are just one of the few problems that society faces today. Loving people to much and going crazy isn't one of them.

Regardless I mostly enjoyed this book because it felt like an ode to Love. And I love Love :P
I may be a sarcastic, cynical person but also a total sucker for romance and everything that goes along with it. A few of my favorite poems by Romantic poets were mentioned like "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day' by Shakespeare and 'How do I love thee, let me count the ways' by Elizabeth Barett Browning.

I liked Lena and her actions were understandable regarding her circumstances. Oliver writes feelings very well and I like the writing a lot. I would still recommend it. It works good as a teenage romance but a lot less as a critisism of today's society and without all it's machinations that make dystopias so great.

The sequel, Pandemonium , is up next week because it ended with a terrible cliffhanger (why must writers do this?).

Have you read Delirium and what did you think about it? Tell me in the comments!

Bonus: Poem 43 By Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints!---I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!---and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Simply Beautiful!


  1. But you have to admit, the writing is beautiful :P.
    And oh! That poem is love! Haha. I actually never read the whole poem before

    1. Me neither, I had read the quote earlier on Goodreads though, googled it for this post and found the poem :)

      The writing is very beautiful indeed, I think I'll like her contemporary YA a lot better!


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