Thursday, January 6, 2011

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver



Published: HarperTeen (February 1, 2011)
Pages: 440
Format: Hardcover
Source: I requested this ARC via NetGalley for review.

Rating: 5/5
GoodReads Summary: Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love - the deliria - blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments 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 happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.


My Thoughts: I had heard a lot of wonderful early buzz about Delirium. I also heard about the buckets of tears that resulted from reading said book. I manned up a little before marking this one as "reading now" on my Nook. I thought I was prepared, you guys.

I.
Was.
Not.
Prepared.

Delirium is one of those books that makes your eyes second guess what they're reading, because how can anyone write such beautiful, beautiful things? It is chock full of phrases that you want to memorize and save for one of those moments when a loved one is going through a hard time, then lay it on them and take full credit for it. (I'd never do that, but it's tempting!)

This storyline was unsettling and tragic, with the aversion to love and the treatment of it as if it's a disease--amor deliria nervosa.I couldn't imagine a life without love, nor would I want to. But reading about it makes for an exhilarating experience. Oliver's creation of this world where the United States will basically lay the smackdown on anyone who is in love. The word "despair" is prominent in my mind when thinking about the tone of Delirium. It was very, very sad.

It took awhile for Lena to grow on me. I get it, she's just doing what she knows she's supposed to. She's following the rules and staying on the straight and narrow path to the final destination of having that lovin' feeling sucked out of her brain, thanks to The Cure ("Love Song" may or may not have played in my head every time I read those words.) I fell in love with her voice once she started to see things for what they really were.

And then there's Alex. Oh man. All it took was that ONE WORD (which you'll understand once you read it) and I was hooked. Alex reminded me a lot of Ewan McGregor's character in Moulin Rouge, going on about freedom, beauty, truth, and love in his dreamy fashion. I was in quite a pickle once I met Alex. It was a constant struggle between savoring every single word that Oliver penned and flipping ahead to ANY page where Alex's name was present and devouring the deliciousness. I loved his strength and his outlook, and I loved Alex and Lena together. The dynamic of their relationship made my heart explode. Delirium is an incredible, AMAZING love story. I can't think of a situation where the lovers are MORE star-crossed than this. Dude. They're going to literally remove the ability to love from her BRAIN.

See, I'd tell you to prepare yourself for this massive cliffhanger ending, but it's just not possible. This ending ruined me. I felt like sometime gave me a swift punch to the gut when I turned that last page. I think I flipped forward, hoping that past all the blank pages, there'd be some Comic Sans text saying "JUST KIDDING!" and then some explanation or some SEMBLANCE of resolution to hold me over until frickin' 2012 when Pandemonium comes out.

Lauren Oliver, you hurt my feelings. BUT IT HURTS SO GOOD.

26 comments:

  1. I completely agree! Lauren Oliver is an amazing writer and can you believe that ending?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I cannot wait to read this! It's on my Nook and I think it's next on the list!

    And I totally get what you are saying about seeing beautiful things in books and wanting to say them to people (preferably non-readers) and taking credit for them :P I would never ever do that either but I totally have thought about this passage in a book one time when the bf was going through a hard time. I kept thinking..how could I say this in my own words??

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ahh--I need to read this! I can't wait for it to be released. This is such a great review :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Awesome review! I've had the egalley sitting on my Kindle for a while and other things keep coming up in front of it. I really need to make it a priority because I've been wanting to read it for so long.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great review. I really cannot wait until I can read this one, it sounds fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wasn't this just the most fantastic read? I think if Lauren Oliver wrote the yellow pages I would read it, love it and rave about it. Like you, the ending just floored me. I can't believe how long we have to wait to see what happens next. UGH

    ReplyDelete
  7. Amazing review Jen. It took me days to recover after reading this book and I'm still thinking about it daily. I've been telling so many people about it, but it's really hard to convey to them the beauty that is in Oliver's words without looking crazy....

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think I'm even more excited to read this now than I was before. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love this review!! I was so excited to read it before, but now....cannot wait. Feb 1st cannot come soon enough

    ReplyDelete
  10. Awesome review! You and I share the same feelings in our review for this book. I love your reference to Alex as Ewan McGregor in Moulin Rouge. So true! How are on earth are we going to wait a whole year after an ending like that?! eeeeek!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Aw, isn't the ending so devastating! I definitely had to reread it a few times because I couldn't accept it. :( It's going to be so hard having to wait until 2012. Wonderful review!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I want to hug you SO HARD for this review because I feel exactly the same. I too refused to believe that ending. In fact, i went a little mental and flipped back and read the ending again and again and again, like some kind of groundhog moment and OMG NOTHING CHANGES NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU READ IT. LE SIGH.

    Loved this book so much and I never thought it would be possible to love Lauren more than I already did. i was totally wrong and yes, very very unprepared. Like going to the north pole in a bikini uprepared.

    ReplyDelete
  13. WONDERFUL review Jen :))) looooooove this book.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have this one for review, and absolutely cannot wait to start it. Thanks for the fab review. :D

    ReplyDelete
  15. Love the review! I have this book waiting on my Nook as well, but still have to finish my stack of January books before I can get to it :(
    You have made me SO excited to read it!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow! I actually wasn't sure about this one, because believe it or not dystopia is starting to grate on me. But beautiful writing, no matter the genre, is NEVER grating! Thanks for changing my mind. =)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Ohhh 'hurts so good' is the perfect way to describe it. Just... GAH! Pure amazingness.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi! I found your blog through Goodreads (mutual friend) and I really enjoyed reading some of your reviews.

    I've been reading great reviews about this book all over the blogosphere but yours just sealed the deal for me!

    I'm a new follower now :)
    ♥Isalys
    Book Soulmates

    PS: Hurts so good is exactly how I feel about Rachel Vincent's "My Soul To Steal". She has a way of putting you through an emotional wringer, but I love every minute of it!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I seriously love all of your reviews! Your blog is one of the reasons I finally decided to start my own blog. I know I sound like a little fan girl and all but you just have a way with words!

    I gave you a Stylish Blogger Award over at my blog, too :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have this from NetGalley, too, and I can't wait to read it. Also, I gave you a blogger award!
    http://lovelylittlelisha.blogspot.com/2011/01/stylish-blogger-award.html

    ReplyDelete
  21. I totally loved this book! It was such an immense and in-depth dystopian world, eh? Great review, Jen! :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. I should be getting an ARC of this book on Wednesday and I cannot freaking wait...

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh, and btw...I now have John Mellencamp in my head.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I agree with you 100%. So much book love!!! I haven't posted my review yet...wanted to wait until a bit closer to release. LOVED THIS. More than "Matched," and I really enjoyed "Matched." I eagerly have a "real" copy pre-ordered. At first, I wasn't fond of the cover design, but I saw a close-up of what it will really look like, and I think it might not be so bad. Definitely not so...blue. LOL.

    Anyway, I'm new to your blog (obvs.) but I think we have similar book tastes!

    ReplyDelete