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