A Cornucopia of Dystopia! Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

9:00 AM

Title: Delirium (Delirium #1)
Author: Lauren Oliver
Release Date: February 1, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 448
Source: Won in CureMeITB Twitter contest thanks to  Indigo Teen Blog and HarperCollins Canada 

Overall: 4 Stars 

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. 

Lauren Oliver astonished readers with her stunning debut, Before I Fall. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called it "raw, emotional, and, at times, beautiful. An end as brave as it is heartbreaking." Her much-awaited second novel fulfills her promise as an exceptionally talented and versatile writer. 

My Thoughts:
Upon completing Delirium, there were three stages I experienced:

1) I wanted to scream! I was seriously tempted to just grab a pillow and scream into it for all it was worth.
2) Once the urge to scream passed, next were the tears threatening to fall. My heart completely reached out to Lena as plans slowly went awry by the end.
3) This awful ache settled in my chest, threatening to never go away as I kept replaying the ending over and over again in my head. How could Lauren Oliver possibly end the novel on such a horrible cliff-hanger note? Pure evilness. 

Delirium has left me infected... with a case of amor deliria nervosa that is. Lauren Oliver's beautiful prose has such a wonderful lilt that the words just seem to seamlessly flow off the page! She brings such beauty to the smallest inconsequential of things with her writing, making you second-guess your own view of the world.

With Lena's 18th birthday approaching ever closer in only a few months, so is her future. Her evaluations will determine who she is to marry and eventually have children with... and she'll receive the cure to amor deliria nervosa, or love, that the government says is deadly to everyone. Sympathizers who even think that love could possibly be good are taken out and swiftly silenced. Such thoughts are dangerous and it's for everyone's protection... Lena has always known and understood this fact. But then the unimaginable happens when Lena meets a beautiful boy... and falls in love.

Lena is the main factor in driving this novel forward; her growth as a character was essential and without it, Delirium would not nearly be as good as it is. The reasoning behind her eagerness to receive the cure is carefully explained, becoming even more apparent after we learn more about Lena's past and her relationship with her mother. With the introduction of Alex into the story and watching as their relationship unfolds and blossoms before our eyes, we see Lena come to make decisions for herself as she questions the rules of a society she had always believed to be right.

And as much as this novel was dystopian and focused on exploring this fascinating, yet horrifying, society Lena lives in... it was also very much a love story as well. Lauren Oliver captures first love in its innocence, complete with all the sweetness, butterflies, and other scrambling emotions it involves as well.

Love is pain... and with Delirium that certainly extends to the ending. Lauren Oliver's novel Delirium delivers with its absolutely beautiful writing and a heartfelt story set to the backdrop of a world without love. I'm eagerly looking forward to next year's release of the second novel, Pandemonium, for sure!


Don't forget everyone! "A Cornucopia of Dystopia!" is still an ongoing event and you can check out the full schedule of where to find reviews, author interviews, and giveaways from the several blogs participating here!

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  1. I have this waiting to be read after Rosebush. Can't wait! I loved the review. ^^

  2. Well... I read this and while I loved the prose, I didn't particularly care for the story or the characters :(
    I wanted to like it but it just never happened.
    Though, admittedly, I don't particularly like dystopia.

  3. Awesome review! This book has been sitting on my shelf FOREVER! I'm defintely reading this one as soon as I can :)

  4. Great review! The ending about killed me too, I so need to know what happens next.

  5. Oh man, I love this book so much. I got it from Netgalley originally, so I've already re-read it when I bought a finished copy, haha. <3

  6. I loved, loved this book! The ending left me staring horrified, like you said: it's pure evil! I'm so looking forward to the next one, I think the wait'll kill me... I loved how innocent and new the romance was for Lena. Glad you liked it!

  7. That pure evil ending was why I couldn't finish this one. I saw it coming and I didn't want to get burned by it. I read Before I Fall, fell in love with it, then had my heart broken at the end. So when I realized the ending to this one wasn't going to be so happy I didn't want to finish. Anyway. I'm glad you all liked it!!

  8. I feel like the only one who hasn't read this. Even my cousin's read it and has told me how good it is. I did love Lauren Oliver's first books so am planning on reading Delirium soon.

  9. Amazing book. Seriously heart-wrenching end. I cried like a little girl. LOL! *SPOILER ALERT* I really hope Alex survives and that Lena eventually finds her mother.