Thursday, December 9, 2010

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Love is a disease and in Lena's society it is curable. After your eighteenth birthday each person has the surgery that destroys the emotion of love, of caring.   Lena has never questioned the necessity of the surgery nor ever contemplated falling in love, that is, until she meets Alex.
Instead people back then named other diseases - stress, heart disease, anxiety, depression, hypertension, insomnia, bipolar disorder - never realizing that there were, in fact, only symptoms that in the majority of cases could be traced back to the effects of amor deliria nervosa.  p.10 e-book ARC
A society where love is outlawed and thought of as a disease?  Well, that got my attention.  That is a concept that would be very difficult to pull off.  Love is such an integral part of who we are and how we interact with others.  Children need love and if their parents were incapable of it, how would that affect them?  Love is what gets most people by.  Delirium doesn't really seek to answer all the questions or explore the repercussions directly.  Instead it shows what a society where the adults are apathetic looks like, how people think.  And it shows how all of that can change in one person through the protagonist, Lena.  Lena is desperate to have the surgery thinking it will end all her problems.  But, of course, she meets a boy who changes all of that.

A surgery at a certain milestone, 18 in this book, to make the person conform to societal standards is so reminiscent of Uglies.  There were actually quite a few elements that reminded me of Uglies.  I also got a Romeo and Juliet type vibe, probably purposely as the play is mentioned quite a few times.  And while I enjoyed Delirium and found it to be a quick read I wasn't really emotionally invested in the characters.  I think that is just a by-product of having a character live in an emotionally closed off society.  Despite the romantic that actually felt realistic and took place at a normal pace, unlike some YA books, I didn't really feel attached.  But I enjoyed the book overall   I just think this is either going to be a love it or a meh type of book. 

ARC Provided by NetGalley
Publish date: February 1, 2011
Hogwarts: Charms


  1. Interesting. So why do they wait until 18 for the surgery? I mean, kids start falling in love well before that...

  2. Sounds good. Thanks for the review. I'm kind of fascinated by anything that gives off a Romen & Juliet vibe and is categorized under dystopian :)

  3. Thanks for your honest review! :)


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