Lauren Oliver's powerful New York Times bestselling novel Delirium—the first in a dystopian trilogy—presents a world as terrifying as George Orwell's 1984 and a romance as true as Romeo & Juliet.
In an alternate United States, love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called the Cure. Living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in Portland, Maine, Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. She watched love destroy her mother and isn't about to make the same mistakes.
But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena meets enigmatic Alex, a boy from the Wilds who lives under the government's radar. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?
Delirium received starred reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal, and was named a Best Book of the Year by USA Today, Kirkus, Amazon.com, YALSA, and the Chicago Public Library and was selected as one of NPR's Top 100 Best Ever Teen Novels.
Supports the Common Core State Standards
Topics: Dystopia, Maine, Speculative Fiction, Trilogy, Adventurous, Futuristic, Dramatic, Love, Love Story, First Love, Rebellion, Forbidden Love, Escaping Oppression, Friendship, Family, Suspenseful, On the Run, Female Friendship, Courage, Unrequited Love, Survival, Coming of Age, Death, Female Protagonist, and First in a Series
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Lena, the main character, is almost at the age where she will be cured of “deliria” – which is how love is described in her world. The further you read into the story though, the more you realize that what their society describes as love is not the traditional definition. Love to them is an infectious disease that they have been told to fear; one that will drive them to insanity and later lead to death. Their definition of love is skewed so much that it bears little resemblance to ours. Their solution to the problem is a surgery that causes the patient to be unemotional and accepting of whatever comes their way.
There are some impracticalities in the story, such as: if they don’t care about each other then why would parents be worried about how their children fare in life? I suppose that it could be explained as an instinctual desire to provide for offspring, but it did seem like an inconsistency. Or maybe that inconsistency could also play out in later books as the ability of the brain to recover function after the surgery. I don’t know, and the fact was that it really didn’t bother me all that much when I was reading because I was having so much fun.
I zipped right through Delirium and enjoyed it immensely despite any small issues I may have had with how realistic the world was. It is fast paced and intense – as Lena has to decide how much is too much to risk for her friends and her freedom.
I highly recommend Delirium if you like plot-driven young adult dystopian fiction. It is the first in a trilogy – the other two books will be Pandemonium and Requiem.more
The beginning felt rough, in the sense it felt like Uglies and Hunger Games all rolled up together. It definitely picks up in the last half. It will be interesting to see where it goes in the remainder of the trilogy.more
The plot starts off fairly slowly, as Oliver builds Lena’s world. That’s not to say it comes without incident, Lena is preparing for her assessment – it is this combined with her school results that will determine the husband she is matched with. I felt myself getting anxious along with Lena as this important meeting loomed, I really felt a sense of involvement with the character. The plot definitely picks up pace as the book progresses, I found that the more I read the more I wanted to read.
I enjoyed the characters that Oliver created, as I’ve already said I found myself getting totally wrapped up in what was happening with Lena. I also enjoyed Alex, the boy she meets and falls for. I liked their interactions, and how their story developed.
I thought the concept that love instead of being a good thing was actually an illness to be really interesting. I liked the way the concept was described, it didn’t feel like too big a jump to understand how people had begun to believe it.
I shall certainly be looking forward to the further two books in this trilogy.