Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Book Details
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Hardcover, 448 Pages
2011, HarperCollins
ISBN: 0061726826

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.

Delirium has a fantastic dystopian premise. What if love was considered a disease that could be vaccinated for? What would life be like for people in a love-free society? The concept was full of potential, but the story inevitably got bogged down in the romance.

Lena isn't eighteen and hasn't been cured yet. This makes her still susceptible to love. She meets a boy and falls in love, causing her to be considered infected and much like a criminal. The problem I have with the relationship is that it is so convenient. Minors aren't allowed to spend time with uncureds of the opposite sex, so Lena predictably falls in love with the first one she talks to. The relationship continues with both of them falling deeper in love to the point where they are willing to give up everything to be together. It's very romantic. And stupid. Especially since they've known each other for about two months.

Is the love story in Delirium realistic in the society of the book? Sure, but it's also unbelievably annoying. I'm usually all for rebelling against dystopian society, but the argument against love in Delirium is rather convincing. Love is messy. It can make you seriously ill and possibly homicidal or suicidal. Can you really fault a government for trying to find a solution. The cure seems to be working, society is benefiting, and no one is complaining. Lena was excited to receive the cure until a boy paid her the slightest bit of attention. She acts in the exact way the society warns people about, yet we're supposed to see them as the villains.

I was disappointed with Delirium. The concept was promising, the hype was huge and other reviewers seem to absolutely love it. Yet, I just could not fathom someone throwing away a good future in the name of love. Or, more accurately, in the name of infatuation and lust given the length and super sexy secret nature of the relationship. When I wish for the dystopian society to win, I know something has gone horribly wrong with a story.


Lauren Oliver's

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