“Love: It will kill you and save you, both”
– Lauren Oliver, Delirium
Synopsis: 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 government 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.
Delirium tells the story of a world similar to our own with only one exception; Scientists have discovered a cure for the deadliest of all diseases—love, Amor Deliria Nervosa. And at age 18 Lena Holoway is ready to receive her cure.
Unlike most dystopians, the story is set in a world recognizable as our own. You don’t have to wrap your head around a whole new setting and way of life. This world is tangible and does not feel “made up”
The protagonist Lena, falls on the older side of YA protagonists. This story features a kind of sexual awakening and loss of innocence plot that starts when Lena meets the mysterious Alex Sheaths. The understanding she learns and changes she goes through are very captivating. I have to admit as characters neither she nor Alex are overly complex–it’s their story together that makes them interesting.
The concept of love as a disease is something that really gets the reader thinking. It’s not just about romantic love, but also about love we feel for all people. Oliver offers some potentially interesting concepts about love and why we need it. The novel delves into the ideas of if there is no love is there no hate? And furthermore if there, there something worse than hate?
The only negative I can say is this book toes the line of insta-love. I mean, it’s kind of strange how Lena learns to love when she, in fact, hasn’t really been told what if feels like and how bad it is.
I listened to this on audiobook and highly suggest it. It is done by Grey’s Anatomy actress Sarah Drew. I like her voice, but it sounded kind of young for characters who are older teens.
Delirium ends in a real breathtaking cliff hanger, I was holding my breath to the very end. I’m not sure why, but I really adored this book and the relationships between all the characters. I can’t wait for the sequel Pandemonium or the e-book about Hana, a side character, that comes out in February.
Side note, I really like this blue cover. Why can’t I find it anywhere?
I’m a lifelong reader who started blogging about YA books in 2011 but now I read in just about every genre! I love YA coming of age stories, compelling memoirs and genre bending SFF. You can find me talking all things romance at Romance and Sensibility.