Publisher: HarperTeen (February 1, 2011)
ARC: 440 pages
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Series: Delirium #1
Book from Traveling ARC Tours
Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that one 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 Holway 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. (Source)
DELIRIUM, by Lauren Oliver, is a dystopian thriller that explores a world that cures its people of love. The feeling of love and the emotions and actions created from it are erased to create a docile and untroubled life for society. Oliver creates a civilization full of indifference and safety that is widely accepted by a majority of the people, but with any government there are always rebels. In this case, the rebellion against the "cure" are those who want to hold onto love and all the pleasant and unpleasant feelings that accompany it.
This book absolutely blew me away. Right from the start I was fascinated with this society and the cure against love. Love as a disease was named, amor deliria nervosa. Our main girl, Lena, was the epitome of a perfect citizen. She anticipated her procedure to be cured, and pitied those who were infected. She wanted nothing more that to go to college and be paired with her government-chosen mate. But when Lena met Alex, all bets were off. The secret affair between Lena and Alex kept my heart thumping with anticipation. The constant surveillance of citizens always kept them looking over their shoulders but it did not keep them away from each other. I love how Alex was more mature for his age and he was very cultured in all things, including condemned poetry and written works. These two were perfect together and I yearned for each moment where they would meet again.
I liked the little quotes in the beginning of each chapter. These sayings explored deeper into the society. Some listed laws, and others listed nursery rhymes and sayings that were tweaked to the current view on love. Oliver's creativity and thoroughness in this book was astonishing.
Overall, I think this book is a must-read for dystopian YA fans. It was gritty, thoughtful, and engaging. And it begs the question is it better to feel love and lose it than to never have loved at all?