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Delirium by Lauren Oliver


by Lauren Oliver

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Delirium (1)

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English (405)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (411)
Showing 1-5 of 405 (next | show all)
Actual rating: 3.5

“You can't be happy unless you're unhappy sometimes"

[a:Lauren Oliver|2936493|Lauren Oliver|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1291156327p2/2936493.jpg] has a way with words. Everything that flows from those creative fingertips enchants you and whisks you away to another world. This is one of the reasons she's one of my favourite authors.

So when I picked up [b:Delirium|11614718|Delirium (Delirium, #1)|Lauren Oliver|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1327890411s/11614718.jpg|10342808] I was exciting to drown myself within those pages and take part in a different world.

That's where the shit hit the fan, to put it nicely.

Lena lives in a world where love is a disease:

"The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't."

It destroys lives and when someone is infected they are alienated from their lives:

"...diseased girls dragging their nails on the pavement, tearing out their hair, their mouths dripping spit."

So the Consortium created a way to remove the 'disease' altogether. On the 18th birthday of every child, they will go through a procedure, where the part of their brain that feels love is cut away in surgery.

Lena is all for the procedure. Counting down the days, excited, she cannot wait to get it over and done with, and to finally meet her pair and get married and live the life that was set out for her.

But if things went according to plan, would it be a novel?


Lena is a pain in the ass. For the first 30% of this book, she continuously commented on her best friend, Hana's, appearance and how plain, boring and ugly she felt in comparison:

"She'll retreat to the West End and make friends with her neighbors, with people richer and more sophisticated than I am. I'll stay in some crappy apartment on Cumberland, and I won't miss her, or remember what it felt like to run side by side."

"But a second later I feel their eyes sweeping past me, a wind, latching on to Hana. Her blonde hair flashes next to me, a coin in the sun."

"Or at least, I must look ridiculous. Hana looks like a model for athletic wear."

"Not pretty. Not ugly, either. Just plain, like a thousand other faces you would see on the street."

And my personal favourite:

"No guy in his right mind would ever choose me when there are people like Hana in the world: it would be like settling for a stale cookie when what you really want is a big bowl of ice cream, whipped cream and cherries and chocolate sprinkles included."

For this reason alone, I found it nearly impossible to like her. Not only did she constantly complain about the unfairness of her life, but her fear of being caught and thrown into the Crypts (the asylum/prison) keeps her from doing anything even remotely rebellious. It's her best friend, Hana, who introduces her to the world of 'freedom' -- or the limited freedom of downloading illegal music and going to raves after curfew.

But would it be a typical cheesy novel if Oliver didn't introduce a love interest?


Alex is an 'Invalid': a member of a large group of people who managed to escape the suffocation of the new laws and made a home for themselves in the Wilds:

"They're not even supposed to exist; supposedly, all the people who live in the Wilds were destroyed fifty years ago, during the blitz."

They're a myth, a scary story to terrify children:

"Mama, Mama, put me to bed
I won't make it home, I'm already half-dead.
I met an Invalid, and fell for his art
He showed me his smile, and went straight for my heart.

But although Alex is an Invalid and therefore someone Lena must avoid and resist at all costs, she falls head over heels in love with his syrup colour eyes and golden crown of hair.

Together, they create a plan to try and escape to the Wilds, so that they can live happily ever after.

Personally, I didn't like Alex very much. He wasn't very believable or concrete as a character: I couldn't imagine him, let alone imagine being in his shoes. He constantly pushes the boundaries. So when at the end he is shot to smithereens, I couldn't bring myself to feel too sorry for him. By that point, I was bored out of my face.

The story:

The story had great premise, and Lauren Oliver was very clever with the concept: What would a world without love be like? Although it was cleverly done, I just could not for the life of my imagine living there (which is a big must when I'm reading dystopia) and I couldn't for the life of me sympathise with Lena. The first half was incredibly slow and rather bland, constantly yet slowly building up towards a large climax which, when it came, left me disappointed.

However, I DID enjoy reading it. It was a quick read (once you hit 50%) and it had quite a few outcomes I wasn't expecting.

Over all, 3.5 stars.

( )
  Aly_Locatelli | Jan 26, 2015 |
Why did I wait so long to start reading this amazing series?! I love the premise of this story, that love is not only the root of all that is wrong with the world, but a disease in and of itself. The implications are terrifying, the thought processes and sheer control of the government in their attempt to subdue basic human emotions in the name of social order.

I love, love, love dystopian fiction. Every dystopia is the result of an attempt at Utopia, an attempt that goes horribly wrong. It is chilling to see different aspects of our own world seen in a different way, seen by the new society as the root of all problems. These novels make you think, make you question your values, your beliefs, your priorites. They make you ask what price you are willing to pay for a "better" world? And is what you're striving for really what you want?

In this one, it is love that is the root of all that is wrong with the world, a basic human emotion that is wiped out in the name of peaceful society, with often horrific results. It is interesting that this is a society based on social order and science, and yet so much of what is done to the citizens is barbaric. Every aspect of life is controlled. Every social norm, every law... all in place because of the views on the destructive nature of love. It is terrifying.

Lena is a fantastic heroine, spending her life believing in the society's views on love and life. She yearns for her turn to be cured, wanting nothing more than to be assured of her safety and future. Her best friend Hana is the wild child, flying in the face of the rules. Lena's transformation is slow, caught between her fear of deliria and the overwhelming feeling that there just might be something more. But she isn't Hana. She is a bit timid, and has her own baggage to add to her fear. But then she meets Alex and he opens her eyes to the world she lives in. Everything she thought she knew about her life, her past, and her future flips and nothing will ever be the same for her again.

The ending. Oh, the ending. I am still having a hard time dealing with it and I am almost done with the second book as I am writing this. And that is all I am going to say about that!

Things to love...

--Lena. She wasn't a cookie cutter heroine. When we meet her, she is a bit timid, fully in line with the social order. Her transformation is slow and considered and I liked that.
--Hana. She's a contradiction, seemingly everything Lena is not. Brave, fearless, rebellious. Yet, in the end, it is Lena that risks everything, not Hana.
--Alex. There is so much more to him than just a love interest. He is deep and represents everything that should be in their world.

My Recommendation: This is a fantastic dystopian read, with a chilling premise! ( )
  Kiki870 | Dec 19, 2014 |
I really loved the premise of this book. When this is the case I'm usually disappointed by the execution but this was not one of those times. I'm not sure if this was deliberate, but she makes a great statement about today's world and our obsession with turning everything into a disease. We allow ourselves to be medicated for everything but at what cost? A very thought provoking and enjoyable read. If you're not really into the social commentary there is also a beautiful love story that will keep you flipping the pages. ( )
  plaeski | Dec 16, 2014 |
What a great read this was! Lauren Oliver has created a unique dystopian world and richly drawn characters that I can't wait to revisit in the sequel. Lena, the main character, is only 17. One thing I really liked about her was that she often actually acts the way a 17 year old would, immaturely. Frequently in YA the teenage characters behave more like adults than teens. I find that annoying, so it was a nice change here. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys dystopian stories. ( )
  Kelly_Mills | Dec 12, 2014 |
Not as good as other dystopian series I've read lately (Gone and Divergent specifically) but entertaining! I need something to read while I am waiting for the end of both these books! ( )
  olegalCA | Dec 9, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lauren Oliverprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Drew, SarahNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Kaikille niille, jotka ovat joskus tartuttaneet minuun
amor deliria nervosan –
tiedätte kyllä, keitä olette.
Ja niille, jotka tartutatte minut tulevaisuudessa –
en malta odottaa nähdäkseni keitä te olette.
Ja kummassakin tapauksessa:
First words
It has been sixty-four years since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty-three since the scientists perfected a cure.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

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Book description
There was a time when love was the most important thing in the world. People would go to the end of the earth to find it. They would tell lies for it. Even kill for it.

Then, at last, they found the cure.

Now, everything is different. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Haloway 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 then, with only ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable
Haiku summary
Love is bad for you.
A cure is necessary.
Will Lena survive?

No descriptions found.

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Lena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life, until ninety-five days before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, she falls in love.

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