Saturday, March 12, 2011

ARC Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Delirium 
Series: Delirium #1
Author: Lauren Oliver | Author’s Website
Available: Now
Genre: Dystopian
Reading Level: Young Adult

Description from Goodreads:

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.

My thoughts:

Set in a future where love has been blamed as the cause for almost all forms of health issues and even wars, scientists have found a way to cure love with a treatment performed on all members of society when they are around the age of 18 years old. Having watched her mother and sister fall victim to "Amor Deliria Nervosa”, Lena can’t wait for the day her treatment is performed. Then she meets a beautiful boy, and begins to question all she was taught to believe.

Delirium is a book I wanted to love. I saw the rave reviews and everyone gushing over its amazingness. Now I find myself pondering was it that hype that caused it to fall short? I know others loved this one, so please refrain from throwing tomatoes. It had aspects I truly did enjoy and those I didn’t. The idea of love as a disease was a fascinating one, but when the author delved into descriptions of mothers that were so detached from their children they showed no emotion when they were hurt, I had to ask myself how did these same babies survive infancy. I guess I’m from the school of thought that the unconditional love I feel for my children is one of the driving forces behind my need to comfort and care for them. Take that away and will I be able to nurture in the way the child needs? I suppose basic needs can be easily met, but that still leaves the emotional needs all children crave. Children want their parent’s love and acceptance, and all the parent’s in Delirium could offer was bland indifference. I hoped by the end of the book I’d be a believer, but it didn’t happen. I just couldn’t shake the feeling that denying these children love would lead to even more problems, or maybe I’m just over thinking it ;)

The first 150+ pages was so bogged down with world building for this complex idea that the pace moved very slowly and my attention was swaying. The main characters were lackluster at best. By the time I reached the end Lena and Alex hadn’t left much of an impression on me. Lena seemed to be such a strong advocate of “the cure” initially, I had trouble believing she would abandon it all so quickly over a boy. Once plot twists began to come to light I found I was much more interested. The author really has a beautiful writing style, but I need more action and a somewhat plausible explanation for the state of the world when I read a dystopian novel. I imagine her contemporary novel (which I have not read) is absolutely stunning if the flow and pace are similar to that of Delirium

Will I read the next? Yes! I truly hope that now that the world has been set up, the next book will focus on answering questions and solving the mysteries that popped up over the course of Delirium. I’m also very interested in what lies outside the fences of civilization. I hope the next installment will trigger a case of "Amor Deliria Nervosa” for me the way it has for so many other readers.

My Rating:

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  1. Great, honest, review! I agree that love for infants and children is vital to their growth, so I might have a problem with that too. I've had this to read for a while and never got around to it. I may wait until the hype dies down a little before I read it.

  2. Indeed there's so much hype around this book that I really want to read this one. I have read mixed reviews about this book, but I do hope I will love it. Not a big fan of slow paces!!! Great review.

  3. This one was really very hyped, and I didn't love it either. I thought the ending was great though, and it pretty much redeemed the book for me. I found it very slow to start, but I'm guessing the next book will be faster-paced! :)

  4. Totally understand where you're coming from, I was somewhat disappointed with this one as well. Like you I thought the premise was promising but the plot was very slow-moving for most of it and I didn't connect strongly with the main character. Glad I wasn't alone in feeling this way!

  5. I really do look forward to this one :) Thanks for the honest review.