Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Monday, December 22, 2014

Author: Lauren Oliver
Published by: HarperCollins

Lena has been scared of amor deliria nervosa since it killed her mother over ten years ago. Since then, she's been counting down the days until her 18th birthday. That's the day she can finally be sure that she'll be cured from love forever. She'll get evaluated, matched with a partner, and have the procedure done just like everyone else. She'll live her days out in contentment. In stability. But before she can have the procedure done she meets a boy named Alex. He isn't scared of the Invalids who hide out in The Wilds, uncured and filled with passionate emotions. As Lena learns more and more about what the government isn't telling her, she starts to question whether love really needs a cure at all.

I am a hopeless romantic. There, I said it. I love chick flicks and chick lit. I love YA books because they don't tend to focus on sex as much as the build up of the relationships. Those awkward first dates, fleeting glances, and all the nervousness that just touching a boy can bring.

So because of all that and more, I absolutely fell in love with this book. I fell in love with Alex immediately. As soon as he whispers to Lena, "I prefer the ocean when it's gray. Or not really gray. A pale, in-between color. It reminds me of waiting for something good to happen." I died. It took all of my willpower not to squeeee! while at work. But he's also actually a great character. He has a sketchy history, a need for change, a streak of rebellion. He isn't afraid of his feelings or what they mean. He's not ashamed to love beautiful things.

In the beginning I felt kind of ho-hum about Lena. She may seem weak but she has to overcome a lot of history and a lot of self doubt.  We see how people in this disease-free US are raised. She has to fight this inner battle between the future where the thought of her mother's suicide won't cause her pain and a past where laughing and dancing make her feel something. She has to decide how she wants her present to be and she teeters a lot. It's understandable. I think it makes her more relatable.

I like the world that Oliver has created. If you've ever had your heart broken you can totally understand how being cured of love can sound appealing. But it's not just romantic love that these people are giving up. Children are raised by loveless parents, pets are nothing more than continuously fed animals. What is probably the most terrifying is that children, all those under 18 are still capable of love. They haven't had the procedure so they flit around the city capable of beautiful things, of kindness and compassion, but they are routinely taught to stifle these emotions. No one sees losing these feelings as a bad thing. When you're cured, everything becomes duller, lessened. Your favorite hobbies, your favorite people - you won't even miss them anymore. And it's not even a sacrifice to to them - it's just growing up.

I loved this book. It is a dystopian novel but it is, first and foremost, a love story. I cannot wait to read the next books in the series.

I give it 5 out of 5 cateyes.

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