author: Lauren Oliver
how I read it: epub from the public library
Amor Deliria Nervosa: the disease of love. People are horrified by the mere thought of contracting this deadly disease. Luckily for them, there is a cure. In the not-so-distant future, there is a solution to this dangerous illness: eliminate love and emotion with a simple brain surgery that marks the passage from childhood to adulthood.
Lena is months away from her 18th birthday and is nervously awaiting the tests that will match her to a job, a mate and a life before undergoing her procedure. Of course, a lot can happen in 95 days...
In Delirium, Lauren Oliver succeeded in creating a dystopian society in which people’s sense of identity and personal power are completely eroded. The heavy-handed control described in the book was suffocating and reminiscent of some of the classic dystopian fiction like 1984.
This is not an action-filled book. Although there are some suspenseful scenes, the book in general is very slow-paced. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Despite its slow pace, I found myself riveted to this book, turning page after page (well, more like tapping the screen time after time, but you know what I mean.)
Young adult fiction generally has love and identity as central themes. This book is no different. While I do like romance, I prefer that love be peripheral to a larger story. This book had a very different approach; love was the story, with the larger political and social themes peripheral to Lena's emotions.
This might make sense in light of the fact that this is a book aimed at teens, and I remember well how all-encompassing teenage love can be. But as a reader, I found myself far more intrigued by what, exactly, might have led to this dystopian society and less interested in whether Lena and Alex would live happily ever after. That said, I do want to give Lauren Oliver a quick shout-out for bucking conventions and not creating a heartbreaking love triangle for her characters!
As seems to be a growing trend with teen science fiction and dystopian fiction, this book ends on a cliffhanger. I know that I’ve mentioned this before, but quite frankly, I find this trend tiresome. I am reading books. I am not watching serial television shows. If your writing and your story are compelling enough, then I will read the next book in the series. It’s fine to leave an ending open, with an obvious sequel to follow, but I still expect some closure at the end of a book. This book has more closure than some that I've reviewed, but still disappointed me a bit with the "tune in to see what happens next" ending.
That said, I will tune in for the next one.
This book made me want to: Dance.
Verdict: I'm still a bit indecisive. I think it was a really lovely book...but I'm not adding it to my list of all-time favourites. If you're a person who loves romance above all else, I think that you'll really enjoy this one.
Sequels: upcoming - Pandemonium and Requiem. Lauren Oliver held a contest and had blog commenters suggest titles for the last two books in the trilogy. I thought that was kind of cool!