sevenstories’ #CBR4 Review #34: Delirium by Lauren Oliver
“They say that the cure for love will make me happy and safe forever. And I’ve always believed them. Until now. Now everything has changed. Now, I’d rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years suffocated by a lie. 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.”
Lena is 17 and eagerly counting down the days to her procedure, frightened of the disease that caused her mother to commit suicide when Lena was still a child. Oliver is adept at creating her world, she begins each chapter with a piece of documentation, an extract from the Safety, Health and Happiness Handbook or a poem from a banned collection. Oliver manages to write what is essentially a love story without making it sentimental and also managing to cover other bases and exploring family, friendship, loyalty, honesty and science amongst other themes. I didn’t fall for it, maybe I’ve just read too many dystopian YA novels, maybe because I did find Lena a little uninspiring or maybe because I found it rather dragged in the first half, but Oliver’s writing is undeniably beautiful. I will definitely be reading both the sequel to Delirium and her other novel, Before I Fall, as I think I would really enjoy her writing in a less saturated genre but it is a worthwhile addition to the dystopian society genre, and better than many that I have read.
The full review is on my blog.
First Line: ‘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.’
Why I read it: I saw it in Oxfam Books and had heard it was a good entry into the post-apocalyptic YA canon.
Who I would recommend it to: Post-apocalyptic fans who enjoy solid world building. Fans of Divergent by Veronica Roth or Matched by Ally Condie