Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Archive for the tag “Delirium”

Scootsa1000’s #CBR4 Review #22: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Last year, I read and loved Lauren Oliver’s beautiful debut, Before I Fall.  At the same time, I also read and was pretty much indifferent to Oliver’s new creation, Delirium, the first in a trilogy about a new world where Love is considered a disease and all teens have a procedure to more or less become lobotomized, thus creating a society where nobody has any emotion and can easily be controlled.

As much as I was underwhelmed by Delirium, I will continue to stand by Lauren Oliver, because I know there is talent there, and I know we’ll see it again someday.  So I will continue to read her stuff and hope we see the dazzling writing soon.  And so, I picked up Pandemonium at the library, and was honestly expecting it to be worse than Delirium.

A brief overview: Lena (the heroine of Delirium) has successfully escaped Portland and is now in the Wilds, but without Alex, who she saw die before she made it over the wall.  She has been “adopted” by a new group out in the Wilds of New Hampshire and learns how to live and survive in the world.  She goes undercover in NYC, pretending to be a supporter of a group that encourages all youth to get the procedure, regardless of potential health problems.  The spokesman for the group is a young man named Julian, who is dying of a brain tumor, and knows that the procedure will probably kill him.  And yet, he still tells his supporters that he will have the procedure as soon as he is of age. And when he is kidnapped by a rogue organization, Lena follows him, and is captured herself.  The rest of the story is about Lena and Julian and what they learn from each other, etc.

The good news first:  I actually thought the new installment to the trilogy was better.  I liked that the chapters alternated between present and future…I think it made me have to concentrate a little bit and pay attention to the story (because, sometimes with the dystopian trilogies, I have a tendency to scan the boring parts).  Like in the first book, I liked the way Oliver described the cities in this strange future — both the orderly sections (above ground), and the strange and disorderly sections (like the city below the city).

And the bad news: Because I have actually read other books before, nothing in this story surprised me.  The two “twists” at the end were so completely obvious, I almost had to laugh. But then I try and remember that this is a YA book, and that I am not a YA…and that maybe if I were, I would have been surprised or shocked or excited or…anything really.

I’m guessing the third book will mostly be about Lena’s love life, her mother, and the resistance staging a potential uprising against the government.  I’ll read it, because one of these days Lauren Oliver is going to blow me away again.  I just hope its sooner than later.

You can read more of my reviews on my blog.

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

DragonDreamsJen’s #CBR4 Review #25 Delirium by Lauren Oliver

The Hunger Games trilogy’s success has spawned a whole slew of dystopian society novels trying to grab a piece of this trendy readership pie.  I am far more critical of this phenomenon having lived through it already for both Harry Potter and Twilight.  Every time a writer creates something unique that catches on, writers and publishers alike seem to flood the market with similar offerings.

I found Delirium, by Lauren Oliver, on a table at Chapters with a buffet of other dystopian novels and a sign that read “If you loved Hunger Games… try these!” The photoshop montage cover that has become so affordable for publishers to produce (instead of the older tradition of hiring an illustrator) did little to make the book stand out from its companions, but the first part of the back jacket copy caught my attention.

“They say that the cure for LOVE will make me happy and safe forever.  And I’ve always believed them. Until now.”

Intrigued, I picked up the book and began to skim through the first chapter.  The first person narrative and writing style was gripping enough that I decided to add it to my basket.

Delirium is an easy read.  The writing style is simple yet highly descriptive.  The premise around which the novel is based, that love is a disease that must be cured and eradicated, is griping enough for most of us that it lures the reader on.  The awakening of a sense of individuality in the main characters, so threatening to any strictly governed society, is both poignant and captivating.  There were a few moments that felt a bit too overblown to me, too Romeo and Juliet or Edward and Bellaish… until I  remembered the emotional highs and lows of my own teen years.

Lauren Oliver does a great job of creating a rich and detailed background against which her story can take place.  Her limited range of characters are developed enough that you come to care about them as the tale unfolds.  The plot twists are clever and well planned.  As Delirium raced towards its conclusion, I found myself checking ahead to see how many pages were left with a touch of dread.  Sure enough, the ending felt abrupt and dissatisfying.  Like Matched, one of the other dystopian YA novels I’ve already reviewed, the story seemed to rely a bit too much on setting up the next book and leaving loose ends rather than creating a world and a tale that left the reader wanting more because of how well it was crafted.  The preview for Pandemonium, the next book in the trilogy (really? It’s a trilogy?) was OK… and I will probably pick it up if I see it on sale… but if this first paperback format is released to sell me two HARDCOVER books afterwards… I think I will pass.

Paperback format, 441 pages, published in 2011 by Harper

Post Navigation