Monday, May 21, 2012

Delirium (Book One of Delirium series), by Lauren Oliver

Book One of Delirium Series
Written by Lauren Oliver

"It will kill me, it will kill me, it will kill me. And I don't care." -- Lena, Delirium, by Lauren Oliver

I was really excited when my husband came home on Mother's Day with two books that I'd wanted to read. Ever since I read the Hunger Games trilogy I've been devouring dystopia novels. They are my new favorite genre. I have always loved apocalyptic movies (ironic, as I'm a true atheist), so dystopia novels were the next step to further my addiction.

Unlike Hunger Games, Delirium is more psychological, in my opinion. The plague that "destroyed" society was love, rather than rebellion. Lauren Oliver tells the story of a girl whose mother was a sympathizer (reminding me of how whites who helped blacks before and during the civil rights movement) who had the audacity to fall in love with her husband. The story, as with most dystopias, has two clear sides: the cured (those who have had a surgery to erase any strong emotion and passion, including the ability to love), and their enemies, the Invalids (those who live outside the safety of the communities and have not had the surgery) aided by Sympathizers (those who had the surgery but are against it, or simply think it should be optional rather than mandatory).

This book stirs up all sorts of feelings and ideas as you wonder what it would be like to live in a world where love was a disease, not to mention illegal. How sick and twisted the world must be for someone to willingly give up their ability to love and long for the day when they can be cured and never have to worry about catching the awful disease? Love as a disease is such an interesting paradox to those of us living today. Anyone who has experienced love has also experienced the pain of losing it, but would any one of us give up the ability to love in order to escape the pain of it? I would not do so myself, but yet a tiny part of me can still see the attraction of it.

I especially liked the way Oliver portrayed her characters. She took the moment of the introduction of each character seriously. I felt as if I could picture each of them in my mind and I knew how they'd react to any given situation. I loved the last few chapters of the book, as the characters scrambled through the chaos with a mad urgency. I adored the fact that she surprised me at the end when I'd thought all along I knew what to expect and that I'd already figured it all out...I was wrong. I LOVE being wrong. Anytime I get a shock or surprise I am completely enamored of the author who managed it.

Delirium is a great book, and I can't wait to read Pandemonium! I have a feeling that waiting for the third book, Requiem is going to severely test my patience.

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