Wednesday 18 July 2012

Book Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium - Lauren Oliver - US coverIn ninety-five days, Lena will be safe. She is scheduled to have the procedure that will forever cure her of the disease of love and she cannot wait. Ever since her mother succumbed to the disease, taking her own life when Lena was just a child, she has waited for the day when she would turn 18 and finally be rid of the curse forever.  Of course, the last thing Lena ever expected was to fall in love.

In Lauren Oliver's carefully crafted dystopia, love is a disease but one that can be cured by an invasive but necessary procedure once citizens reach adulthood. The borders of America have been closed and society is rid of the scourge of madness, violence and passion that love brings. In its place remains safety, security, duty and compliance and a carefully disguised totalitarian police state.

Delirium is a beautifully written book that takes place in the ninety-five days leading up to Lena's procedure. As Lena finishes school and goes through the motions of evaluation and pairing (courtship is a redundant and forbidden ritual in this society), author Lauren Oliver expertly weaves in the story of Lena's upbringing and her friendship with best friend Hana. This is such a rich and detailed novel spanning the whole of Lena’s life that I almost felt like I'd read an epic one I reached the end.

There is nothing in this story that is predictable and the reader is repeatedly stunned by twists and revelations in the story.  I loved the characterisation of Lena and Alex and the description of Lena’s experiences as she comes to terms with feelings and emotions that she simply does not have words for. 

I raced through Delirium in a matter of days, feeling slightly lost whenever I had to put it down.  Lauren Oliver has an amazing style of writing and is able to take the reader through a full range of emotional responses.  It is safe to say that I felt devastated by the ending of the book and had certainly not expected to be put through the wringer again following some of the book’s more shocking turns. 

Needless to say, I am happy to say that the story does not end there.  Delirium is part of a trilogy and is followed by Pandemonium.  The final instalment, Requiem will be released in 2013.

Delirium is published by HarperCollins and is available to purchase at or  I would absolutely recommend this book to all fans of young adult or dystopian fiction and have no hesitation in giving it five out of five stars.

© 2005 - Mandy Southgate | Addicted to Media

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