Thursday, March 10, 2011

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

I'd been putting off reading Delirium because I'd seen such polarized reactions to it. Some loved it, some hated it. So I tried to go in with as few expectations as possible. In the end, I'm planted, firmly, in the "loved it" camp.

Lena is counting down the days until her eighteenth birthday when she will receive the procedure that will protect her from, what the government has deemed the most dangerous disease of all, love. Lena's anxious to have the surgery because she's lived in fear that she will turn out like her mother, whose multiple procedures could never quite cure her of the disease and ultimately lead to her mother taking her own life.

Lena's anticipatory countdown warps entirely after meeting Alex. Alex is is an "Invalid", one of the uncured. Lena's relationship with Alex changes her preconceived notions about the "invalids" and slowly realizes that perhaps the "cure" is nothing more than the government's way to control citizens. (D'uh!) Lena's countdown then morphs to a countdown to the now dreaded day.

While Lena's feelings for Alex are strong she is merely dreading the procedure but doesn't intend to do anything rash, like refusing the procedure, until she learns something about her mother. The revelation changes everything she thought she knew about her past and that, in turn, changes everything for her future.

While reading Delirium I realized how much I enjoy a good dystopian novel. I love reading about alternate realities, presented as utopias, and following the character's realizations that the world they live in is anything but a utopia. I really enjoy that growing awareness of all that they're being denied and how the character processes that information.

I loved the relationship between Alex and Lena. I thought it was very well done. There was Lena's initial reaction to finding out Alex is an "invilad" and Alex's patience with Lena's coming to terms that maybe "the cure" is not necessarily the answer. Love Alex!

Delirium is an excellent start to a promising series. I'm so disappointed that, according to Goodreads, I have to wait until 2012 for, Pandemonium, the next installment of Lena's story. *POUTS* I'm so glad I didn't let the negative reviews I've seen of this book sway me from reading it. If you're a fan of the dystopian genre, I'd definitely give it a go. I'm so glad I did!


Challenge(s) Fullfilled: E-book Challenge

Disclosure: I received this as a digital ARC through NetGalley. I did not receive any compensation for this review.


  1. I actually didn't like this book much, other that I acknowledge that I was surprised because I could read long stretches of it fairly quickly, I didn't like it over all.

    I do agree that Alex was possibly the best part of the book.

  2. @Brandileigh, thanks for stopping by!

    @Alex, what was it that didn't work for your? I agree Alex was awesome! :D

  3. Yay! So glad you enjoyed this one too, I loved it. I adored Alex and Lena even though it took me a while to get into their story, and I'm slightly depressed we have to wait so long for Pandemonium, especially with the way this book ended! Nice review Mollie:)

  4. Hmmm, I still haven't read Before I Fall which I picked when I was in Columbus ^_^; I'm not sure this one is going to be for me... but I'm glad you enjoyed it!!!

  5. I really want to read this one. I too was putting it off due to the varied reactions. But I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  6. @nath I haven't read Before I Fall either but I really liked Delirium so I'll probably give it a try!

    @ames I was apprehensisve as well but I was pleasently surprised!!! :D

  7. I loved this book. Great review. Can't wait for the sequel.


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