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Monday, January 3, 2011

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: Feb. 1, 2011
Pages: 305
Source: For Review from NetGalley (Thank You!)
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars - Super Crazy Awesome!
Description: Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love - the deliria - blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Haloway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy. But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.


In short: I loved Delirium by Lauren Oliver so much I'm afraid the regulators are going to find me and hand me in to be cured.
Oh, wow, did I love this book. Lauren Oliver has created a superb and horrifying dystopian world in Delirium. Lena is a shy, "in-between" seventeen year old girl who always does as she's told and never lies. She's afraid of everyone and everything ("I'm right to be scared," she says). She looks forward to receiving the cure to amor deliria nervosa on her eighteenth birthday. She believes she will be reborn, healed, and perfect with the cure. She views her mother, who was unable to be cured, as "freakish."

But there's a stubborn part to Lena that keeps nagging at her; a part that tells the examiners that her favourite colour is grey (instead of the more accepted blue or green). Then she meets Alex, a fun-loving older boy, and a sequence of events unfolds that leads to her disobeying and lying to her aunt for the first time. She finds that even the smallest disobedience thrills her. She is able to find courage within herself that she never knew she had. Lena's character development was excellent. I really enjoyed being able to see her grow as the novel progressed. I look forward to getting to know her even better in the sequel.

This was my first experience with Oliver's writing and I can't say enough good things about it. The writing flowed so nicely; I read without pause or distraction. The imagery used was powerful.  I definitely plan on checking out Oliver's debut novel, Before I Fall. Each chapter was prefaced with a quote from a piece of literature from the dystopian society. These were essentially propaganda, brainwashing the readers into believing that love is a disease that needs to be cured. They set the tone perfectly for the novel, showcasing a creepy and appalling world.

My only complaint is that cliffhanger ending! And now we have to wait until 2012 for the sequel, Pandemonium. I will definitely be buying this book when it comes out on February 1st and I highly recommend that you do, too!

Other Reviews:
Brush Up On Your Reading
Call Me Crazy
The Slowest Bookworm

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There was one thing that I noticed while reading Delirium that I feel like I need to bring up, as silly as it is, because I'm weird like that. There were four separate times that Oliver used the imagery of buildings looking like teeth. What is the significance of this? Probably nothing. Just something I noticed...

"a string of bright white buildings, glistening like teeth over the slurping mouth of the ocean." -p. 18
"Beyond those is the familiar string of white square buildings, like giant teeth." -p. 48
"Across the fields I see low, dark silhouettes of barns and silos, some of them brand-new, some barely standing, clinging to the earth like teeth digging into something." -p. 91

 "...all the buildings cut sharply against the sky like a series of metal teeth." -p. 129

This is pretty much the only advantage of being such a slow reader. I notice things like this that no one else cares about. Yay me.

*The Letter D in the A-Z Reading Challenge

48 comments :

  1. I haven't heard a whole lot about this book, but what I have heard has been pretty good. I want to try reading this, but dystopian novels annoy me, because they make me sad. I've seen this story beingcompared to The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (I HATED that book), so I'm still nervous. I liked your review.

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  2. I have this one on my TBR for this year. I read Before I Die and LOVED it so hoping this one is as good.

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  3. Loved it too. Thanks for the review! ;)

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  4. I'm really looking forward to the release of Delirium as I've enjoyed dystopian books recently and the plot sounds amazing. Those teeth descriptions msound like they must mean something. Lovely review :)

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  5. Oh sounds interesting. Thanks for the review. :)

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  6. I am reading this right now and loving it!
    Interesting how you noticed about using teeth to describe something.

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  7. What a beautiful and insightful review, Aylee! I loved Delirium, too, and I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed the world Oliver created :)

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  8. @Sara: I've never read A Handmaid's Tale before surprisingly... you would think it would be required reading for us Canadians. Well, I would say give this one a shot, even if you don't like dystopians.
    @Silver Thistle: Cool, good to know you loved Before I Die.
    @Cass: Thanks for commenting!
    @Stephanie: lol, I doubt they really do mean anything. I'm just a freak.
    @AngelicNytmare:You're welcome!
    @BooksforCompany: Interesting? More like strange.
    @Melissa: Thanks! Yes, I did enjoy the world... even if it was a creepy one.

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  9. I'm glad you liked this one! I had a feeling you would. When I read it, I didn't realize it was going to be a series, so when I got to that ending I wasn't sure what to think. I'm curious to see where things will go in the sequel.

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  10. I would have been pretty pissed if it had ended like that without a sequel!

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  11. I really liked the ending of this one, even though it was a cliffhanger. I thought it still wrapped things up well. I also LOVED Oliver's writing. So beautiful. But overall I just didn't love the book for some reason.

    @Sara: I read Handmaid's Tale a few years back, but I don't really see too many similarities to this book. I would say give it a try.

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  12. This looks awesome! Another book to add to my list.

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  13. Oooh, great review! Now I'm even more anxious for this book to come out.
    Feb. 1st? I think I can wait until then. :)

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  14. @Logan: Yes, the writing! Sometimes I have a hard time putting into words why I just didn't like a book, too.
    @BookGeek: Yet another book, I know. I need to learn some restraint.
    @Jessica: Or you can get it on NetGalley and read it sooner!

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  15. I loved this book. But I agree with you. I cannot believe that ending and now we have to wait SOO long for the next one! I never noticed the teeth thing though. How interesting.

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  16. Again, if by "interesting" you mean "crazy" that I would notice something like that.

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  17. Glad to see you enjoyed Delirium! I really need to get around to reading it.
    You should definitely check out BEFORE I FALL; it's really good, too! :)

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  18. I'm so glad you enjoyed reading Delirium. I haven't read it yet but plan to when it comes out. Also, definitely check out Before I Fall because it was one of my favourite reads of 2010.

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  19. More Before I Fall recommendations! I will hopefully be able to get around to reading that... eventually.

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  20. I'm so jealous of you right now !! I so want to read that book !! It seems awesome !! Thanks for your review Aylee ;)

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  21. You should get it from NetGalley!

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  22. Thanks for the cliffhanger warning! I almost always like to know ahead of time. Nonetheless, I don't think I'll wait very long before I read this one! Great review. I enjoyed reading it very much. I'll keep an eye out for those teeth buildings. :D

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  23. Now I really can't wait until it comes out! Great review :D Oh! And you should DEFINITELY read Before I Fall :)

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  24. Fantastic review! Like you, I completely fell in love with the book and, even now, I still get chills thinking about that ending. Definitely pick up "Before I Fall" when you get the chance!

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  25. Sounds like a great book! Awesome Review! I can't wait to read Delirium now. :D Thanks for the review.

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  26. Thank you for enteringmy giveaway !! I'm going to participate to yours too =)

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  27. Oh my gosh Aylee I loved this one too! Definitely going to buy a hard copy of it when it comes out, I adored Lena and Alex:) I was not a fan of it ending where it did, but that's just because I want to read more! Great review:)

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  28. @Cleo: So many Before I fall rec.s! I know I have to read it now!
    @Stephanie: Chills! Definitely!
    @Selfcentered: You should request it on NetGalley if you haven't yet!
    @elodie: Cool! Wouldn't it be funny if we won each other's giveaways?
    @Jenny: Yes, I'm def. buying a copy for myself, too.

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  29. Aylee! I love your enthusiasm in this review. Every word feels like it is bouncing with excitement. LOL

    You had me sold until you mentioned the cliffhanger! Gah! I hate those and the wait is so long. *be's on the fence*

    What to do, what to do? Yes, it is still on my TBR, maybe I will wait a little longer. ;)

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  30. Aw, thanks! I was bouncing in my seat a bit as I read it actually. Yeah, if you can stand the wait to read this book then I recommend it.

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  31. Did you read Before I Fall yet? It's just as good, but doesn't leave you with a cliff hanger ending. It was a surprise though.

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  32. Nope. But everyone's telling me I have to read it now!

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  33. I enjoyed this book, too! I didn't know her second book was called Pandemonium! Ugh...2012!! I know...it was a great cliffhanger. I was like what!?!

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  34. I almost wish I had waited until just before Pandemonium comes out to read this so the wait wouldn't be so long!

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  35. I can't wait to read this book! I'm so excited! It's good to hear that you enjoyed it so much :o) Thanks for the warning about the cliffhanger! Like you, I'm not a big fan of cliff hanger endings. You've made me really curious about the reoccuring imagery. I wonder what it means! Once I read the book we will have to discuss it!

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  36. LOL! I assure you it probably means nothing!

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  37. I really enjoyed this one too. It is such an intriguing concept.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  38. I didn't notice the thing about the teeth! You do notice the smallest things, Aylee! :D
    Anyway, I completely agree with your review - as you probably already know - I'm actually thrilled that you loved it as much as I did!

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  39. Maybe it just means you're special ;D

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  40. Hey Aylee,

    I loved your review!!! Do you know I always, always pick up on things in books but I did not with those Teeth / buildings. WOW!! Very clever of you. I am reading sitting at computer and I know I miss stuff when sitting here for hours on end. So badly need to find some money under mattress to buy myself an ereader. I will reread when I buy book as this was a most awesome read. I kinda felt anxious the whole time. And!! that ending , I think I am still recovering from it. Felt like I was being watched/followed the whole time..lol!!

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  41. haha! I need an ereader too. I think my eyes would thank me. I felt anxious reading it, too! That ending was just so intense.

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  42. I'm ordering this book asap! It looks sooo good it's untrue, and this review makes me want it even more!
    And I'm going to keep an eyes out for the teeth buildings: I normally don't notice things like that.
    (:

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  43. I read your review because I'm using it as one of the Other Reviews (yep, that's a feature from you) as I just reviewed this book and I'm so glad you loved Delirium. I read it very late but I adored it. I remember you didn't rank Requiem as highly, so I'm a bit apprehensive about that, but I'll read the series anyway. Lovely enthusiastic review - and I don't remember any mention of the teeth buildings, so kudos on catching that.

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