30 May 2012

Review: "Delirium" by Lauren Oliver

Last weekend I wanted to read something light and fun and essentially YA. I had that YA craving - do you know what I mean? So I went scouting on the shelves in our new study/library to see what I could dig out and ended up with Lauren Oliver's "Delirium". I kind of had regretted buying it and had occasionally thought that I would never get around to reading it but I decided to give it a try - my deal with myself was that if I was not captured by page 20, I would just forget about it and give it to charity. 

Surprise, surprise, by page 20 I had no idea about which page I was on as I was so engrossed in the plot! This is fine YA! It is a dystopian book in theme with books such as Hunger Games and just like many of these books, the protagonist is a teenage girl with an independent spirit. 

Lena Holoway is an orphan who lives with her aunt and uncle and spends her time either at school, running or with her best friend. the beautiful, stunning Hana. In this dystopian version of Portland, Maine, cities have become little islands in a desert of forgotten countryside. It is a world dictated by a disease, deliria also known as love. Scientist have found the cure for love and when you turn 18 you get the cure and are set on your life path. Based on interviews and data, society will dictate who you marry, what job you will do, how much money you will make and so on. All there is left for the individual to do is to navigate life within these strict and non-negotiable boundaries. 

Lena comes from a family of deliria sufferers and she looks forward to the day where she will be cured and free to start living without the fear of falling ill. But then something happens... or actually someone happens. She meets Alex who has not been cured and he awakes feelings in her that she never knew existed. 

Right, so as you can probably guess this is not the most surprising of novels. Actually, a lot of the plot is down-right predictable. The only part that really surprised me was the ending which was absolutely fantastic. It was a bit of a cliff-hanger but I might not read the sequel (or I might, we'll see) and it worked for me anyway because it had a real statement to it. 

The lack of surprise in the plot is counter-acted by the detail with which this dystopian world has been created; it is a believable and engaging. It really caught my attention and imagination and it kept me reading even when I knew what would happen next and that is the strength of the book. 
The plot is standard, as it were, the characters were ranging in quality with some being better and more believable than others but the dystopian setting is superb - if nothing else, read it for that. 

Read it if: You want a lighter, more YA appropriate version of the world from Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaiden's Tale". You are working your way through the best parts of YA dystopia. 


  1. Tak skal du have - du har også en rigtig fin blog :) Og god anmeldelse! Delirium er god :)

    - Rebecca, breakingfree.dk