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Book Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

I’m a little late in the game, but Delirium is pretty awesome!!

Book Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

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delirium by lauren oliver

Title & Author: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Genre: YA – Fantasy/Science Fiction

Release Date: August 2, 2011

Series: 1st in a planned series

Publisher: HarperCollins

How I Got the Book: Bought


“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 government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway 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.”

I’m in Deliria with You

Having the benefit of reading Delirium after the massive hype died down, I got the chance to read this story without that influence hanging over my shoulder. So reading it with fresh eyes, I found that I really enjoyed Delirium.

It didn’t invoke the crazed fangirl in me (like SOME books, cough cough Divergent), but Delirium took an interesting look at a society that views love as a disease.

That aspect of the novel really threw me at first. I mean, who would ever really want to remove the capability to love others because they thought it was unhealthy and the root of all evil?! But, as I kept reading, I understood more and more that making people stop loving was a surface issue and the real problems ran much deeper than that. I really liked that about Delirium – it teases with you with an idea then panned out and shows you the huge scope of what’s really going on.

Character Relationships: Lena and Alex. Alex and Lena. Being completely honest, I didn’t get them at first. Lena is brainwashed to believe and trust that love is dangerous, and Alex is this rebel who she meets at a party. She’s intrigued by him, and I understand the attraction, but I don’t see it on his side.

Why does he like her? I never really got a sense of why he’s attracted to Lena. This could definitely just be me, though. Maybe it’s because the story is told from only Lena’s perspective and she probably doesn’t understand why Alex loves her either.

More, Please!!

The world that Oliver builds in Delirium is one I want to read more about, like the town Lena lives in, her sister and the Wild. I need to find out more because it’s killing me. Also, you know, a certain CLIFFHANGER ending might also be contributing to my reading panic.

One other note: the friendship between Lena and hanna was so beautiful (and caught me more off guard then Alex/Lena). I loved their very realistic relationship, and I hope we see more from Hana in Pandemonium (out February 28!).


Delirium is an interesting story with well-developed characters and a killer cliffhanger. I definitely want to read more from Oliver, and I’m anxiously waiting for Pandemonium to answer some serious questions. Although this book didn’t excite me like some of my other favorite dystopians, Delirium is a strong read with a solid foundation.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • http://bessauer.com/ Bess Auer

    Thanks for this recommendation – sounds interesting. :) Just discovered your blog and I’m loving checking out your best books of 2011, etc.

    • http://www.readbreatherelax.com Lisa@Read.Breathe.Relax.

      Thanks, Bess! It’s a good list if I don’t say so myself 😉

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1437890074 Brandy Dunne

    I actually LOVED Delirium and was GLAD I read this book. I can’t wait for the next one to come out. If you have not read it yet check it out!

  • http://twitter.com/oodlesofbooks Cindy

    I loved Delirium, really. I am really glad you enjoyed it as well :) Great review!

  • http://ems-reviews-books.blogspot.com/ Ems

    I agree 100%! I LOVED this book because I didn’t get caught up in any hype over it. And the Lena/Hanna friendship!? That’s how I want my friendships to be. I can’t wait for Pandemonium!!

    • http://www.readbreatherelax.com Lisa@Read.Breathe.Relax.

      Me either!! Agh!!!

  • http://twitter.com/ArtemisMS Bridget

    If a book is really hyped by fans of the book, I will approach it with caution, if at all. Example: Harry Potter (liked but didn’t love), or Twilight (never read)

    If a book is being heavily promoted by a new author, but doesn’t necessarily have legions of fans yet, I will approach that book with great anticipation. Example: Cinder (will be added to my kindle very, very soon)

    If a book initially seemed interesting but is gathering more and more hype, I start to lose interest. Example: Divergent (I do still want to read it, but I’m feeling skeptical.)

    • http://www.readbreatherelax.com Lisa@Read.Breathe.Relax.

      I definitely agree about hype – it can be a good thing at times but can ultimately disappoint fans. I don’t think it’s a true indicator if a book is great or terrible though. Just because there’s hype, it doesn’t mean that inherently the book will read one way or another.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • http://twitter.com/ArtemisMS Bridget

    By the way, the premise of this book seems to be taken from The Giver.

  • http://bookden.blogspot.com/ Jennifer | Book Den

    There’s nothing wrong with being late to the game. Now you won’t have to wait so long for Pandemonium! I love that you also see that ending as a cliffhanger! I’m a firm believer that it was a cliffhanger. Right…? 😉

    • http://www.readbreatherelax.com Lisa@Read.Breathe.Relax.

      Hahaha yes!!! I mean, I’m DYING to find out what happens and there really was no “firm” conclusion. Only a couple weeks till we find out!!

  • http://twitter.com/MelLHay Melissa

    lol. So glad to see you enjoyed it! And want more. :) Very nice review. Thank you!

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