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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

(previously posted at my library's teen blog but I really liked the book so thought I would cross-post)

So let's talk about Delirium by Lauren Oliver. From the first time I heard the premise - in the future there's a cure for love - I was intrigued. Here's the deal: In the future love is the enemy. It's a disease, something to be feared. When you reach 18 you get the cure. Lena can't wait. Her mom was so lovesick that she killed herself and Lena is afraid of going down the same path. Lena has always been the good girl, following the rules and not asking too many questions, but when she meets a mysterious outsider everything she knows is turned on its head. What happens when Lena suddenly finds herself questioning things?

What happens when 95 days before the procedure Lena falls in love?

Some reviewers (looking at you, Publisher's Weekly) have found Oliver's world building lacking. That wasn't the case for me. I thought she did a good job of weaving in nursery rhymes and rules and things that made me feel like this world could and did exist. I found the characters to be believable and Lena's actual character change from good girl to rebel was really well done. The actual romance, since this is a story about love, was really intense and well done too. My only nitpick is that the ending felt too abrupt. Without spoiling you, it ended with a bang and then there wasn't a whole lot of resolution so I wish that had been done a bit better (but you do end up feeling as shocked as the characters).

On the whole, I really liked it and I'm recommending it to you, especially if you like dystopian worlds and especially if you like your love stories intense and slightly out of control.

(reviewed from a review copy from HarperTeen - thank you!)

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