Delirium, Lauren Oliver
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Harper Teen
Date: August 2, 2011
Pages: 480 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance
Ninety-five days, and then I’ll be safe.
I wonder whether the procedure will hurt.
I want to get it over with.
It’s hard to be patient.
It’s hard not to be afraid while I’m still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn’t touched me yet.
Still, I worry.
They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness.
The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don’t.
No book trailer (sad face…these cheesefests are my favorite) but here is Lauren Oliver discussing her book! I might add these in to the reviews. Apparently they are really common. Enjoy!
Cover and Title Critique: I like this cover. I like the blue one more than the newer one (pretty girl mug face again!!!). It reminds me of a haze, which is how I felt while reading this: walking through a muddled college drunkfest. I think the title is semi-perfect for the content of the book. It fits in with thinking that love is a mind-eating disease that takes over and makes you into a sad zombie (sad zombie= no fun or blood/gut eating, just living your life in a haze). It’s also just a great word. DELIRIUM. I like it. I need to use it more.
Alice says: It was meh.
Ok…so I am going to use some zombie analogies here because I think they are appropriate. I am also going to bring up The Giver (YAY) because I think Lois Lowry deserves a HUGE nod in this review as well. So…..let me give this to you straight. Love, in this dystopian world, is a virus. Let me paint the picture for you. It is the most dangerous virus ever–it is worse than being a leper with brain-eating cancer mixed with a dash of dandruff and ecoli (lets throw in some medically explained zombie blood). That is how frightening love is. It is so bad…so UNBELIEVABLY BAD…that all of society has allowed themselves to be vaccinated from LOVE (SHUDDER) when they turn 18 (no questions asked– no, “Hey…um….I like my thoughts and hormones, thank you.”). You just become an unfeeling, unemotional zombot who is then matched with someone to breed and live an unfeeling life. YAY!!!!
Anyone else not buying this?? See….in The Giver, Jonas lives in a world with no love, but hes been taking pills that control his hormones and emotions his entire life. You know why? Because Lois Lowry knew how stupid it sounded to think that people would just NOT LOVE and NOT FEEL. Lauren Oliver? She just expects some myth about love to be enough to hold everyone over until they are 18 and old enough to get vaccinated. Lauren….even a fake bible (it was an interesting concept) about how horrible love is and some brainwashing is not going to stop the HUMAN DRIVE for closeness, love, sex and, you know, BEING HUMAN. I fell in love in Kindergarten (Toby, you out there???). It just makes no sense to think that a world of under 18-year-olds is just going to FEAR love and intimacy (unless we are going for this weeks episode of GCB with that HECK HOUSE–that was awesome).
There are no excuses for how flimsy this premise is. Yes, she talks about how sometimes there are rebellious girls who are caught kissing a guy–but they just end up in a mental hospital or are administered the vaccine early (and serve as spokespeople for how happy they are). Yes there are rumors of outsiders who have fought the system–but its a small percentage. Overall–everyone under 18 seems fine with their zombie families and goes through with the vaccine. Also, anyone notice how this is very “blame the girls???” You don’t here about the guys losing control. I hate books that slut-shame. SHAME on the slut-shaming. Honestly…its hard to simply get past the premise….but if you do…..
I want to like you. I really do. Here is the thing. You are a bit of a whiner, and a bit of a flake. Things that should be basic for a girl seem just a bit too complicated for her (like human interaction, or how to have a best friend–even eating). She acts like she has already had the vaccine before she has had it because the writing is really choppy. She is a zombie among the ACTUAL zombies. Who is that scared of people, places, dust even? It is only when she is running that I actually like her–and you can’t run for an entire book. That would be a really weird book. Also, I think I like the running because I like her best friend (non-zombie-like running mate Hana), but then Hana seems to have a strange 180 towards the end that makes no sense….so ARGH! (avoiding spoilers here). Where is the continuity??? WHY AM I BEING SO DRAMATIC? AM I IN A DELIRIUM?
And of course there is a boy…and he is wooden. It just all feels really wooden and heavy-handed. I don’t know. Why does it seem that I can’t find something that great to say. YES–there is a dystopian world (albeit a crappy one). YES there is a love story (OBVIOUSLY)…..I just….I read it. I finished it. I felt annoyed at the end. The end felt rushed and Lena didn’t feel like the same character we started off with. Did we jump on a spaceship at hit LIGHTSPEED?? Sure….she evolves–but it happens in a disjointed way. I would expect people to want to act human prior to 17. We go back to my main issue. This dystopian world just FALLS APART AT THE SEAMS. It does not work: Lois did it better. She had a solution for the world that Oliver was trying to RECREATE. There….I SAID IT. I feel better now. Just because there was no rushed loved story in the Giver doesn’t mean it wasn’t the same dystopian world. @#%!@ Also…..give your characters time to grow. This character development: thumbs down.
I feel better now. So….take it to a beach, on an airplane….whatever. Enjoy. But know that this has been done better. Oh….and if it feels like there are holes that you just can’t fill with your suspension of disbelief…its because you can’t. This thing is like SWISS CHEESE.
Rabbit says: Ages 14 and up.
I can agree with this. Nothing too controversial. The reading is easy and light. The themes are pretty standard. There is some religious overlap with the pretend “bible quotes” and religious implications throughout the book (relating to Magdalena (Lena’s real name) and her back story through a different dystopian lens (Mary Magdalene for you non-religious folk). Overall….no issue with Harper Teen’s age guide here.
Caterpillar says: Crappy Heroines, WHY?!
Is anyone else tired of crappy heroines who need to be saved by the every awesome and more enlightened “dude”? If I read one more novel where the heroine stresses to me how “ordinary” she is I am going to scream!!!!! Seriously….what is it with the self-hatred!!!!! What is it with the guy SWEEPING in with every piece of information and bravery needed to save the “totally normal and uninspiring girl (she doesn’t even deserve the title heroine).
SPOILER: And why ruin HANA? She was awesome and questioning everything and then BOOM! She is scared and turns to the vaccine??? Seriously? Was it because there was no boy?? Without a man you just get SCURRED? ARGH!
I blame Bella Swan…..(not really….there are others, I’m just grumpy).
Anyone else frustrated? Paint the Roses!!!