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I should probably stop expecting things from books, because once again I was sort of let down by a book. Fortunately, this time it wasn’t such a disaster like Matched. I ended up giving Delirium three out of five stars, or paws if you will, because I didn’t really hate it but I didn’t love it either.
The concept of Delirium sounds super interesting and it is what made me want to read it in the first place. I wasn’t familiar with Lauren Oliver’s previous work and I didn’t know what type of reviews Delirium was getting. All that made me want to read this was that Delirium is about a dystopian version of the United States where 18 year olds are forced to have a procedure done which unables them to love. People believe love is a disease, they call it amor delirium nervosa, which along with horrible side effects ultimately leads to death.
Our main character, Lena, is 17 years old and you’d expect her to completely rebel against society and refuse to be cured, right? Because as the main character in a dystopian she has to be rebellious. WRONG. Lena is counting the days until she’s going to be cured because she has lost her mother to amor delirium nervosa. She is terrified of love and can’t wait to be cured like her older sister.
Of course, she meets a boy, they fall in love and he shows her a world that’s been kept hidden from her.
The problem I had while reading this book, is that I didn’t really like Lena. Sure, I felt sorry for her. I really did. And Iencouraged her to stand up againt society and run away with her beau Alex. But Lena still has her doubts once she’s with Alex. She’s been brainwashed to believe that love is life threatening her entirely life so there’s always a part of her that is scared of love. Also, it’s not in her nature to stand up and rebel like, say, a girl named Katniss Everdeen I know.
I take back what I said about not liking Lena. Her struggle and her doubts are realistic and are in fact what I liked about this book. What I didn’t like so much is that sudden waves of rebellious feelings would hit, when she would basically want to burn the entire town down. But then on the next page she would do whatever her evil aunt from hell would tell her to do. Every girl suffers from PMS every now and then, but these extreme highs and lows were a little too much for me. Also Lena’s relationship with Alex developed a bit too fast, if you ask me.
What I really did like about this book was Lauren Oliver’s writing style. I think you’ll either love it or hate it as it can get a little too much at times. I certainly put this book down at times because I didn’t feel like reading such ‘heavy sentences’, if you know what I mean. The sentences are very layered with plenty of beautiful imagery. At times this worked really well for me, like when Lena would describe her memories of her mothers. But at other times, like when Lena was with Alex, it became dangerously close to Bella describing her sparkling, blood-sucking god.
What I also really liked about Delirium is the character Hana. Hana is Lena’s best friend and she isn’t as much part of this book as Alex is, but I wish she was. I absolutely love her and her positive energy. The fact that she’s blonde, pretty and loves running reminded me of Bridget Vreeland, a character from the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants who I, somehow, absolutely love.
I’m not sure whether I’m going to read the sequel, Pandemonium. Delirium ended with, not exactly a cliffhanger, but a very unexpected event. I don’t want to spoil anything. I am curious what is going to happen next but there are many books that I rather want to read. In case I’ll every find myself not knowing what to read at all, I’ll read Pandemonium. Or the short story Hana, aka Delirium 1.5, which shows Hana’s point of view of a couple of chapters from Delirium.