Sunday, August 25, 2013

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

I am starting TOTALLY off topic. I am reading, really reading, more than 10 or 20 pages a day! New drugs? Maybe? Vacation? Maybe, but I don't care!

Okay, on to Delirium! Maybe I also read this quickly because I liked the book. I am anxious to start Pandemonium, the next book in the trilogy. I don't want to share too much, I would never want to spoil a book for anyone!

When I first started this book, I was worried I wouldn't like it. A cure for love seemed a bit silly and I was worried it would be too romance-y, which is not my thing. But it grew on me by 20 pages in or so.

Lauren Oliver's writing is easy to read. Descriptive, but not so much so that it feels overdone. I also feel as if maybe she intentionally makes it feel a little too soft at the beginning, too sentimental and gushy, so that the reality of it will feel more harsh.

Saying that this book is about a society that has found a cure for love won't give away anything the description of the book doesn't give away itself. When I first thought about it, curing someone of love seemed like something contained, something with not many facets. And, for someone who is still single at the age of 43 it felt almost like a good idea! I had forgotten about all of the aspects of love. Love of a parent for their child, love of one sibling for another, love of fellow humans. And there is what comes with love like empathy, sympathy, concern, that also come in to play. I also really grasped on to the brief mention of homosexuality, and how it was frowned upon. I had the thought that maybe it was that type of love, that society fights so hard against as we see in our true reality, that lead someone down the path of curing love. I love, yes love, that she also touches on the pain that often accompanies love and presents it as something necessary to truly experience love. I am a firm believer that life has to have hard times to really appreciate the good stuff, and like seeing anyone else embrace that concept.

Lena is a great character. She reminds me of myself, so maybe that is why I like her so much. I felt like some of the other characters were left a little hollow, but hope they will be filled in a bit more as the trilogy progresses, through their own stories and actions or those of others. Another character I really grasped on to is Grace, and I really hope we run across her again down the road.

I'll admit that there was one aspect that bothered me. And this likely comes from being someone who thinks too much and analyzes things until they are torn to shreds, but I have given up on fighting that in myself. I found myself surprised at times at methods of control and surveillance not being used by the government. A lack of love as a framework for society settling in to a rigid, authoritarian and oppressive existence really fascinated me. But I guess I was expecting cameras, all that "Big Brother" type of stuff. At some point I found myself wondering if the lack of all of the "bells and whistles" of such a society was intentional. Maybe a statement about the downfall of such a society being its own arrogance and blind belief that it is actually in control. Or maybe there is a connection to be made between love and ingenuity and that the desire that comes with love is what drives us to create, and without it we don't go any further, we stagnate. Or maybe I am thinking too much!

But, at the end of it all, I loved this story and look forward to seeing how it continues...


  1. Excellent review, Val! I've had this book since it was first released, and I've yet to read it. Guess I'll move it up on my priority list. :)

  2. Thanks! I am about halfway through Pandemonium now and enjoying that as well. As far as lists go I suspect yours is as bad as mine if not worse!