Published February 3rd, 2011 by HarperTeen
This review is going to be mostly an audio book review. Mostly?! What in the world does that mean? Well, dear friends, it means that I downloaded this book to listen to while I walked my dogs in the evening, but I found myself so utterly consumed by the story that I needed to read it in my off time too. So, I bought the whole trilogy on Amazon Prime one Friday night (2 day shipping is amazing!), had the series for Sunday, and continued reading/listening even when I wasn’t out for my nightly walk.
Also, just a note before I get into the actual review: the paperback republished copies are about 1000 times more attractive than the original covers, with the girl’s face on them. Don’t know what I am talking about? Don’t worry about it, you don’t need to see that nonsense.
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.
Okay, so the premise is a little bizarre, but I found the concept to be wholly original and an insane sort of dystopia that I had no interest in seeing manifest in real life. (When I say original, I don’t mean the love story is original, I simply meant the concept of love as a disease is original.)
Lana, as a main character, had her moments. I really loved the development of her relationship with Alex, it felt real, and reminded me of the first time I fell in love. That wholly innocent and completely infatuated type of love. And, her relationship with Hana was wonderful. I thought it was poignant that Lana cared so deeply for Hana, but could never put into words how much she mattered until Alex awakened feelings of love in her. All three of them, and their intertwining relationships was a fantastic representation of my friends and I in high school and I am sure that I am not alone in those feelings. Basically my favorite part of Delirium was how well Oliver did at conveying all sorts of relationships; whether that be friends, romantic, family or neighbors.
But there were other times that Lana just annoyed me. She was very descriptive and long-winded, when there was no purpose served other than taking up page space. She was so hard-headed and prissy in the beginning of the story that I didn’t want to like her at all. But as the story progresses, so does the unraveling of Lana’s brainwashing, and I have to give Oliver props for balancing that tedious act.
Look, I don’t mind admitting that I am a happy ending type of gal. And while I will spare you all the details of those last five minutes of the story, let’s just say I was not happy. I am glad I wasn’t reading the physical book because I would have tossed it off the balcony. Instead, I was walking my pups and listening, and deemed that the value of my phone far outweighed my anger at the ending. So, there’s that.
Overall, I thought Delirium was an enjoyable read. I thought that I was going to dive right into book two, but after listening to 45 minutes worth of Pandemonium, I don’t feel that pull to the story anymore. I will get to them eventually….maybe…. hopefully….