Release Date: February 1st, 2011
Age Group: Young Adult
Overall: 100 Monkeys!
Summary from Goodreads:
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 governments 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.
This is going to be a long review!
First of all, let me say WOW. Second of all, I'm in love with this book! I keep tearing up every time I think about it, so this review is going to be very emotional.
Lauren Oliver is a fantastic author, and I loved the world she created.
Delirium is set in a dystopic USA, where love (everything about it, even saying the word) is banned. Cursed. Forbidden. The amor deliria nervosa is a disease that can seep under your skin, into your bones, and rot your brain. Or at least, that's what people are told. That's what Lena believes.
Lena, our protagonist, can't wait for the day when she'll finally get the treatment that will cure her and make everything OK. Because everyone knows that her family's tainted by the disease. Lena's mother was infected. And she died because of it. Lena wants to show everyone that she is nothing like her mother. She really believes that the cure is the only way to be happy.
The cure works in your brain. It makes you calmer, rationalises your thoughts, takes the pain away. There hasn't been much criminal activity in the world since the discovery of the cure. Everyone lives in harmony.
Because, what is love, but a feeling so strong that can make you go insane, get angry for no reason, and bring nothing but pain?
That's why Lena counts down the days until her procedure. Her, and her best friend, Hana.
Hana is a lovable character, funny, energetic, corageous. She's from a rich family, so her friendship with Lena has always been questioned. Why would a girl like her want to be friends with someone like Lena? But, despite everything, they love each other, or rather, care deeply for the other.
The girls run together almost every day, the run giving them a thrill and bringing them closer together. They talk about everything, but most importantly, about the cure.
Before you can get your treatment, you have to be evaluated. You'll be asked about your hobbies, your family, your favourite colour... And be sure you answer correctly! If you don't there can be serious concecuences. Because your life depends of that single evaluation. It will determine what career you'll be able to follow, to whom you'll be married, even how many kids you'll have.
Lena can't wait to pass the evaluation, and know what her life will be like as an adult.
"After the procedure, [Rachel] said, it would all be coasting, all glide, every day as easy as one, two, three." Lena, page 46.
But of course, not everyone is for the treatment. And some people even get infected before they're cured.
Scientists say you have to wait until you're eighteen to have your procedure done. Before that it's too risky, and many things could go wrong. But there have been cases where it was imperative that infected people had the treatment early.
And then there are those who refused to have their treatment and have escaped to live on the outside of the city, outside the safety of its walls. Those who've gone to live in the Wilds. The Invalids. The infected. You don't want to get caught talking about them. It's as bad as if you're caught talking about the deliria.
Mama, Mama, help me get homeI'm out in the woods, I am out on my own.I found me a werewolf, a nasty old muttIt showed me its teeth and went straight for my gut.
Mama, Mama, help me get homeI'm out in the woods, I am out on my own.I was stopped by a vampire, a rotting old wreckIt showed me its teeth and went straight for my neck.
Mama, Mama, put me to bedI won't make it home, I'm already half-deadI met an Invalid, and fell for his artHe showed me his smile and went straight for my heart.
-From "A Child's Walk Home," Nursery Rhymes and Folk Tales, edited by Cory Levinson.Page 56.
It is on the day of her evaluation that Lena meets the boy that will change her life forever. Up on the Observation Deck, she sees a boy looking down at her, and thinks she can see him smiling. A few days later, she sees him again.
Alex is guard at the Labs where the evaluations and procedures take place. Lena and Hana run into him when they make a detour in their running track. From that point on, Lena's life takes a 360 degree turn.
But she can see his marks, the ones the procedure gives you. So that means he's cured, that means he's safe. Isn't he?
Lena is thrown off balance by all the things Alex tells her, all the things he makes her feel.
Could it be possible that everything she knew was a lie? That everything she thought was great is actually the most terrible thing humanity has ever created? She thought getting infected with the deliria was the worse thing that could happen to you, but what if it's not? What if it's the best thing that could ever happen to someone?
"As I head home, I keep feeling paranoid, like someone [...] will be able to tell just from seeing my face that I've crossed over. [...] But no one ever glances in my direction. It's a little before nine o'clock, and most people are just rushing to get to work on time. An endless blur of normal people doing normal things, eyes straight ahead of them, paying no attention to the short, nondescript girl with a lumpy backpack pushing past them.The short, nondescript girl with a secret burning inside of her like a fire." Lena, page 213.
Lena finally learns the truth about things, and she also knows that the scientists weren't that wrong.
The deliria can change your appetite, your mood, your sleeping habits. It can make you feel happy, but it can make you very, very miserable. It might even kill you.
But maybe, death isn't so bad. Because, after you've been infected, life cannot get worse. And you'd rather die on your own terms that live on theirs.
Delirium's ending had me crying like crazy (much like Before I Fall's ending) and left a hollow feeling in my chest. But now that I know there are two more books to come, I'm filled with hope! You'll need a box of tissues to read this. Mark my words.
"I love you. Remember. They cannot take it." Page 31.
I love Lauren's books so much, that I've started a Fan Page just for them! Click here to visit the blog, Deliriously Falling, and join in the conversation!
**You read the whole thing? YAY! You're awesome!
***I love that Lena's name is Magdalena Ella Haloway. We have the same name!