Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Release Date: February 1, 2011
Reading level: Young Adult
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.
-- from Goodreads.com
Quick Note: This book convinced me I needed a half star in my ratings!
Delirium had a very strikingly interesting dystopia. I loved (pun intended) everything about it down the minutiae that Ms. Oliver threw in that I would never have thought of in a million years. The world was intricately and carefully woven so completely that I definitely felt that in some ways it could happen in our world given the right motivations. Which can be difficult where dystopias are concerned. This world felt authentic and well thought out.
That said, I really did not like the narrator of this story. That's not a negative comment on the writing of the character because she was very fleshed out and complete as a person. I felt she was very well developed and never seemed to stray out of character with one exception that may or may not just have to do with my personal dislike of her in general. I struggle reading narrow-minded protagonists. There isn't anything wrong with them -- there are people out there who always think inside the box and believe whatever is told to them is what is right. I personally don't like to read stories from their point of view though. I would have rather read this story from Hannah's point of view.
The rest of the characters are well written and I think they all work in their own niches. Even the party goers and rule enforcers, what little we see of them, are given some personality as Lena interacts with them. I would have liked to have seen a little more of Lena's mother in interaction with Lena in memories as opposed to just being told by Lena what happened with her.
I would also have liked to have seen a little more of an interesting love interest. I felt that Alex was a little too vanilla and boy next door to inspire someone as dead set on conforming to the society's norms to break away from that as completely as she appears to do. He was really nice but I felt no spark with the two of them. It was just nice.
Unfortunately as well, there felt like there were a few scenes that could have been left out of this story to make it feel a lot tighter as a story. It sort of meanders in a couple of places and begins to feel like the scenes were written to make the book longer. They didn't seem to further the plot, the world building, or the character development.
By the time the book reached its climax and ended I wasn't emotionally invested enough in the characters to have a big reaction for which I'm sorry. This book got a lot of coverage and I know there are going to be a lot of people who really loved it. I didn't love it but it was a pretty good read. I hope the next in the series hits a bit stronger. I'll definitely read it!