Genre: Young Adult, Sci-fi Romance
SciFi Element: Dystopian
Series: Delirium #1
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What if love was illegal? The concept sounds ridiculous. In fact I wasn’t even adding this one to my TBR just for the sheer fact that the synopsis sounded like — well like what if we took vampires and made them sparkle and put them in high school. I guess I should have learned from my mistake with that one also, right? I was expecting a fluff piece compared to THE HUNGER GAMES and DIVERGENT but what I got was a surprisingly astute novel that had my head-spinning in an emotional whirlwind. I was literally sobbing throughout most of this book and while it does seem to be happening a lot lately, I’ll just chalk it up to the great books I’ve been reading of late. Because crying over a book is not the norm with me. DELIRIUM has taken some flack from the hardened reviewers, but I can’t give this one any disrespect. Oliver made some hard turns on this baby and it gave it depth and originality that has me dying to see what she has in store for us next. I would also like to say, dear reader, if you are scouring the web for other reviews, I might not read ones with spoilers, because this one needs to be appreciated with the surprise intact. I think if it is spoiled it won’t have the intensity that it should have.

In the future there is a cure for love. Scientist have finally narrowed down the causes to all that is wrong with human nature and that is love. Love causes deleria, insanity and usually death. The cured are free to live without fear, heart-ache and the emotional turmoil that is associated with the disease. Lana Holloway, who prefers to go by Lana Tiddle, so she will not be associated with her mother who committed the heinous act of suicide, can’t wait for her cure. After she is cured the pain will go away, she’ll stop missing her mother, they’ll pair her with a good man and she can begin living her easy, emotionless life. Because all Lana has known most of her life is pain. Everyone in the end leaves – so if you don’t, well you know (L Word), then you won’t care when they leave or die or forget you.

Yet, as her cure date approaches, Lana begins to become more aware of what is happening around her. Her best friend Hannah begins opening her eyes, telling her that not everything is as it seems. And then the unthinkable. Lana meets someone knew, someone male, someone who makes her feel like she’s never felt before. Suddenly the cure doesn’t look so appealing.

Definitely not what it appears to be, because just what the synopsis states is not what this book is. Yes, there is Lana who is content the way her life is, but then she meets a guy and he shakes up her whole world. Very typical of YA books. But then add the dystopian factor into this and it brings a little more depth. It was very — well Cold Waresque. The heavy handed rulers dictating what is best, changing everything from religion to classical literature, everything was regulated. To even stray from the “regulated thought” could have you branded as a sympathizer or a rebel and the whole community would turn from you. Then the extra layers of the emotional trauma Lana had to deal with of her mother and then the fact that all the adults were emotionless automatons that showed hardly an ounce of compassion to the children was just horrifying. Added touches like the fact that the government had to state the proper raising of children because these emotionless parents would often kill their misbehaving children, was just more sickening fodder. This novel was not as it appeared. Delirium was layer upon layer of intense emotional trauma, so much so, that I needed to decompress afterwards. I can’t wait to see what Oliver has in store for me with the next installment. This is a must read for dystopian fans.

Recommended for fans of Lauren deStefano’s Wither but I do not recommend this as a transitory dystopian. I think you might need to get used to the genre with lighter reads before undertaking this one.

If you like this, you’ll like that:

  1. Wither by Lauren deStefano
  2. Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien
  3. Inside Out by Marie V. Snyder

The 411:

  1. The movie option has been purchased for Delirium, but just the option.
  2. Fox 2000 has optioned both Delirium and Before I Fall, Lauren Oliver’s other novel
  3. Pandemonium (Delirium #2) is due out in Feb of 2012