Delirium: A Book Review

Posted May 6, 2014 by Carlisa in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Delirium: A Book ReviewDelirium by Lauren Oliver
Also by this author: Before I Fall, Vanishing Girls
Series: Delirium #1
Published by HarperCollins on February 7, 2012
Genres: Dystopian, Romance, YA
Pages: 441
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

Ninety-five days, and then I'll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It's hard to be patient. It's hard not to be afraid while I'm still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn't touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't.

Yes, it’s true. It’s real and it’s true. I’m finally doing a book review like I promised. I’m no longer in school and I’m not working right now either so I have time to write one.

The book that’s been on my nightstand for the past couple days is Delirium by Lauren Oliver. I give it 4 stars.

You are a doctor. Someone comes to you with these symptoms…What do you diagnose them with?:

  • Difficulty focusing
  • Dry mouth
  • Persiration, sweaty palms
  • dizziness and disorientation
  • Impaired reasoning skills
  • Periods of euphoria and heightened energy
  • Periods of despair and lethargy
  • Changes in appetites
  • Disruption of sleep patterns
  • Paranoia; insecurity
  • Pain in the chest, throat, or stomach
  • Erratic behaviors or violent thoughts and fantasies
  • In extreme circumstances, emotional/physical paralysis and even death

Okay, doc. What’s the verdict? The flu? A severe cold? Mad cow disease, maybe? Click here for the dramatic, button-induced answer.

Basically…you’re wrong.

One of things that make a great book are great ideas. This book has a great idea that I love and it makes me think. The whole precept of this book is that love is a disease, something infectious, something that the body needs to get rid of. It’s really an interesting concept. If you look at the symptoms without knowing what it was for…it definitely looks like a disease. So, it’s an awesome idea.

This book questions many things. What it means to love. The role sacrifice plays in love. What the world would be like without love. And with love. Mostly, it questions whether love is worth it. In a world continuously striving to cure the “deliria” that is love, you can find answers to these questions.

The story follows Lena, a 17-year-old girl excited to finally be cured when she turns 18. Her mother had killed herself after three failed attempts to cure her of the illness, and Lena wanted no part in it. She wanted no love in her body. But her mother’s last words to her have haunted her since she was young: I love you. Remember. They cannot take it.

The one downside of this book – and the reason it has 4 stars – is that there are definitely some cheesy moments. To be fair, Lena is a 17-year-old girl who has been isolated from love and boys her entire life. But, yes, some cheesy descriptions and thoughts on her part happen. Sometimes I like cheesy (I’m from Wisconsin, people) and even corny (also from Indiana) things, so it’s not a big deal to me.

I finished this book yesterday, and the end – the last few pages – are still kind of haunting me. They were so beautiful. Beautifully written, beautifully described. Beautiful meanings and symbols. I can still picture it clearly in my head. Endings are so important in novels. They can make or break it. This ending literally took my breath away.

So, I recommend this book. But only to certain people. If you’re a YA fan, go for it. Also, I’m not sure how much boys would like it, but, hey, I’d say give it a shot. They can be surprising things, those books.

Anyways, 4 stars to Delirium. Let me leave with you with the first epigraph of the novel: The most dangerous sicknesses are those that make us believe we are well.