Release date: February 1, 2011
Series: Delirium (Book #1)
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia
When I first heard about this book I thought "there is no way this concept can be convincing or interesting enough to sustain a book, much less a trilogy." I basically decided to read it to see how far in can I get before getting tired of it. Guess what? I loved it! And you won't understand how fun this book is until you read it yourself.
The concept that Love is now a disease was what initially made me giggle. Really? Love is bad and there is a cure for it? Come on! However, the way Lauren Oliver lays it out in the book, it absolutely makes sense. There were moments when I was literally disturbed by how logical the whole "love is evil" argument was. The only thing I'm left curious about is what the procedure (a.k.a. the cure) actually is - Oliver never discribes it (at least not in Delirium) and all we know about it is that it leaves a scar on the neck behind the ear, can have side effects and is performed around the person's 18th birthday.
The book has all the elements you would expect from a young adult novel: extreme circumstances, both sides of an argument, substantial amount of action and cliffhangers, and complicated relationships. What I was pleasantly surprised to find, however, was the richness of the language. In my experience with young adult books, the writing itself usually seems to be more dynamic than descriptive, leaving the language pretty basic and simple. Delirium is definitely a step up from that: every page is filled with vivid imagery and metaphors. I knew exactly what everything looked liked and felt like. I honestly loved Lauren Oliver's writing style!
Another thing I love about the book is that the main character, Lena, is not your typical "I will break free" heroine. She is not trying to break away from the norm. On the contrary, she cannot wait to be cured and is very set in her beliefs, looking forward to fulfill her role within the society. This alone makes her struggle so much more interesting, as she tries to cling on to everything she has been taught her whole life. As the story unfolds, Lena becomes a very layered character, both in her background and things she goes through. For me, she is a character I felt the closest connection to out of all the books that I have read in the past year.
Needless to say, I absolutely recommend this book. Do NOT be turned off by the concept - it really does work as a part of the story, even though it might sound silly out of context. I enjoyed Delirium way more than I thought I would and the ending left me gasping. I HAD to start Pandemonium right away - it was on my Kindle a minute after I finished Delirium and I was reading it as soon as it was done downloading.