Book Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

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 Haloway 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.

Release Date: February 1, 2011
Publisher:  Harper Collins
Age Group:  Young Adult
Pages:  440
Source:  NetGalley

This was an excellent read!  I enjoyed every single page, and found myself checking to see what page I was on to see how much longer the thrill that is Delirium would last.  I tried to read more slowly than usual, and even considered putting the book down to read something else for a while, but my efforts were in vain: Delirium is the kind of page-turner that is impossible to put down.

Parallels between Oliver's world in Delirium and other popular dystopian novels (for me, they were 1984, The Handmaid's Tale, and The Giver) will be inevitable.  I think it's nearly impossible to read a book and not compare it to others in the genre.  I know that it is hard for me not to compare books, especially when the book in question is as good as Delirium is.  Delirium is one of those books that will easily hold its own in comparisons.

Lena is a different kind of heroine: she is a believer in the cure for the disease that is love and eagerly counts down the days until her scheduled treatment.  She wants nothing more than to be happy and content.  All of her beliefs are challenged; however, when she meets a young man by chance one day and starts feeling the beginnings of the deliria.  At first, Lena fights the impulse to be near him, and stubbornly clings to her hopes of placid normalcy after the much-anticipated treatment.  Over time, though, she can't resist the feelings being around him evoke and she gives in to love.  This part of the book really brought me back to how I felt when I fell in love with my husband.  Remember that can't eat, can't think feeling?  How all you wanted was to be with them?  How everything they did was perfect and you could spend hours in their presence and feel like only minutes had passed?  That's what I was remembering reading about Lena falling in love.  Lots of YA novels bring me back to this feeling (I think that's why I enjoy YA so much) but Delirium brought it to a whole new level.  I loved that about this book!

There is a lot of attention to detail in this book, such as the quotes from different publications of the time at the beginning of each chapter that tell us bit by bit about the world Lena lives in.  The imagery is outstanding without being overly descriptive---I could picture so clearly different places in Portland, it felt like I was right there with Lena.

Readers hoping for a mindless read and a superficial happily ever after will be disappointed.  This is the kind of read that people talk about, and feel the need to talk about after they've finished.  Delirium ended the way I wish Mockingjay would have ended.  If you want to know what I mean, you'll have to read it for yourself (or email me and I'll spill the beans).  I would recommend this book to anyone.

Just One Gripe: 
The ending felt a little predictable to me.

The Best Thing About This Book: 
The whole book is about Lena growing up.  I think her personal growth really made the book for me.

Appropriate for a younger audience: 

Characters: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Setting/Imagery: 5/5
Originality: 5/5
Ending: 4/5
Total Score:  24/25


  1. Wow. Nice review. You've reaffirmed my near-obsession with getting my hands on a copy of this book. Thanks!

  2. Great review!! I can't wait to read this :D

  3. I can't wait for this book to come out! I loved your review!

  4. Great review! I can't wait to read this one :)

  5. I just got approved to read the galley from NetGalley. Now I can't wait to read it. Great review, Kelly!

  6. I loved this book too!! Definitely going to buy it when it comes out!!

  7. Good but predictable: Great points. Fab review :)

  8. Great review! I will be reading this one!!

  9. You are teasing me!! I can't read your review but the convo's we've had make me want to read this book NOW.

  10. I'm back! Kelli informed me that there are no spoilers in this review so I read it. And Kelli, you're not helping matters for me! I already wanted to read this book with such urgency but I have a few books to read beforehand. The waiting is killing me!!

  11. Hahaha, like the Book Vixen said above I am not going to read your review. I want total surprise, I dont even know what it is about. I am hoping to get to read this one very soon.

  12. SOLD! Going to add this to MUST READ LIST.

    Great review and very excited to see this one soon.

  13. I'm about to start reading this book tommorrow and your review just made me even more excited than what I already was!


Word verification stinks--- but spammers are worse. Thank you for your patience!