- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (4 Aug. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0340980931
- ISBN-13: 978-0340980934
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 490 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,565 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Delirium (Delirium Trilogy 1): 1/3 Paperback – 4 Aug 2011
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Fast paced and consistently poignant, this tale quickly becomes hypnotically addictive ... A thoughtful, exciting and moving story that reminds us just how important love is. Devour it, then go and give all your friends a big hug. (Heat)
Crackling with tension, Lauren Oliver's follow up to DELIRIUM is as whip smart and addictive as her dystopian debut. (Marie Claire)
A dystopian Romeo and Juliet story that deserves to be as massive as Twilight. (Stylist)
Amazing, unputdownable! (Grazia)
We're big fans of Lauren Oliver and this is the emotionally charged follow-up to last year's futuristic love story DELIRIUM. With echoes of Brave New World, we catch up with young heroine Lena as she attempts to survive in the dangerous Wilds . . . Now we just have to wait for the final episode in the trilogy. (Bella on PANDEMONIUM)
In the same mode as Suzanne Collins in her Hunger Games trilogy, Oliver, too, posits a feisty, physically able heroine, giving as good as she gets, in a fast-paced YA thriller: this trend is a welcome one (Independent on Sunday on PANDEMONIUM)
The new Hunger Games . . . We loved the first two books, and spring sees the publication of the final instalment . . . With a movie trilogy in the pipeline too, you'd better get reading! (Cosmopolitan on REQUIEM)
Lena Haloway's journey will have readers breathlessly turning the pages . . . A dystopian tour de force. (Kirkus Reviews on REQUIEM)
From the author of BEFORE I FALL comes the first book in the remarkable New York Times bestselling trilogy about forbidden love, revolution and the power to choose.See all Product description
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Oliver is a wordsmith of poetic imagery and emotion. Her carefully crafted chapters are a breeze to sweep by, but also impactful and suspenseful that it is almost unbearable to put down. Every chapter begins with a passage which is as artfully crafted as the story and the world it is set on. The characters take a life of their own. The story feels like a tragedy waiting to happen. The protagonists, the limelight of a Romeo and Juliet incarnation of loss and love of the modern times.
Lena starts off as the advocate for the cure and as eager as any teenager her age is to get treated. But for the revolution to start, it has to start inside, in the mind. For the revolution to start inside someone or something has to challenge your beliefs. That's what happens when Lena meets Alex. She starts to question the world she has been born and raised into. For the brain to awake and see clearly, something has to spring it and alarm it. Alex is the perfect vessel of change. However, he not only cultivates the revolution in Lena's spirit, but also becomes the first love, the first crush. The one who opens your eyes into a world of feelings and foreign sensations.
The prose is full of similes and metaphors, imagery and vivid pictures it reads like a poem. Written in the first person, it's self reflective, self-absorbed. The reader is let in on a seamless stream of consciousness narrative where they take the chance to really see what goes on inside the brain of this confused girl, how it thinks, associates and disassociates and the important thought processes that lead to change.
The plot is simple, but not uneventful; that's for sure. For its synopsis you would think it would be very futuristic and dystopian. On the contrary, it is as realistic as any of the classics. It is about ordinary people in extraordinary conditions. It runs smoothly moment by moment, second by second, as the change and the shift in focus take place, take shape and form. Every chapter leaves you wanting more. It's never enough. The reader is made to want, need even, another peak (because it feels voyeuristic, as if you're a pipping-Tom in someone's else life) into a moment of their time. That takes skill and lots of brains to master as a writer.
Something that made me think about the concept however, is the use of the word love. You'd think if love was outlawed the verb and noun would also be rejected and banned from use. Yet Lena loves running, loves summer. Loves things. So wouldn't loving objects be risky? If you still loved things what could stop you from loving people?
On a more personal note, I was reading some other reviews and read about the book being all anti-feminist because it needs a man, Alex, to bring about the sense of fulfilment in the female protagonist, Lena. I want to disagree to the ends of the Earth with that. Opposite-sex relations are constricted with power politics. It's inevitable. But let's not forget that love is the same no matter who you are. It just so happens that the protagonist here is a young woman who falls for a guy, who happens to awaken her senses and her awareness of the world. When you fall in love in real life, you don't care about such dynamics between the sexes. You don't think about them. This happens in academic researches. When you fall in love you are you. You're not a woman, not a man. You're yourself. I think the book would read the same if Lena was a male character or if Alex was female and the relationship was a same-sex one. We've learnt to throw feminism into every literature where there is a woman protagonist and see if it is fit for the feminist, girl-power canon. Let's just remember that sometimes you are a woman who is a female who needs saving and sometimes you're a woman who is female and saves others. Nothing is black and white. Besides no girl actually attempts to kill herself because she was damped for her "own good" (Twilight hint).
If you want something to bite down to your core and bring about thoughts and scepticism about what it means to live without love, then give this book a definite read. And then maybe you'll want to read the second in the trilogy as bad as I want to right now.
The idea of Love being recognised as an illness or disease is fascinating. Anyone who has ever been in love will recognise and relate to the symptoms described and agree that it can indeed feel like a sickness. Anyone who has ever had there heart broken will find themselves wondering for just a second, if life would be easier without such overwhelming feelings. But the cure takes the life out of people, the very things that make them human and passion for anything is irradiated, love for children and families becomes nothing more than an obligation. I know I'd rather take the pain and still experience the good than loose my ability to love. The half people, known as cureds, scare the life out of me and are truly sinister.
Lauren Oliver's writing throughout the book is stunning. It ranges from stark and desolate to beautifully poetic. I love her way with words and her writing is always a joy to read. I did find Delirium a little slow to start with and while I was enjoying it, it wasn't until around half way through that I became completely hooked. While I found the idea's behind the book fascinating and could actually imagine them happening, I was left a little disappointed by the world building surrounding Lena and at times thought it wasn't as believable as it could have been. It seemed a little too easy for rules to be flaunted and while the emotionally void `Cureds' sent chills down my spine, I didn't think the guards and Regulators who police Lena's world were nearly menacing enough. I also struggled to believe for the first three quarters of the book that no-one had actually rebelled before, however along with Lena we find out there's much the government wants to keep quiet about that and I think we're going to find out more of these people in the second part of the series.
What I wasn't prepared for though was the ending, where Lauren Oliver literally ripped my heart out. I was reading on a bus, in public and audibly gasped making the woman next to me jump. It's a very brave step by Oliver and in the last few pages she turns around your previous expectations for the series. While very sad, it's a little exciting, as now I have absolutely no idea where things will go and it makes sure I'll be following Lena's story into the next book.
Overall Delirium was a good read. The ideas are interesting and thought provoking while Lena is a character easy to relate to and care for. While I wasn't as blown away as I hoped I'd be it leaves me with high hopes for the rest of the series. Delirium is beautifully written and while the beginning was a little slow moving the powerful and shocking ending more than makes up for it.
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