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on 9 May 2017
Delirium was really an enjoyable read, the idea of love being a disease is such a unique idea in itself that I had to read it, regardless of genre.

I must admit that whilst reading Delirium I kept comparing it to the Divergent series, not because they are the same, but because Divergent was the first Dystopian novel I read. It's very similar in the sense that there are 'us' and 'them', 'Government ideals' and 'Rebels'. This isn't to say that it is the same in the slightest, the story is completely different.

Love being a 'disease' is such a brilliant concept to base a story on, I cannot wait to see how this idea is explored further.

The ending is a cliffhanger so make sure you have the second book on standby for once you have finished.

Recommended!
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on 19 August 2013
Have you ever thought, for the slightest second, have you wished even, that you could be cured of love and live happily without it? For Lena, that is her world. Reminiscent of Matched by Ally Condie, Delirium is a futuristic world where love is outlawed. Lena lives in a future where love is a mental disorder. Amor deliria nervosa. And when people turn eighteen, they get cured once and for all and they never get infected again. Lena counts down the days to get cured. She longs for her life to start. For happiness. And then, as the count down progresses, she does a thing she never thought she was capable of. She falls in love!

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.
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VINE VOICEon 13 March 2011
Lauren Oliver's Delirium was top of my highly anticipated reads of 2011 after falling in love with her debut novel, Before I Fall. While I ended up not loving Delirium quite as much, I did really like the book and the ideas behind it.

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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on 4 April 2017
Again I'm always a little cautious of these types of books but this was a really great start to a new series. I thought the theme of love was very interesting and made me realise how important it is to our everyday lives. The ending was intense and I will definitely be starting on the second book.
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I cried actual tears. Are you kidding me?! I love Oliver's writing style, though I did find this novel to be a little slow-paced. Well written and an emotional mess by the end of it, bring on book 2!

Check out the full review on Confessions of a Book Geek!
www.confessionsofabookgeek.com
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on 20 March 2017
Great seller, item as described!
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on 15 May 2017
Good read, worth a good
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It is so interesting and really good. If you are looking for a good book you won't be disappointed because this is the best book ever
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on 21 June 2012
I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover but this book would really benefit from something less generic. Those who were put off by the comparison to Twilight should be relieved: Delirium takes everything that was promising about Twilight, and turns it into a dystopian novel that's made no less intelligent by the fact that it's a readable coming-of-age romance.

Delirium is set in a society where love is viewed as a disease and all American citizens must take a mandatory cure (some sort of emotional inhibitor) when they turn 18. This is enforced by violent 'regulators' and across-the-board propaganda about how love is the cause of every form of unhappiness whatsoever. Lena is a 17-year-old who is excitedly waiting for her cure, eager to distance herself from a problematic family history - until her life takes a dramatic turn when her pre-cure evaluation is interrupted by a rebel demonstration, and she meets Alex, a mysterious boy who introduces her to the idea that perhaps love isn't as bad as the government says it is...

This book was a very enjoyable read. I've given it 4 stars, because taken individually, none of the elements was particularly unusual, but when they were all put together they formed a thought-provoking vision. The way the regulators went about their business was the same as in any despotic society; the theme of forbidden love is centuries old; and the story played out rather predictably, almost at a textbook pace. But I was impressed by the way the author wove those two themes of love and despotism together from an institutional point of view, and at a level that was perfect for introducing allegory to young adults.

Another strength lies in the fact that the characters are ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Lena is an average, slightly whiny teenage girl who doesn't know what she wants. What's impressive is that at the beginning she isn't the underdog freedom fighter, like e.g. Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games); I compare the book to 1984 because her struggle is largely a mental one. The book shows, subtly and believably, how she goes from genuinely believing in the propaganda, to feeling guilty for questioning it, to realising that it's all a lie. By the end she has truly matured, recognising her flaws (including the whining that no one seemed to talk Twilight's Bella Swan out of) without becoming miraculously perfect. Hero Alex's secret past is rather transparent, but it's refreshing to see a young adult love interest who is complex without being slightly disturbed, and who is no less charming for it. Lena and Alex are proof that you can have a non-dysfunctional love story, and that choosing love and retaining identity aren't mutually exclusive. Supporting character Hana is a wonderful tribute to true friendship - again, a quintessential relationship, nothing majorly new, but executed without seeming clichéd.

I would particularly recommend this as a gift to any young girl brought up on Twilight and the subsequent deluge of similar 'forbidden love' novels for young adults. This book has all that's right with those novels and none of what's wrong. It is 1984 for the adolescent coming of age as opposed to the already cynical adult. I'm 19 and I could really relate to Lena; I read 1984 when I was 12, so I wasn't shocked by this book, but this would have been a much more comprehensible introduction to the concept. I also think that adults would find it interesting to see how it's done. It's a pleasant surprise - simplistic and predictable, but consciously so, and in a good way. It uses familiarity with the genre and themes to ask fascinating questions without taking readers out of their intellectual comfort zone. Without being pretentious or clever, it's self-assured and intelligent from beginning to end.

One final note: I didn't actually realise that this was the first in a trilogy. Much has been said about its 'cliffhanger ending' but this is only a cliffhanger in hindsight - while, again, it was something I expected, my experience of the book felt complete and anyone who didn't want to drag the story out, or preferred to leave the subsequent events to their imagination, could happily stop with this one. That said, I enjoyed it and I'll eagerly purchase the next two.
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on 8 February 2012
Delirium is a book about a dystopia in the not-too-far-away future. It's based around the whole idea that love is a disease that will ultimately kill you. To save you from `amor deliria nervosa', as it is known, on your 18th birthday, you are `cured', in what is effectively a lobotomy. Our heroine, Lena, is excited, counting down the days until her cure, since her mother died because of the disease, and her sister had been infected by it as well. But everything is not perfect, in this society; there are the Wilds, where the Invalids, the uncured live. There are people who get around the censors, who hold parties where uncured boys and girls illegally mix, the sympathisers, and the Invalids who live in society. Then one day, Lena meets Alex, and her whole life is turned upside-down.

The characters are strong, no-one feels, how do I put this, plastic, fake, like they were rushed up when they were needed, just because. Everyone fit, even the minor characters had a back story. The three characters, especially Hana and Lena, are extremely well developed. Their personalities are really strong, that you feel you understand them, even when it gets flipped upside-down, you feel you know them, and above all you know why. Not many books I've read have done this so well.

If you're looking for a fast action-filled book, this is not your kind of book. It's the first of three books, so works more on character development than all out action, which I'm grateful for; I don't think it would work as a stand-alone book. I myself am a young teenager, but this doesn't make my review any less worthy, in fact, I'm the target audience, so if anything, my review should count just as much as anyone else's. I've learnt patience, and am an avid reader, although I read mainly fiction. I think for many people my age, especially those that aren't as confident with reading, or aren't fast or just don't have enough patience, the book will be cast aside and probably not touched again, because of the pace it moves at. If you are considering buying this as a present, I would think it over very carefully, make sure that they love reading and preferably have patience, otherwise, I'd look else where. This book isn't for them.

It's not slow-moving, and it's not fast-paced either, it's a rubber duck, floating in a river. But don't think it's boring, there's no way it can be in my mind, sure there are bits that are slightly predictable, but there are parts that you won't guess. I'm not a crier, but it did bring tears to my eyes at parts, it's a love story, in a time where love is banned. Family love, laughing too loud, dancing, crying, listening to music too loudly, saying certain words, are condemned. They can get you killed, or worse. The end is heart-wrenching, leaving you begging for more, to find out what happens next, to know that everything will be all right. But in this story, you can't know that, it's impossible to know.

The writing, to me, is amost perfect. I would say pefect, but then again, nothing is ever perfect, but it's good enough to me. To me, comparing it to the Hunger Games (the first book), it manages to pull on your heart strings more successfully. For me, in the Hunger Games some deaths weren't as tragic as it could be, since you didn't get to know the characters as well, but here, even when it wasn't a death, it still hurt.

The curious thing here, is that, unlike most dystopia's that you read in fiction, where the controlling power controls the physical aspects of your life, while this is present to an extent, this is more about controlling your mind. At the start of every chapter is an excerpt from a book that is published in that world, which is propaganda, basically brainwashing you into thinking that the cure is almighty, that it fixes everything, that your life will be perfect, when in fact, you slowly come to realise, that the cure is worse, it is a fate worse than death. Lena slowly comes to realise this, and finally tries to make her mistake.

For those who love books about dystopia, I recommend this book very highly. It's great for me. People who know more than me about syntax and punctuation, and all of those kind of things, obviously will find more things to criticise, but at the moment, my only criticism, is that the second book can't come fast enough.
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