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Saturday, January 15, 2011

ARC Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Series: Delirium Trilogy, book 1
Genre: Fiction, Teen, YA
Publisher: HarperCollins (02/01/2011)
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book

“A stunning novel, set in an alternate present in Portland, Maine.

Love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called "the Cure," in Lauren Oliver's stunning second novel, DELIRIUM. Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. She will be evaluated by the government, which will choose her husband for her. But then she meets Alex, a boy from the Wilds who is living under the government's radar, and she falls in love, threatening both their lives.

In this world, affection is prohibited. Touching and hugging are suspicious behaviors, even among family members. But despite government obtrusiveness, people find ways to connect and to be together. Hana finds like-minded people through embedded links on websites. And after meeting Alex, Lena understands that an emotional connection to another person is something she's always been missing--and now it's something she won't live without.”

The publisher description of the book summarizes pretty well what the book it’s about.
Is set in United States in the future, in a society where love is forbidden and seen as an illness call “amor deliria nervosa”. A society in which every bad thing that ever happened in the world is blame on the deadly decease that Love was. 

In the book we meet Lena, who grew up in this society and is eagerly awaiting for her procedure, The Cure, that will cured her forever of getting infected by Deliria (Love), taking from her all her emotions, feelings and anything related to love and affection. The procedure is always done at the 18th birthday, she’s 3 months away. After the surgery all past experiences will lose importance, all friendships and relationships will become like blurs of the past, but she will be cured and will live a life of happiness, order and stability.

All teenagers before graduation are also submit to an Evaluation in which a panel of evaluators decide what you are going to study, who are you going to marry and how many kids you can have. During her Evaluation Lena sees Alex for the first time, who would become her romantic counterpart. 

In the book we also meet Hana, Lena’s best friend, and also a product of that society, but with a little bit more curiosity than Lena. Hana infiltrates the world of non-cured, invalids and sympathizers, showing us an underworld society that lives parallel to the general population of Portland. 

The novel is a little bit stereotypical and predictable, girl (Lena) meets boy (Alex) and of course Alex is an Invalid or not cured. As expected Lena gets infected of deliria (falls in love) and starts to reevaluate all her believes and defy society.
This is a dystopian Romeo and Juliet novel. Two young characters that fall in love but their love is prohibited, in this case not by their families but by a repressive social system, with a total lack of individual freedom.

The world Lauren Oliver creates is good but not enough; there were more things that should have been explained about the world that were not. The romance between the main characters is not well developed and their relationship lacks deep. I didn’t get a real sense of who Alex really was and what they (Lana and Alex) love about each other.

Ms. Oliver’s writing is impeccable; but in the first third of the book the pace was very slow, nothing was happening and it was hard for me to get through it. After that point the pace starts to pick up, towards the end pages it becomes a page-turner, ending in a cliffhanger, that will leave you wanting to get your hands in the next installment, “Pandemonium”.

The book is good but it could have been amazing, I hope Ms. Oliver continue with the pace of the last past pages in Pandemonium, I’m sure I’ll read it. I want to know what will happen to the characters and how are they going to be develop. I also expect to know more about the world and see more of the supporting characters.

If you like dystopian novels you would like this one, I also recommended it to YA readers.

Favorite Quotes:

• I carry your heart, I carry it on my heart.
• I press my hands against my chest, wishing I could somehow be even closer to him. I hate skin. I hate bones and bodies. I want to be curl up inside of him and be carried there forever. (creepy I know, but I like it.)

Verdict: 3 ½ Paws.

Other books in the series:
Delirium (02/01/2011)

Other reviews: Goodreads 

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