Oh Delirium. I don’t know why it took me so long to pick you up and read you.
I had heard so much about this book by Lauren Oliver, and had picked it up in NYC back when I was there over the summer and Borders was having their ridiculous closing sales. After much (loving) “peer pressure” from fellow book blogger friends, I promised to read it as soon as I was done my review book at the time. At over 400 pages, I did not think I would finish this book as quickly as I did, but I could not put it down.
Delirium is set in Portland, Maine where the community lives in a state of fear; a fear of a disease, a fear of the regulators that patrol the curfewed streets, a fear of losing oneself. Amor deliria nervosa, the disease of love where it renders the infected ones with symptoms such as perspiration, disorientation, periods of euphoria & despair. The cure is administered to everyone on their 18th birthday and is supposed to alleviate all the pain and heartache that comes with the disease. Lena’s 18th birthday is coming up and as she and her best friend Hana enjoy the last of their summer together before they are cured, they both struggle with the implications of what this cure means for their future.
I honestly don’t want to say too much more of the synopsis because you need to read it for yourself. I was worried that all the hype would leave me disappointed, but for me, it lived up to my expectations. The writing is beautiful, and the world that Oliver has created has such depth to it. Aided in part by the chapter starters with quotes from books and lexicons in the world that Lena and Hana know, it allows the readers to get a fuller understanding of the mentality of these people – and the gravity of the situation that is only known as amor deliria nervosa.
Obviously, what is a story about a love disease without an epic love story in it… and boy is this ever the epic one. Their story tears at your heartstrings and completely consumes you, making you fall in love with the star-crossed lovers. Even with the expected love story, Oliver manages to still throw in enough twists and turns to keep the reader wanting more. As much as I hate it, my mind often starts thinking ahead and tries guessing what is going to happen next (and I really don’t know why I do that because I hate spoilers) and in spite of that, I was left with my mouth open in shock more times than not.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (5/5 stars)