Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Delirium, Lauren Oliver

It has been sixty-four years since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty-three since the scientists perfected a cure. Everyone else in my family has had the procedure already. My older sister, Rachel, has been disease free for nine years now. She's been safe from love for so long, she says she can't even remember its symptoms. I'm scheduled to have my procedure in exactly ninety-five days, on September 3. My birthday.

Delirium was a very interesting science fiction book. The premise is that in a future U.S, love is called a disease, and at the age of eighteen, everyone has an operation to get rid of love (basically, their desire.) It sort of reminded me of Uglies, (though I haven't actually read it), in that there's a required procedure to fix a perceived problem. The main character, Lena, is looking forward to her procedure, to being disease free. But everything changes when she meets Alex. And of course, she falls in love with him. (Also her best friend Hana has been going to illegal parties.) The United States has been closed off from other countries; I kind of wished that Oliver went into what was happening in the rest of the world. But I guess the main characters can't know about that.

Delirium is one of those books about how valuable something is when it is forbidden. And the love that is removed during the operation is really the desire for life and happiness (though the government says the operation is to make you happier and more secure). You get matched up with a spouse, and have children, but you can't love either them. You can't love literature or music or relatives, or anything anymore. Life is flat. A nightmare, huh? Throughout the book, Lena suddenly comes to realize that everything she's been told by the administration (in the Book of Shhh) is a lie, a blatant lie, a network of lies. Of course, she has had experience with love; her mother could never be cured. But it's all suddenly quite immediate.

Delirium is obviously a YA romance as well. It was quite engaging; I had difficulty putting it down once I started it. And of course, it ends on a cliff-hanger. There is a sequel, Pandemonium, which I look forward to reading. You can read Becky's review of it here.

Read Delirium:
  • if you like romance
  • if you like science fiction
  • if you like Lauren Oliver (she's written other books for teenagers and kids)
441 pages.
Outstanding Book That Will Stay On My Bookshelf For Rereading (jf I own it)!

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