Delirium by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Lauren Oliver is a great writer, she proved that to me when I read Before I Fall, and with Delirium the same great writing is there. The story isn't as good, but I think it's due to the premise of the story.
Delirium is about a world where love is a sickness and when you reach the age of eighteen, you need to be cured of this horrible virus.
Once you are cured, everything is better. Except, it's not. Parents no longer have feelings towards their kids, couples go through the motion, and people stop loving each other. In this world, it's hunky dory to the people, but to the reader we can clearly see that this is really messed up.
At first, I was bored Lena and loved Hana. By the middle of the novel, I still loved Hana, but I liked Lena too. Lena is someone who was really into the system, so her reluctance to do anything, given with what happened to her mother, was realistic and made sense. She does start to change once she falls in love, but even then when she first finds out what Alex really is, she stops all contact with him. In a lot of other novels, she would have continued her relationship and changed completely, but Lena didn't. I really liked that about her.
Did I mention that Hana was awesome? If I didn't, then well...she was awesome.
I really liked the world that Lauren Oliver created. Not the virus, but the fact that the people are so heavily governed and that they think that this is for the good of the people is scary. Hmmm, maybe this is why the government decided to 'cure' everyone of love when they're eighteen. They reach the age to vote, get cured, then stop caring about how heavily oppressed they truly are.
Once Lena falls in love, she starts to become a bit stupid. Considering how oppressive her country has become and how scared she was before, she seems to stop caring. Even though she knows of the consequences.
I've never been in love before or in a relationship so I don't know how that affects or changes people, but I do know that if I lived there and was in love with someone, I wouldn't have done some of the things Lena did.
Sadly, while I did like many things in the book, the thing that I didn't like was the premise. I think it's because love wasn't really defined properly in this. For example, I do love my family and with that love comes caring, loyalty, and a bunch of other emotions. And we do see that with Aunt Carol and her children, she doesn't have any motherly love for them and treats them in a mechanical kind of manner. She's doing things for them, not because she loves them, but because it's her job and duty as a mother.
At the same time, there are scenes when you could tell that she does care for her children, husband, and Lena. Her trying to remind Lena that after she's cured she won't want to hang out with Hana so much, showed that she did care. She even looked a little sad when saying this. She actively tries to help Lena through her examinations, because she wants what is best for her.
But then, she calls her kid stupid because one of her daughters can't speak. It might just be me, but I kind of wish the virus was explained a bit more, because it did seem inconsistent at some points.
Other than that, I quite liked the book.
Rating: 4 stars