by Lauren Oliver
Delirium trilogy; book I
I was just sooo excited to see this on NetGalley. YAY!
Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -the deliria- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.
But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.
My Expectations: The hype? have you seen it? heard it? Expected HUGE things.
Delivery: totally great, perhaps not mind-blowing but still pretty awesome.
Put-down-ability: lowwww, 3/10. I mean I sat reading at my computer at ridiculously long intervals.
I think I was lost in the fanfare of the hype, the predecessor debut and the general positive vibe surrounding Lauren Oliver’s sophomore novel, that my intentions and view of the novel might be skewed. It helps to take a step back and remember that an opinion should be your own, and not one of the many 5/5 star ratings just to fit in with the crowds.
I will admit, when I finished the novel I had the urge to run onto Goodreads and smack a five star rating on it, screaming to everybody to read this book if their life depended on it. But before I did, I thought for a bit about what I really liked about it, and this helped me develop my own personal review which I’ll share with you right now. I’ll say that the book was great. I really, really enjoyed so many aspects of it, yet it wasn’t perfect.
Starting with the positives, the writing no doubt is miles ahead of other cool stuff. Oliver’s writing is incredible, it truly is an experience. She has a way with figurative language that makes me ashamed of my lack of eloquence, the novel’s prose is simply beautiful. Seriously. The writing is amazing (and much better than I remembered compared to Before I Fall).
The world-building will be something that many people will probably comment on, and how flawless and perfect it was. However, I thought it was a bit average. Dystopian worlds are commonly praised for its originality, especially in a highly praised novel, but the premise of this one was just average with a twist. Love being a disease was undoubtedly original, but the rest of the world didn’t impress me. Perfect society and matchy-matchy? Been there, done that.
Lena's relationships with both Hannah and Alex were well developed. I especially liked witnessing the friendship between her and Hannah, I felt it was executed realistically and really captured a 'tone', considering the circumstances. I was less impressed with Lena/Alex, I had trouble finding it fresh and original. Alex’s character wasn’t fantastic, but he was interesting to read about, not many complaints there.
On the flip side, the pacing rocked; the world building never felt overwhelming-- it was just at the sweet spot. The start was attention grabbing and I liked the way thing started to build as the plot progressed. It became intense and desperate as you sped towards an ending you couldn't even begin to predict.
Lauren Oliver’s second novel does not disappoint. Delirium is dystopian. It’s adventurous. It’s dangerous, romantic and stunning. It’s one you shouldn’t miss.
Rating in HP Terms- Exceeds Expectations
Recommended for: all YA readers, those looking for a great dystopian novel with fantastic writing.
Acknowledgements: whoopsies, forgot to read, then Galley went bye-bye :(
8.9/10 – because while there are numerous things that I loved about it, it did lose some of its shininess in other areas. I wished the plot could have been a bit more unpredictable, although the premise Oliver had created was crazy good. The ending wasn’t really my style, but overall it was a really great novel that has huge appeal. Bring on the sequel!!