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Delirium (Delirium Trilogy) Paperback – May 17, 2016
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“Strong characters, a vivid portrait of the lives of teens in a repressive society, and nagging questions that can be applied to our world today make this book especially compelling and discussable.” (School Library Journal (starred review))
“Oliver’s follow-up to her smash debut, Before I Fall (2010), is another deft blend of realism and fantasy...the book never loses its A Clockwork Orange-style bite regarding safety versus choice.” (Booklist)
“In a thick climate of fear, Oliver spins out a suspenseful story of awakening and resistance with true love at its core.” (The Horn Book)
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Praise for Before I Fall: “Oliver’s debut novel is raw, emotional, and, at times, beautiful....readers will love Samantha best as she hurtles toward an end as brave as it is heartbreaking.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
Praise for Before I Fall: “Samantha’s attempts to save her life and right the wrongs she has caused are precisely what will draw readers into this complex story and keep them turning pages until Sam succeeds in living her last day the right way.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (Starred Review))
Praise for Before I Fall: “Oliver, in a pitch-perfect teen voice, explores the power we have to affect the people around us in this intensely believable first novel...This is a compelling book with a powerful message and should not be missed.” (ALA Booklist)
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From the Back Cover
They say that the cure for Love will make me happy and safe forever. And Ive always believed them. Until now. Now everything has changed. Now, Id rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie.
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Lena is born to a world that believes this. People are cured on their eighteenth birthdays to live a contented, unemotional (but not emotionless) life. Parents don't console their children when they are hurt and kisses are just curt transactions.
Prior to your birthday you are evaluated and matched with four to five possible future husbands. Once ranked, you are paired and will marry after you graduate from University. That is the only pseudo-choice you are given over your own life. Even your University and major are chosen for you.
Lena is afraid. She's afraid to break rules, afraid to even think the wrong thoughts. Sure that those in charge will find out and take her away. That is why when her best friend starts to question, to wonder if the cure is happiness, to explore and to listen to music banned by the government - Lena's world is turned upside down. Through Hana and some trespassing, she meets 19-year-old Alex.
Alex introduces Lena to things she never even knew she wanted. Time ticks down to Lena's cure and she realized that she might not want it anymore. but that's not a choice she is given. The cure is mandatory, so what is she going to do?
The world we are introduced to is much like our own, yet it is a world changed by deliria. The government taps people's phones, regulators and police perform raids during which all rights are forfeit, and your life is chosen for you. The world-building is wonderfully done, allowing us a look into this strangely familiar world through the eyes' of Lena. There are short quotes at the beginning of each chapter that illustrates some of the rules, propaganda, cautionary tales and banned literature that Lena would be familiar with. It gives the novel an extra level of depth that benefits it greatly.
The characters in the novel are varied and realistic. Lena is a normal, ordinary girl - or at least that's the way she thinks of herself, but she makes courageous extraordinary choices. Where will her heart take her? Hana, her best friend is rich and beautiful but she wonders if there's something more. Will she give up her contented life or take the cure? Alex is from another world and different ideals shape his thoughts. Will he alter the girls' perception of their government and lives, or will they choose the cure?
Wonderfully well-written novel that I highly recommend to young adult/teen readers even if they don't normally read dystopian style novels. There are only one or two instances of a curse word being used and no inappropriate scenes detailed. This is a very enjoyable read that will keep you up into the wee hours of the morning.
Delirium was written very similarly to a book I had once thoroughly enjoyed, Uglies. It contains the basic love story, where the main character knows the relationship can never work in society, so the couple escapes to a better world. Similarly, the dystopian society, as messed up as it is, was basic in its rules and unoriginal. The lack of uniqueness in the story was displayed through the laziness of the author in developing the society, the laws were set and was quite obvious to the reader to be corrupted.
The story was boring because of the lack of suspense and twists. There was foreshadowing in the story, but conversely, it was very obvious. It is possible that this novel was too easy for me, as I found myself skipping over small parts that I found to be unnecessary. For a 400 page book, you expect the book to be well thought through with a ton of information to comprehend, however; the author included a lot of filler words it seemed. There were few plot twists, and when there were, they were often boring and expected. The main plot twist of the story, in reality, was not even related to the main plot of the story, confusing the reader further.
Delirium proved to be predictable as it followed almost the exact same plot as every other dystopian future novel I have read, almost ruining my love for the genre. I found as I was reading, that instead of reading quickly to figure out what would happen next, I was reading quickly in order to both finish the book, as well as keep myself somewhat interested in the story because of how boring I found it to be. On the back of the book, Jay Asher, author of the New York Times bestseller THIRTEEN REASONS WHY, claims the book to have characters with “spinning emotions,” but in reality, rather than the characters to be complex and intriguing, I found them to be immature and, well, boring.
Though the premise for the book was interesting, and encouraged me to read the book, I would not recommend this book to people unless they were interested in reading a very easy book. Although this sounds harsh, I did not enjoy this book, but I did learn of the criterias that I now will follow for the later dystopian books I will read. Overall, I do not regret reading this book but would certainly not recommend it for others.