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Delirium (Delirium Trilogy) Paperback – May 17, 2016
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“In [Oliver’s] dystopian America, love has been outlawed as the life-threatening source of all discord. Lena’s gradual awakening is set against a convincing backdrop of totalitarian horror. The abrupt ending leaves enough unanswered questions to set breathless readers up for volume two of this trilogy.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“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)
“Oliver’s deeply emotional and incredibly well-honed prose commands the readers’ attention and captures their hearts. With a pulse-pounding tempo and unforeseen twists and turns, Lauren Oliver has opened the door on a fantastic new series; the second book can’t come soon enough.” (New York Journal of Books)
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)
Praise for Before I Fall: “This story races forward, twisting in a new direction every few pages, its characters spinning my emotions from affection to frustration, anger to compassion. You’ll have no choice but to tear through this book!” (Jay Asher, author of the New York Times bestseller Thirteen Reasons Why)
Praise for Before I Fall: “Before I Fall is smart, complex, and heartbreakingly beautiful. Lauren Oliver has written an extraordinary debut novel about what it means to live—and die.” (Carolyn Mackler, author of Tangled and The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things, a Printz Honor book)
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.
I found myself turning the pages easily and the writing style was enjoyable and fun. I like Lauren’s cadence in her writing and at times, I just had to stop and take a deeeeep breath and savor.
Some of the descriptions got too lengthy for my taste … some of them. Some of the dialog and scenes were a little unbelievable and a little hard to follow but the characters always kept you right there, on the page, clipping along and so … the dialog and scenes were forgiven quickly. Does that make any sense? I just found myself rolling my eyes sometimes and at other times, I absolutely could not bring the scene into full view because the description left me lost.
But perhaps the biggest turn off for me was that I could not resonate with the plot. The most enjoyable books to me are the ones where I can see a piece of myself in the story, whether it’s with the characters or the story line. I was nowhere to be found in this story. The term, “Dystopia” is used by the author to describe the theme of this story and … it nauseated me. There were many times, I had to sit, gather myself before reading any further. I wanted to read further however, I just had to get myself together before moving on. The story nauseated me and I felt overwhelmed sometimes. Perhaps that is the sign of a good author and quite frankly, Lauren’s writing is really well done.
There are two more books after this one and I will not be picking them up. For me, one book was enough even though I was left hanging at the end of the story. I did not enjoy it enough to dive into the next one and that is not because I did not enjoy this read, it was because the genre was not to my liking.
And so … I will go looking for myself in another book. Not sure where, but I’m sure it will find me. They always do.