Monday, February 14, 2011

Reading Rainbow: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

I always love when Sophie gives me a book recommendation. I just know it's going to be a good one. She recommended Lauren Oliver's Delirium by saying, "Delirium is gorgeous." Um, okay - I'm in.

From Goodreads:

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 Holoway 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.

May I just say that I am LOVING all of the new dystopian YA these days? And this book? Sophie was right, as usual; it is gorgeous. But it's also frightening, much in the way that The Handmaid's Tale (one of my favorite books ever) scares me to pieces every time I read it. A lot of dystopian fiction deal with the loss of freedom, but I've never read a book that so completely captures that loss as Delirium does. (Okay, maybe The Handmaid's Tale... which is why it is one of my favorites.)

Lauren Oliver does an excellent job of showing just how devastating life would be without love. And not just romantic love, but all forms of love. It's beautifully written, and I found myself letting out dreamy sighs throughout reading. But, along with those dreamy-sigh-moments is some serious, heart-pounding action. The action builds throughout the novel, right along-side the love story. Lena's worldview also goes through a complete transformation within this book, and I felt it along with her: the eye-opening, the realizations. It was very well done.

Honestly, during the first 200 pages, I liked this book, but the last 100 made me love it. And upon finishing the book, I thought my heart would explode. It was an extremely powerful ending that left me completely speechless. (Now, that is a sign of a good book.)

I think this book is best read without knowing too much, so I'll stop now, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on Delirium. (Because I just know you're going to read it right away! Right?!)

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