Book Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Oliver, Lauren. Delirium. New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2011.

Ninety-five days, and then I’ll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It’s hard to be patient. It’s hard not to be afraid while I’m still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn’t touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don’t. 

Lena lives in a world where love is a disease, and everyone undergoes a procedure at age 18 that will “cure” them of it. Those who are uncured abide by many rules designed to keep them safe from the disease, and within borders that keep them safe from the “invalids.” Lena looks forward to her procedure. She knows things will change, like she will no longer enjoy running or spending time with her best friend Hana. But love is what killed her mother, who had three failed procedures and killed herself when Lena was six years old. Lena is ready to move on to a future where things are predictable, and where she will be protected from the disease. But of course, if things went smoothly it would not make for an interesting book.

Just like her debut novel Before I Fall, I could not put this one down. Oliver’s characters are fully developed and believable. The plot has a driving force pushing toward the end as the reader wonders if Lena will end up having the procedure or not, and there are many surprises along the way. The best part is that while there are quite a few cliffhangers at the ends of chapters, which sucks if you don’t have time to start the next chapter right away (chapter 20 is a doozy, and I had to go to bed after reading it, so I had some time to wonder about it before continuing)… not all of the questions are answered and a few ends are unraveled at the end because Delirium is the first book in a trilogy! I know I have a long time to wait for the sequel, since this one doesn’t even come out for another 103 days, but I am already looking forward to the other two books.

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