Thursday, February 3, 2011

Book Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publishing Date: February 3rd 2011
Length: 400 pages 
Genre: YA, dystopian novel, romance

5/5 ***** The deliria is spreading fast, only a few days left… and there is no cure of this addictive novel by Lauren Oliver! Delirium- consuming and just exhilarating! 

~ The Author ~

Lauren Oliver comes from a family of writers and so has always (mistakenly) believed that spending hours in front of the computer every day, mulling over the difference between “chortling” and “chuckling,” is normal. She has always been an avid reader.

She attended the University of Chicago, where she continued to be as impractical as possible by majoring in philosophy and literature. After college, she attended the MFA program at NYU and worked briefly as the world’s worst editorial assistant, and only marginally better assistant editor, at a major publishing house in New York. Her major career contributions during this time were flouting the corporate dress code at every possible turn and repeatedly breaking the printer. Before I Fall is her first published novel.

She is deeply grateful for the chance to continue writing, as she has never been particularly good at anything else.  

Author profile by Goodreads 

For further information check out

~ The Novel ~

Delirium is just the first novel in a series of three. Pandemonium and Requiem will continue the story around Lena, Alex and the deliria.

~ The Story ~

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.

Summary by Goodreads

~ The Review ~

I am tempted to extend my rating system to point out the unbelievable high status Delirium has claimed in my book collection. Even before I started reading Delirium I was nothing but excited and enthusiastic about this novel. Having the summary in mind, I expected this novel to be a rocket and it turned out to be a whole fireworks.

Lena is the girl who respects each single rule of the totalitarian system. Alex is the rebel who doesn’t respect one of them. Lena and Alex fall in love. And I love both of them! Although I already knew our protagonist Lena has to meet someone, somehow and fall in love with that person, I couldn’t wait for it to finally happen.

The story is told from Lena’s point of view. She shares her thoughts with us and we live with her through months of enormous changes. She is struggling between her duty of social commitment and obedience and the new discovered option of free opinion and feelings. I felt a very strong connection to Lena and could always imagine how she’s feeling. Alex is just the boy a society like Delirium’s needs to get shaken to its very foundations: wild, passionate and empathetic.

As a physical, psychical and emotional free citizen I immediately realized the cruelty and deviance of Delirium’s social model and restrictions so it was very interesting to read about Lena changing her mind, learning about new living standards, love and feelings at all.

Delirium has a large romance plot which isn’t unusual for any other YA novel. But as the story around Lena and Alex is set in a dystopian world where America is shut down and love is considered as a disease, their romance isn’t just unusual but dangerous, too. 

The romance and star-crossed lover motive are thrilling because their relationship is risky even deadly, not supposed to be, so that Lena and Alex do not only have to fight their own feelings or their families but a whole society. Their fight against society holds an enormous potential of anxiety and adventure because there couldn’t be an enemy more gigantic.  

Delirium consists of a huge portion of excellent writing style. Lauren Oliver’s writing style is vivid, throwing in a metaphor from page to page to benefit the novel's overall style. They beautifully enrich the tragic situation of story, setting and characters, never shooting over the top, never trying to play down or aestheticise society’s cruelty. She puts the smallest and the grandest wonderful forces and objects together and matches them into something infinitely poetic and beautiful.

Furthermore Lauren applies many references and adjustments to our society. I’d love to mention all my favourite quotes, but I would only end up reciting half of the novel. The most hilarious and best satiric adaptation: the 4th of July, America’s present day of opening and independence is their day of isolation.

At the beginning of each chapter Lauren Oliver quotes important moral guidelines of Delirium’s society and so gives the novel authenticity.

This dystopian novel shows the result of a paralyzed society which blurs into a mass of standardized shadows and the need for opposing forces. There are only a few shining lights left, trying to save the world as we know it from loosing its heart, its feelings, its humanity.

Delirium is a novel of great feelings in a world in which feelings are forbidden! Start reading Delirium immediately and dive into an outrageous dystopian world, a captivating forbidden romance and into meaningful discourses of humanity and society!

I am going to re-read Delirium just now because I don’t want to leave this world so soon. Delirium immediately became one of my all time favourite novels and you all need to read it! So I say, either you buy it or you borrow it just now! Go and get it!

~ We love this book because… ~

1) there must be a chance for love
2) we fall in love with men reciting poetry and telling us fairy tales so easily
3) poetry has it's roots in freedom, but is even steadily growing branches and leaves in banishment
4) we want our very personal roof crusher who goes to the ends of the earth and back again for us
5) we want to read “Comprehensive Compilation of Dangerous Words and Ideas” out loud all day long and don't care about a possible regulator hearing

~ The Verdict ~

No words, just tears… Delirium represents the pure beauty of emotions and words of a novel in which love is considered as a disease.

~ Thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for sending me a copy of Delirium by Lauren Oliver.This edition is beautiful and I am already in love with it! 

~ Tomorrow I will post an interview with Lauren Oliver and you shouldn't miss that, because she is so nice and funny (including compliments for her readers;))


  1. WOW. Fantastic review!! There are no words to describe how much I am DYING to finally have a copy of this beauty in my hands! I think I'm in love with Alex already. The whole idea behind the society is so insane and I was worried that perhaps I wouldn't find it believable, but... who the heck am I kidding? This is Lauren Oliver we're talking about!

    Fingers crossed my copy will be there when I pick up the mail tomorrow! Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm on this :)

  2. Great review.. Wow.. Now I want to read this book even more. Didn´t think that even was possible :P

  3. This was a fantastic review!!! I can't wait to start it on Monday, hopefully I'll be able to pace myself with only 5 chapters per week!

  4. What a great review! I totally agree with you about this book :)

  5. Great review! I'm glad you loved this one so much! The ending left me quite shocked!!

  6. This review really portrays just how good Delirium is. I think you portrayed that better than me...I'm jealous, lol!

    I can't wait to see the interview!

  7. Great review and interview. I LOL at the pickles answers.

    Delirium was an amazing read. Powerful and emotional. And what an ending!

  8. Great review, I'm glad you liked this book so much. Hopefully, I will too when I read it.

    Rochelle @ Books Like Stars

  9. Good thing we do not live in Lena's world or we would be unable to fall in love with the books we read. Great review and like you I am going to be rereading this one.

  10. Incredible review! Delirium is really gonna be something!

  11. Great review. I've had this for a while now and still haven't picked it up. I really should though as I've heard so many great things about it. :) Donna x

  12. YES YES YES!! I felt exactly the same way...I cried my eyes out and couldn't believe the amazing beauty within the covers - it's so amazing! I went out and bought it the day I finished it, despite the fact I was lacking in money. I, too, want to read it again soon...i'm DYING for a copy of Pandemonium!!! :) Great review! I really enjoyed reading it...on to read more! :)

  13. This book was awesome!!!