Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Harper Teen, February 1, 2011
Pages: Hardcover, 441
Series: #1, Delirium
Book Synopsis (from Goodreads): In an alternate United States, love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called the Cure. Living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in Portland, Maine, Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. She watched love destroy her mother and isn’t about to make the same mistake.
But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena meets enigmatic Alex, a boy from the “Wilds” who lives under the government’s radar. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?
I was really excited to read this because not only did the premise interest me, but it is set sometime in the future in the town where I now live – Portland, Maine. Lauren Oliver’s tale of the heartbreak and excitement that love can provoke painted a picture of an eerie dystopian Portland which to be honest, unsettled me a bit, especially because I could picture it so well in my head. While reading it, I really felt Lena’s fear as she constantly looked over her shoulder as she walked through the streets of my town.
I love books like this because even though the assertion that the government could “ban” love and treat it as a disease sounds farfetched, it truly makes you reflect on history and you realize the crazy things some governments have already done in the name of protecting its people. The quotes from the Book of Shhh (The Safety, Health and Happiness Handbook which serves as a kind of new bible for society) at the beginning of each chapter really gave me insight into the ways the government has really brainwashed the minds of Lena and her family.
The great thing about Delirium is that you can see how this decision has changed society and Lena is a product of her environment. But even though Lena has never known a world any different, she somehow senses something isn’t right and deep down she pines for something more. I, as the reader, wanted so desperately for her to understand and have that epiphany with Alex so she could break out of her world and I ended up really caring about the characters.
Overall, Delirium was a great dystopian love story and after the exciting ending, I’m really looking forward to the next in the series.