Monday, April 14, 2014

Delirium | Lauren Oliver

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.

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 government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Haloway 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.

Non-Spoiler Review

This book came out back in 2011 and I read it when it came out and never finished the rest of the series, so I figured why not marathon read the whole series. This book touches on such a strange dystopian world, in which love is considered a disease, and people who are in love are considered infected. The rules within this community are extremely harsh and strict, and even trying to imagine this world is frightening, I can't even fathom having to live in it. Lena's journey throughout the book, although in a completely different world, is so parallel to struggles that teenagers have to go through every day that it's so easy to connect with her and follow along. I completely recommend this book, and I can't wait to jump into the next one. 

Spoiler- Filled Review

This book was so much more than the love story that's advertised in the blurb. Personally, because there was so little of Alex, I think it was more a story of Lena discovering herself, which in itself is a universal theme. Lena begins in the book as the "goody-two shoes" girl, refusing to do anything bad, anything that could get her in the slightest bit of trouble. Like most teenagers, she just wants to fit in. But conforming in this society means getting an operation to rid yourself of the emotion of love. That entire concept is just so completely mind-boggling. How can you just get rid of love? In our society, love is embedded into anything and everything we do: our literature, our music, our movies, so getting rid of it isn't a simple task. All of mankind practically had to be destroyed and built back up from the government, completely censored. The government writes the music, the government makes and approves the movies, all the power is to the government, destroying the idea of democracy as we know it!

The procedure itself is a frightening concept. The fact that science has enabled us to find a way to remove the idea of love from our minds is absolutely horrifying. But it's not just the procedure that's scary, but the consequence of it. The people who no longer able to feel anything, those who have basically been turned into zombies. These individuals have no regard for human life any more. The internal community that humans have is what separates us from other animals, without it, we're really no better. There were so many scenes throughout the book that really hit on this idea. One of the worst, was when Lena came across the dying dog during the raid. The owners of the dog didn't even care enough to save their own pet. It was even mentioned that parents didn't excessively care about their children either. Too much laughter or too much happiness was a sign of the disease and therefore banned from the society. My question is, how did the populous even allow this to become implemented?

I thought the characters were developed really well, some of my favorites were Hana, Lena, Gracie. Although Hana was being difficult at some points, she really came through for Lena, risking her life several times to cover for Lena and Alex. Lena herself had such a tragic backstory with both her parents, but I really like how throughout the book she was constantly split between what she wanted and what she should do. I saw Gracie as a parallel to Lena, a younger version of Lena who had a similar background and story. I really hope to see more of Gracie and Hana in the next books of the series.

I really thought I would have liked Alex if I knew a little more about him. To me, he served as more a filler character, just a placeholder just to fill the slot of Lena's lover. I really hope we get to learn some more of his history because I really want to get to know the character a bit more. 
Maybe it's just me, but I don't think Alex died at the end. I don't completely understand why I think this, but I just have this feeling that the government captured him and the rest of the books are going to focus on getting him out. That's just my prediction. I also hope to see a little more background as to how and why this society was set up, like in Allegiant, how the set up of the entire faction system was explained. I think that, like most ideas, this community was intended to be something beneficial, but corruption and power took over, turning it into something quite different. 

I really did enjoy this book and I recommend it, if you haven't already read it! What did you think of the book? Did you love it, hate it? Let me know in the comments!