Delirium by Lauren Oliver

I’m going to attempt to write this one without spoilers, but I can’t guarantee it.

The first time I picked up this book, I thoroughly enjoyed it, mainly because I was at a time in my life where I thought love was a disease and stupid. Yup, I was a teenager when I found this book.

This book takes place in a world where love is universally known as a disease and everyone, at the age of eighteen, is required to go through a procedure that takes away that particular thing that causes, “love, the disease.” Everyone who is cured is marked, so that everyone else knows this fact, and they don’t have to follow the curfew, and they can interact all they want with the opposite sex. From the narrator’s point of view, it seems that everyone cured is just in a haze and just goes about their routines.

I didn’t like the fact that the potential problems with this system is just simply explained away by the narrator telling me that it worked so far. Somehow parents were still able to raise decent kids. Of course, there are those who seem to be immune to the “cure” and are imprisoned after so many procedures, and the sympathizers and resistors are a no-no, too. The suspension of disbelief isn’t there for me. I find it hard to believe any child lives past the crying age if the parents are “cured” of love, which in my world translates to, “incapable” of love.

Story wise, it’s not my cup of tea. The main character believes in this world, but her best friend is the first to question it. Her best friend is listening to “forbidden” music and goes out past curfew for a boy/girl party full of un-cured people. This causes a riff between the two.

Then she meets a boy, and suddenly her world of beliefs seems to shatter. The narrator spends much of the story, in my opinion, whining. She wants to be with this boy, and she’s infatuated. Throughout the story, the boy and the main character are sneaking around, and the best friend is covering for them.

Even having just met this boy, she seems to be fine telling him everything about her mother and her past. Throughout their time together, she describes her mother’s necklace, and the boy recognizes the necklace. I don’t buy it. It’s such a small detail that someone would notice a necklace among all the people that probably also wear necklaces.

It wasn’t all bad though. There were some action packed scenes, and those got my heart pumping. The imagery in the writing is great.

I also enjoy the relationship between the character and her best friend and the difference in opinions that caused their issues.

I won’t spoil it, but I enjoyed how the story ended. However, there were some unanswered question, but it was narrated by the character, so we only know what she knows.

I do remember enjoying this book when I picked it up as a teenager, so it is a good teenage book, but I’m still partial to the belief that a good book is one enjoyed by all ages.

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