Book: Delirium (Delirium #1)Author: Lauren Oliver
Publication date: February 1st, 2011
Wow... How a book can drastically change your mind from doubting and almost disliking it to irrevocably falling in love with it! I read Delirium right after finishing Matched, which from my review one may notice that it was not one of my all time favorite. I was unsure if it would be a smart move to read Delirium straight after Matched, due to the similarities other bloggers spoke of... but in the end I am happy that I did!
The characters really spoke out to me. I want to prevent referring and comparing this book back and forth with Matched, however I must say that the characters in Delirium was a refreshing change opposed to the characters in Matched. Lena, the protagonist, started off to be a shy, soft spoken and introverted character. Her best friend Hana had all the 'shine' and beauty which Lena envied and didn't believe she had herself. This portrayed her to be self doubting and self conscious. The two characters lived as and in contradictory life: Hana was tall blond and beautiful; outgoing, daring, confident and brave; rich, educated and had (almost) everything to her disposal -- whereas Lena was living in a poorer neighborhood, was an orphan, doubtful and believed herself to be not ugly but neither beautiful; and she was cursed for a damaged reputation which was put on her by her mother who was a Sympathizer and a former victim of the Love desease.
In the society they live in, they believe Love is a disease and if one 'catches' this disease, they will experience several symptoms which in turn will lead to hysteria and then death. It is therefore mandatory that every member of the society undergoes a special treatment after they reach the age of 18, to eliminate the "Love disease", also known as Amor Deliria Nervosa.
What I found so magnificent of this book is how Lauren Oliver described Love and its 'symptoms' which in Lena's world is portrayed to be very negative. From my own personal experience, I know how it feels like to be in love; but also how it feels like to be neglected by love, to experience heart sickness and unfortunately as well a broken heart. The manner in which Lauren describes the feelings of someone being in love, or having lost love, is so realistic and believable. What I also found so interesting was how Lauren successfully referred to the past as the present we live in now, and how things used to be and how they have changed in Lena's society. It made it that much more dramatic and intriguing and I found myself genuinely believing and feeling for the characters and what they were go through.
At first, I was afraid that Delirium was going to be another slow paced book, which honestly in the beginning it was, but it wasn't unpleasant and it did not make me want to give up on it. I enjoyed the relationships and the connections between the characters and how they evolved to be something genuine. The developments of the characters was not rushed and the emotions felt by the characters were intensely real. The relationship between Lena and Alex was so heartfelt, I always felt excited when they were together off to doing no good, risking their lives to be together, nurturing their love and slowly, and initially indirectly, rebelling against the society.
The rising action and climax of the plot was incredible, and it had me totally consumed and gripping on the pages of the book lusting to find out what would happen next. I was completely perplexed on how this book came to an end, and I almost feel embarrassed to admit this, but the ending was so frightening, exceptional, moving, and heart shredding, that I was sobbing before I could read the last few words of the final paragraph.
I did not give this book a complete 5/5 stars rating due to the fact that it had a slight slow paced start and due to the delayed rising action in the book which only at that point made the book more interesting to me; but it is definitely a must read for those readers out there who enjoy a beautiful, hopeless romantic, and thrilling book set in a dystopian society so well depicted by the author!
You can also get it in Kindle Edition by clicking here Delirium