Book Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver (re-read)

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Young adult, science fiction, dystopia.

I adored Delirium when I first read and reviewed it, which was back in February. I had limited experience with dystopia, only having read Matched, The Hunger Games, and Uglies, but Delirium made it one of favourite genres. I’ve come across many young dystopian novels since then, and having re-read Delirium, I can safely say that it is still one of my favourites and one of the best books I’ve read this year.

Although Delirium is a dystopian novel, it is first and foremost a love story; it doesn’t pretend to be anything else. At eighteen years old, citizens of the USA legally must undergo a procedure – a “cure” – that will result in the them being unable to love anyone ever again, whether it may be a partner, friend or family. When Alex enters her life, Lena must fight for the right to love whomever she wishes.

One of the things that I didn’t mention in my previous review, that really struck me about the novel, is the writing. Lauren Oliver has a talent for using the most beautiful, rich language and imagery to capture a moment perfectly. When I’m reading novels, I try to picture the scenes in my head and sometimes it becomes blurry. I try to focus on it but the author hasn’t provided enough detail for me to do so. Lauren Oliver is the complete opposite. She expertly describes every single scene so that the image in my head comes out crystal clear, from the description of the setting to Lena’s emotions:

“The water is an enormous mirror, tipped with and pink and gold from the sky. In that single, blazing moment as I came around the bend, the sun – curved over the dip of the horizon like a solid gold archway – lets out its final winking rays of light, shattering the darkness of the water, turning everything white for a fraction of a second, and then falls away, sinking, dragging the pink and the red and the purple out of the sky with it. All the colour bleeding away instantly and leaving only dark.

Alex was right. It was gorgeous – one of the best I’ve ever seen.”

Another thing I did not pay enough attention to before (because I was eagerly rushing trough the story) is the small fragments of society – the quotation of official documents, rules and regulations, children’s songs, and poetry, which help the reader to mentally construct and imagine the world that Lauren Oliver has created. Even though the story mostly focuses on Lena and Alex’s relationship and the things they discover about each other, we’re constantly aware that they live in a restrictive and severely controlled society.

Delirium is a wonderfully emotional, heartbreaking love story set in a dystopian future. It’s both a gritty and mellow experience. If you’ve not yet jumped on to the dystopian bandwagon, I’d suggest that reading Delirium is a very good start indeed.

“Love, the deadliest of all deadly things: it kills you both when you have it and when you don’t.”

Rating: ★★★★★
Buy: Paperback
More: Goodreads

19 thoughts on “Book Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver (re-read)

  1. […] you may know, Delirium‘s one of my favourite books of 2011. I’m pleased to share some very exciting news with […]

  2. […] Delirium by Lauren Oliver Delirium would probably be my “book of the year”. This isn’t because I think it’s the best book ever but simply because I loved it. I loved it so much that I recommended it to everyone for the first part of 2011. It’s this year’s The Hunger Games (in terms of my enthusiasm for it, not plot similarities). Although The Hunger Games is the root of my obsession with YA dystopia, Delirium fuelled it. “Love, the deadliest of all deadly things: it kills you both when you have it and when you don’t.” […]

  3. […] Killables is set in a world reminiscent of Delirium and Matched: Unapproved relationships are illegal. Careers are set by the government. Couples are […]

  4. […] Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan Delirium by Lauren Oliver Divergent by Veronica Roth The Fault in Our Stars by John Green Harry Potter […]

  5. […] am a Lauren Oliver super fan. Delirium and Before I Fall are two of my favourite young adult novels, and Liesl & Po was one of the […]

  6. […] is the second book in the Delirium trilogy, so I advise you not to keep reading this review if you’ve not read the first […]

  7. […] to those who love traditional dystopian societies such as in The Hunger Games, Divergent and Delirium. It has a lot to offer the reader and although it’s part one of a trilogy, it doesn’t […]

  8. […] a goal often helps. I think first up will be Requiem, the highly anticipated conclusion to the Delirium trilogy and Vortex, the sequel to Tempest. Roll in […]

  9. […] is the third book in the Delirium trilogy, so I advise you not to keep reading this review if you’ve not read the first […]

  10. […] you Penguin Books for providing this book to review! You may also like: The Hunger Games, Matched, Delirium, Divergent Soundtrack: Barton Hollow by The Civil […]

  11. […] Delirium by Lauren Oliver I finished Delirium in less than 24 hours and as this was before I started ‘properly’ blogging, it was quite an accomplishment. Delirium is a dystopian love story that simply sweeps you away into a world where love – and not just romantic love – is seen as a terrible disease that needs to be cured. It’s one of my favourite books; I adored following Lena and Alex, it’s beautifully written, and it is one of the books that introduced me to the YA dystopian genre. […]

  12. I am always on the look out for new dystopian books so thanks for your recommendation! I love The Hunger Games, The Matched Trilogy and Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale and have just bought The Uglies so i’m sure I will love this too! Thanks 🙂 x

  13. […] and a lot of them are not very well written. Sometimes I don’t even say anything. But I think I’ve improved, 171 reviews later – and it’s become slightly […]

  14. I didn’t like the book as much as I’d thought I would, being a huge dystopian fan, but it wasn’t all that bad. Check out my review here:

  15. Delirium is among my favorite young adult dystopian novels. Symptoms of Amor Deliria Nervosa and book Shh… were just amazing all together.

Comments are closed.