My rating: 5 stars – heart wrenching, beautiful, deep, perfect
Even though I’m nearly 22 I’m a sucker for teen fiction stories. It’s what I love to read and what I love to write. So naturally, I picked up Lauren Oliver’s Delirium. The dystopian story takes place some time in the future where love and other deep emotions are surgically removed from humans because they are considered ‘diseases’. The story follows seventeen-year-old Lena who is approaching her operation. She’s eager to undergo her surgery and start her life… until she meets Alex.
Oliver has a way of writing that captures you, placing you right in the story with Lena. Certain parts of the story resonated deeply with me. Lena’s best friend, Hana, says “[y]ou know you can’t be happy unless you’re unhappy sometimes, right?” I love the quote because it’s true. You can’t truly understand happiness until you’ve suffered. In Delirium, unhappiness doesn’t exist for the ‘cured’ because they are all numb to intense feelings. Even though the quote is meant to live in that world, it makes sense in our world as well which is what I love about Oliver’s style of writing. Everything she says in Delirium is applicable in present time.
The Romeo-and-Juliet type love story between Alex and Lena keeps you on your toes and makes you feel like you’re the one falling in love. One thing that stood out to me about this dystopian story compared to others I’ve read such as The Hunger Games, The Uglies and Divergent is that the protagonists in those stories are brave and courageous. Lena is different. She’s careful, fearful and hidden in her own shell until Alex enters the picture. In a world where love doesn’t exist, Oliver does an exemplary job of showing the importance and power of love. Lena’s character grows drastically throughout the story and it’s all thanks to Alex.
This book broke my heart and made me cry but I loved it so much. 10/10 would recommend.