Sunday, March 18, 2012

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium (Delirium, #1)

Delirium fulfills my Read Dystopia Challenge, and Book Blogger Recommendation Challenge.

What I have to say is simply, "Well done, Lauren Oliver." I loved Delirium, as you can guess from that. It's the story of a girl, Lena, who lives in a world where every person past 18 has to be "cured" of love or deliria, the disease known for pain, unhappiness, and violence. Love drove Laura's mother to commit suicide, and she vows to not be like her mother. Lena believes the cure will keep her safe, give her a normal life, which is what she dreams of. But Lena is deeper that the society she lives in, that has told her these lies. When Lena meets Alex, the truth unravels. 95 days before Lena's 18th birthday, the unthinkable happens--she falls in love. But they are running out of time. 95 days.

At it's core, Delirium is no more than a simple love story, to be compared with Romeo and Juliet, Matched, the Girl of Fire and Thorns (No I wouldn't compare it to the Hunger Games for anyone who would).  I love Lauren Oliver's use of symbols and motifs throughout her novel. The obvious symbols are the gate, the Governor's fist, and the houses, and the places Lena and Hana run--running=companionship. The symbol-light motifs are the ocean, music, walls, and sunset/sunrise. Delirium is set in Portland, Maine by the ocean so naturally I LOVED it. For real, I don't think I've ever NOT loved a book set by the ocean. I just love all the imagery used with these symbols and motifs and how they help create the world Lena lives in, but also how they relate to Lena's life and her growth as a character. They all come back to her eventually, since she's the main character.

As for characters, I really liked Lena. She's naive and fearful, yet brave and deep. She cares about others, and would risk her own safety for them. She's very loyal.  Lena is very future oriented and thinks hard about the consequences of her choices--because she knows that they will impact her life in realistic ways. I liked Hana's character, too, although it's sad she's going to get cured. I hope that maybe Lauren Oliver will use her as a resister, and she and Lena can still stay friends. I also really liked Gracie as a character, and want to know what's going to happen to her. I mean, who can't love a loyal child who doesn't talk, yet has a sense of love, duty, and right and wrong? That means naturally I loved Gracie. Her relationship with Lena was very beautiful. I guess I should mention Alex. I loved him, especially how he was so willing to sacrifice for Lena. Lena said she didn't want to end up like her mother, but when Lena learns the truth it changes her perspective. Who wouldn't want to be like someone who sacrificed themselves for love--for love of you, Lena?

Next, the plot. There are very beautiful scenes in Delirium. Lena and Alex looking at the stars. Lena and Alex dancing. Alex reading love poetry to Lena. The graduation scene and their big hug. The beach scene where Alex tells Lena his secret. Lena' memories of her mother. The room where love is carved and written on the walls. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. And the ending. I don't want to ruin it, but I will say that it completes the story. Lena achieves a world without walls,  free to be who she wants to be,  and free to live and love in her own way. It's breathtaking and chilling, tragic and bold. It will leave you gasping for breathe, and forever thinking of the last words on Delirium's last page.

I cannot wait to read the next book.

I love you. Remember. They cannot take it.