Thursday, April 21, 2011
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
This is a book that was getting lots of buzz from people I follow on Twitter. It is one of my favourite genres- Alternative Reality. There is just something about authors who can create a world just slightly different from our own that I really like. I really enjoy the way writers introduce us to the characters, setting and different rules that the members of the society are forced to live under.
In Delirium, society has decided that love or deliria nervosa is a disease and must be avoided at all costs. In order to avoid the side effects of the disease, at the age of 18 people undergo surgery and are usually unable to fall in love. The surgery also means that people are incapable of forming attachments to other people and they move through life in a rather protected shell.
The main character is Lena, a girl who is just approaching her 18th birthday. Lena has been counting down the days until she can have the procedure. She feels that only when she is 'cured' will she be safe. Lena's own mother had a great deal of difficulty with the surgery and was never fully cured, Lena was forced to watch her mother struggle to cope with all the feelings she had for people she was close to. Lean wants nothing more than to be matched with whoever the government decides is her perfect match and to get on with her life. Her best friend Hana is starting to think that maybe the cure is wrong and that maybe there is more to life than just drifting through without feeling anything. Hana's questioning of the way life should be really confuses and upsets Lena. Then Lena meets a boy who starts changing the way she looks at her world. Suddenly she is questioning everything she has always believed in.
I really liked the fast paced approach to this story. Oliver has created this believable world where somehow love is wrong. I found myself getting angry with the way love and caring and connections were seen as being so wrong and dangerous. Lena is such a complicated character. Because of her past you can totally understand why she can't wait for this surgery and watching her struggle to realize that maybe society has it wrong is quite the ride. At first I thought the romance aspect of this book would only appeal to the girls, but after finishing the story I believe that the boys will enjoy this alternative reality book as well. This book reminds me a great deal of the Uglies series as well as Matched.