Saturday, March 12, 2011

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

I was looking forward to this book because I really liked the author's debut novel, Before I Fall, but this was a disappointment. The story is about Lena, who lives in a government-managed society in the near future. The government forces every person to be cured of amor deliria nervosa (love) as they reach the age of eighteen in order to protect them from the pain and madness that it causes, and each is matched by scientists to their future husband or wife.  Lena is looking forward to being "cured" because of her mother's suicide (her mother was infected). Obviously Lena changes her mind when she falls in love prior to her procedure. Um, who saw that coming? This could have been a really good story, but there were just too many problems with it.
First of all I never bought into the love story. I didn't feel anything in the initial meetings between Lena and Alex. He winked at her and suddenly she was madly in love. It's not that I can't believe in love at first sight, but the feelings didn't come across. Lena was so against love, it seems like it would take something pretty amazing to change her mind. I also don't think that Oliver set up a convincing reason why the society wanted this cure from amor deliria nervosa. How did the current government come into power and why would they want their people to be without emotions? But wait, that's another question that I had. How could people maintain other emotions and only lose their ability to love? I didn't understand it. If she had explained it better then it may have been a more interesting story. It was kind of like watching Lost without the interesting characters and unexpected twists.
This is apparently the beginning of a series, but I am not planning to continue with it even though there is a cliffhanger ending to this one. However, I would read this author again due to her other novel. That one was a goodie.


Siobian said...

I've heard both really good things about this book and really bad things. :( Your issues with the book sound like the same problems I would probably have so I think I might skip this one. Thanks for the review!

Christine said...

I've seen lots of good reviews too. I thought I might like it because it reminded my of The Hunger Games when I looked at the description, but it just wasn't well developed in my opinion.