Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Ninety-five days, and then I’ll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It’s hard to be patient. It’s hard not to be afraid while I’m still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn’t touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don’t.
Imagine a world where there is no love. No butterflies in your tummy when the boy you like smiles at you. No racing heart when the most handsome guy leans in to kiss you on your first date. No jitters when the man you’ve been in love with for years gets down on one knee to pop the question.
Imagine that talking to someone of the opposite sex, laughing with them, and innocently touching them, made you feel sick, even if you like the person. The thought of love, even saying the word love, makes you feel horrible and like you are breaking a law. Imagine going through tests and receiving a list of ‘suitable’ candidates for you to be paired with and married. Imagine not being able to feel love towards your own child….
This is exactly the world that Lauren Oliver transports us into with her novel Delirium. Oliver creates a world so devoid of love, you can’t help but feel sorry for the individuals living in the United States in this period of time. A few pages into the novel when I first got to know Lena and learned that she wanted ‘the procedure’ to cure her of ‘the disease’ (of love), my heart broke for her. I understood that a world with a lack of love is what she is used to, but I could never imagine counting down the days until I would no longer experience something as miraculous as love. I could not imagine a world without my partner in crime, my husband. I could not imagine a world without hugs. Or even a world where after ‘the procedure’, you are ‘happier’ and yet you forget old friends and don’t enjoy the things you used to enjoy- like running. Even imagining a world where you are going to work, and how many kids you will have seems crazy to me.
Oliver’s descriptions create this world so well, I felt like this world really did exist; “Every day the heat gets worse and worse. It creeps through the streets of Portland, festers in the Dumpsters, makes the city smell like a giant armpit” (178). Her imagination is so incredible- I don’t think I would ever be able to create a world like hers, never mind being able to include excerpts from her imaginary book ‘The Book of Shhh’.
I am very excited to read Pandemonium and Requiem, I can’t even imagine where this story is going to go, but I can’t wait to find out!
Definitely one of my favourite series!