Book Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium #1
Author: Lauren Oliver
Reading Level: YA
Genre: Dystopian
Published: February 1st 2011
Review Source: Purchased
Available: Amazon

Summary: (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.

With an original story plot unlike any I’ve ever read, Delirium, by Lauren Oliver, offers readers a unique story about love. The tragedy, the creation and the devastation of love, along with the determination to make love last. Lena is the heroine, grieving the death of her mother. Longing for the day to come where she will be cured from “deliria,” a disease that spreads quickly through the minds and bodies of those that are not cured. A disease, that could even cause death and can be triggered by the slightest touch or glance from one person to another.

In Portland, we find a city that is now controlled by the government, lives mapped out by the government, and under constant watch by those who regulate the city. Aiming to keep its citizens safe from “deliria.” In the beginning we find that Lena welcomes the day that she will be cured, hoping that she will be able to live the normal life that all the cured citizens of Portland talk so fondly of. But sometimes plans change, even when we least expect it. Even when we are not looking for that glimpse of the unexpected, the unexpected shows up. “Deliria” shows its face, in a form that Lena, can not resist. So now she must choose. Is the pain worth it? Is the pain worth him?

Lauren Oliver’s creative approach to each chapter beginning, gives the reader the opportunity to visualize just how different Lena’s world is viewed from our present day. The textbook excerpts and prose tell a mini-story of Lena’s sheltered life under the total control of the government. In conclusion, it is always my hope for a book to grab me in the first few chapters. In this case, that did not happen. The beginning was more of a lesson on Lena’s world that was showcased a bit slowly. However, once a new character joins the scene, everything changes, and I couldn’t stop living in Lena’s world, through the well written words of Delirium. Book 2, Pandemonium is on the horizon. I’ll be sure to set a side several hours in a row to reenter Lena’s world.


  1. For me the beginning was killer (in a bad way)! I didn't realize it was a trilogy so I couldn't figure out why this standalone book was taking so long to have stuff happen. I much preferred Before I Fall and Lisel & Po although Oliver is an absolutely amazing writer!

  2. I really need to read this book soon, especially since Delirium is coming out soon.

    Thanks for the great review, you make me wish that I had time to read this one right this second.

  3. I agree - the build-up to the end is gradual - but the final few pages are fantastic.


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