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Review: Delirium, Lauren Oliver

In Lena’s world, love is a disease. Called “deliria amor nervosa”, the disease has a myriad of symptoms and is generally blamed for all the world’s ills. Things are better since a cure was found, or so they say. Lena believes them wholeheartedly and can’t wait for her procedure, scheduled to happen for everyone on their eighteenth birthday. With just months to go, Lena prepares meticulously for her interview and is diligent about staying away from boys, preferring the company of her best friend. But when she and Hana sneak past a fence, she meets a boy, Alex, and though he has the mark of the cured, Lena’s worldview begins to shift in drastic ways.

What a dystopia this was. Can you imagine a world without love? I never could before and I’m not sure I’d like to again – Lena’s world is cold and forbidding. I liked the approach of this story – it reminded me of Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, in that Lena just can’t wait to be like everyone else. Her mother, stricken by love, killed herself when Lena was a girl, and ever since she’s been marked with the same brush of tragedy and illness. Being cured is her only way to escape, and she never considers her mother’s last words until she meets Alex and starts to feel what love actually is.

The world itself was interesting and, I thought, fairly well fleshed out for the first volume of a trilogy. Part of me was wondering about the logistics of it all – how many cities are out there like Lena’s? Why did they still allow people to get married if they might fall in love with their spouse? But I set those concerns aside, thinking that they might be answered in the next book, and instead kept reading because I was totally captivated by the story.

I was completely swept away by Delirium. It’s almost difficult to relate to Lena at first because she is so determined to be ordinary. As she slowly breaks the mold and dares to be extraordinary, she becomes much more interesting and I found myself racing through the rest of the story to see what happens to her and Alex. Because of course they are destined to fall in love, and it’s such a wonderful and sweet romance. I could believe in them and I was crossing my fingers for them throughout the story. It really was beautiful. And the ending was something I saw coming – I am not sure now how I’m going to wait until the next volume of the trilogy is released!

In the meantime, I’ve already purchased Before I Fall and can guarantee I’ll be reading that as soon as it arrives on my doorstep. I highly recommend Delirium to anyone looking for a good, compelling YA dystopia with a passionate love story at the core.

For those of us in the UK, Delirium will be published in just a couple of days. In the meantime, here are the publisher’s website and Amazon links!

I am an Amazon Associate. I received this book for free for review from Netgalley.

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