Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government's demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.
But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.
I had been dying to read this book. It's dystopian, a love story and an absolutely brilliant concept all in one. Love as an illness? It can seem that way sometimes and I bet there are many people post-break up that wish it never existed. A future where love is not only curable, but a disease whose sufferers must be hunted down and surgically altered to prevent its spread? Brilliant. Plus, I've heard only good things about Oliver's previous work Before I Fall, which I have yet to read and this one was just too tempting to resist. However, in hindsight, turns out I could.
For me, this story was, I don't know, awkward. The pacing was choppy and I remember putting the book down at one point and thinking that the whole experience felt like walking around in oversized, heavy shoes. Plodding. That's it.
I found Lena to be an inconsistent flake, which yes, maybe that was the point and people do change their feelings and minds but the Lena at the beginning of the story and the Lena at the end were such entirely different people that I don't see how the one could have existed in the other. Yes, yes, growth and transformation and all that, but really, people are who they are and such an abrupt change of character felt too contrived.
I loved the snippets from the textbooks, pamphlets and books from this future, details that added to the severity of this society's campaign against an emotion it equated with plague. The over all sense that the story conveyed was an unexpected jolt. The eradication of love was the community's main focus and I read the entire book feeling lonely and lost from it, which was perfect.
And yes, there were moments when the writing stood out to me, even if the story didn't and I'm still on board to read Before I Fall. I just don't think I'll be visiting Delirium's sequel.
"It's strange how I instantly recognize the voice even though I've heard it only once before, for ten minutes, fifteen tops-it's the laughter that runs underneath it, like someone leaning in to let you in on a really good secret in the middle of a really boring class. Everything freezes. The blood stops flowing in my veins. My breath stops coming. For a second even the music falls away and all I hear is something steady and quiet and pretty, like the distant beat of a drum, and I think, I'm hearing my heart..."
Would you like my ARC of this book? Be a BOOK BLOGGER, living in the US, and over the age of 13. Leave a comment and I'll randomly pick a winner in a couple of weeks using the very scientific "Eeny meeny miny mo" method.
*Quote taking from an ARC of Delirium and may differ in the finished copy.