{#DeliriumWeek} Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Eeeeeppp! Today is the first day of my blog's #DeliriumWeek, a week-long event where I will binge on everything Delirium. Inspired by Tiff @ Mostly YA Lit's Delirium Week, I'll be reading and reviewing the whole series this week. Be on the lookout for reviews, features, a reading by Lauren and a giveaway! Wanna join me this week? You can still sign up! Now, to get this party started, here's my review of Delirium, the first book in Lauren Oliver's bestselling series!

Delirium (Delirium, #1)
Title: Delirium (Delirium #1)
Author: Lauren Oliver
Date of Publication: February 1, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen

They say that the cure for Love will make me happy and safe forever.

And I've always believed them.

Until now.

Now everything has changed.

Now, I'd rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie.

Lena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life, until ninety-five days before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, when she falls in love.

Purchase from Amazon | The Book Depository


My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I am writing this review right after I read Delirium, which means it might be emotional or based on pure feelings alone. Well, not right after because I first rolled around my bed and groaned and moaned and thought about what everything means, what THAT ENDING means and how can I sleep when I know Pandemonium's just in my bag, waiting to be read. It also took me time to actually rate this book because I'm at a loss on what I think about it, I am floating into ether as I pause and rewind scenes in my head, especially that frickin' ending. You've been warned that this review might be based on pure feelings alone though I will try to be objective as much as possible. Moreover, I really can't wait to read Pandemonium. Gah, gotta finish this review asap!

So being a hype book, I have tons of expectations from Delirium. Surprisingly, I don't know any major plot points (except for Alex being a you-know, which can be blamed on following news on the TV show pilot). I just know that it's kind of slow and that everyone promises that Pandemonium's more action-packed and better. And due to that, I really found Delirium to be slow. Maybe slower than I should have felt because I knew already that it's slow. However, that did not deter me from enjoying and loving the book. Delirium is probably the most beautiful YA novel I have ever read. Probably the most beautiful novel I have ever read, period. Its wonderful prose that in reality, sounds like poetry. The words flowing smoothly when needed, gripping when the scene calls for it and most of all, with a constant air of poignancy. I can feel and see the words as I read them and even though all these descriptions made the novel slow or long, I thank Lauren Oliver for writing it this way. The world Lena lives in, I completely grasped it because of this. I feel like I know everything she knows, that I am also part of this world. And that I'm a sympathizer. I can't describe it, I can't give enough credit to Lauren through my words, but I just breathed Delirium.

I do wish more things happened but like a friend said, Delirium feels like a prologue to the whole series. With the world established and with us knowing the characters in and out, we can now go to the action. I feel like I am right inside the novel, seeing the characters moving in about their world. It's that real. Lauren Oliver transported me right into the book with her effortless sounding prose. I also thank Lauren for introducing me to e.e. cummings and I am quite obsessed with his poems as of now.

While I'm not a hundred percent into Lena and Alex's relationship (too fast? kind of out of nowhere?), I did swoon due to Alex. I mean, who wouldn't when he can recite love poems at the top of his head? When he says the right words, at the right time? Truly, Lena seems a bit of a damsel in distress but that ending solidified that she isn't. That even though Alex was always there to save her and turn her fears into nothing, Lena is a completely brave girl on her own, an intelligent, independent and courageous girl. That ending gave me the chills, goosebumps running along both of my arms. Lauren's writing is that good, is that great, is that awesome, is that epic, that she can elicit physical reactions, bodily reactions, just from words. I will quote one of my favorite passages and if you ask me to choose my favorite passage, I will deem it an impossible task.
Love: a single word, a wispy thing, a word no bigger or longer than an edge. That’s what it is: an edge; a razor. It draws up through the center of your life, cutting everything in two. Before and after. The rest of the world falls away on either side.

Before and after—and during, a moment no bigger or longer than an edge.
Wow, just wow. Really, if I didn't wish for more to happen and if I wasn't a little bit iffed about the plot twist about her mother (of course, it was her mother), I might have given Delirium 5 stars, just because the writing alone deserves it. I must also commend Lauren on how she started every chapter. They were not only relevant and bittersweet but they were obviously well thought about. Every quote, every saying, every passage from The Book of Shhh, I can just imagine how completely immersed Lauren was in writing this series, having come upon new bill slogans and nursery rhymes and all that.

I wanna know how Lauren sees the world because her descriptions feel like as if one of her senses is missing, one at a time. I can taste the sand and the seawater, see the sunrise and Alex's hair, feel the soft grass and the shivering cold, hear the waves and Hana's laughter and smell the Crypts and Dumpsters. Everything is gritty and yet beautiful at the same time.

I deeply recommend this to those who would love to read the most wonderful writing and to those who are intrigued by the premise. Do admit that the premise of this novel is one-of-a-kind and it was what initially drew me into it, even without all the recommendations and accolades. A truly beautiful novel, lush, rich and bittersweet. I love it.

About Lauren Oliver

Lauren Oliver comes from a family of writers and so has always (mistakenly) believed that spending hours in front of the computer every day, mulling over the difference between “chortling” and “chuckling,” is normal. She has always been an avid reader. 

She attended the University of Chicago, where she continued to be as impractical as possible by majoring in philosophy and literature. After college, she attended the MFA program at NYU and worked briefly as the world’s worst editorial assistant, and only marginally better assistant editor, at a major publishing house in New York. Her major career contributions during this time were flouting the corporate dress code at every possible turn and repeatedly breaking the printer. Before I Fall is her first published novel. 

She is deeply grateful for the chance to continue writing, as she has never been particularly good at anything else.

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  1. I totally agree with your review. The writing of Delirium was fantastic! Lauren Oliver is amazing! But then the the plot is close to nonexistent, so it was difficult to finish this book.

    I hope you enjoy Pandemonium! Haven't read it yet, but it seems like it's better than Delirium.

    Angie @ YA Novelties

    1. True, the book really dragged. But it was so beautiful that I still loved every single moment I spent reading it. Thank you for dropping by, Angie! <3 Hope you get to Pandemonium soon. I loved it even more than Delirium. :D

  2. Delirium is Amazing! OMG! Your review is Awesome! <3 Haven't read it yet, Pandemonium! I hope I read it really soon! Thank you so much! <3

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Irene! <3 Just finished Pandemonium and it was awesome! Hope you get to it soon!

  3. I really want to join your Delirium Week event since I've been meaning to read this series for quite some time now but due to my busy college life, I can't. :( Anyways, after reading your review, am now contemplating to just leave my student duties and just read the heck out of Delirium. I'm kinda curious as to what is the ENDING of this book. I bet it's a cliffhanger, based on your reaction. Great review! :)

    1. Aaaww, it's okay Alyssa! I understand because I didn't have time to read and review too while I was in college. (Technically, I'm still in college because my graduation's one week from now.) It's kinda my fault too because it was very short notice. I got the books for review and I don't want to postpone reviewing them and I didn't have a whole week left this April and May. Yeap, the ending was !!!!!!!. Hope you can get to read it soon and I'll be sure to check your reviews. Thanks for dropping by! <3

  4. Wow!! Thanks for your kind words. I totally agreed with your reviews. Thanks for sharing this blog!!
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