How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I’m not a huge fan of dystopian YA by any means. I’ve really own read The Hunger Games trilogy , and I couldn’t get into to Divergent for the life of me. The only reason I picked up Delirium was because I had just finished — and been completely amazed by — Before I Fall, Lauren Oliver’s previous book.
It’s not as excellent as Before I Fall, by any means, and it doesn’t do dystopia nearly as well as The Hunger Games, but it’s still a totally enjoyable YA read. Lena lives in a dystopian Portland, Maine, USA, that views love — not just romantic love, but love between friends and family members as well — as the worst disease of all. At the age of eighteen, all citizens undergo a procedure, essentially a lobotomy, that ‘cures’ them of love. Lena, whose mother she believes had been driven to suicide by the disease, awaits her cure with the utmost excitement until she meets Alex. You can guess what happens next.
As other reviewers have mentioned, Delirium does not pretend to be anything besides a love story. The world-building that is so integral to a dystopia is lacking and sloppy, and the premise obviously requires some suspension of disbelief. But Lena is a sweet and believable character, and the supporting characters are multi-dimensional and entertaining.
Oliver’s ability to create beautiful images in intact from Before I Fall, with gorgeous descriptions of Portland and the surrounding Wilds. I’d say what she lacks here in world-building and plot construction she makes up for in her beautiful descriptions and totally believable love story.
I listened to the audio version of this book, performed by Sarah Drew, the same actress who read Before I Fall. She did a wonderful job.