If you like: dystopian love * vivid descriptions * coming-of-age journeys
From the very first paragraph of Delirium—where our heroine, Lena, tells us that in 95 days she will have a procedure to be cured from the disease of love—you know you are in for a sad story. In spite of that, it is a beautiful journey. The compelling descriptions of the actions and scenery help you to feel the joy and pain that Lena experiences.
In Delirium, Oliver starts each chapter with a quotation or proverb about the dangers of love. Some of these are from the fictitious Book of Shhh, and others are from well known works by authors such as Shakespeare or e.e. cummings. I really enjoyed their inclusion, and thought they successfully set the tone for each chapter.
Throughout the beginning of Delirium, Lena is truly looking forward to the procedure. Lena’s aunt and uncle, her guardians because both her parents are dead, encourage her to embody the calm, even demeanor of someone who is cured. The only vivacity in her life is provided by her best friend Hannah. This begins to change when a strange set of circumstances bring Lena together with the mysterious Alex during her pre-procedure evaluation.
Oliver has created a world in which anything out of the normal is invalidated. Conformity is priority number one, and feelings are taboo. Though at times it seems like individuals in society may let their feelings and emotions lead them to the brink, the alternative presented in Delirium is much, much worse. Not only does Oliver encourage us to follow our passions instead of watching life pass us by, she also encourages us to care for our neighbors instead of having indifference for their struggles. Think for yourself, and open your eyes to the world around you. Believe something because the argument is valid, not because you have heard it often.
You should savor every word while reading Delirium. The story itself is only half of what makes it enjoyable.