Edit: Thanks Polyvore for Top Sets on 18th August! :)
My delirium // Ladyhawke (this song was only fitting to the title!)
2.5 - 3 stars out of 5.
To summarise: Delirium is a dystopian novel about seventeen-year-old Lena Haloway. She lives in a world where love is a disease, ironically. Citizens of the US who turn eighteen must legally undergo a surgical procedure to be ‘cured’ and receive their partner. It’s called ‘amour deliria nervosa,’ which is a side effect of love, an infection they call it. The consequence of having this cure is that you will never be able to love ever again and it changes you as a person. But then Lena falls in love with Alex, who is an Invalid (uncured).
The protagonist, Lena is a likeable character, and someone the reader can relate to and empathise with, but the problem is that she is a flat character with no personality. Like everyone else in the US, she is under the influence that once she has this cure, everything will be better and she’ll be happier, which is far from the truth. This is the reason why she is a docile person, who does what she’s told and sticks to it. She was an imitation of a more passive and less annoying Bella Swan. Her best friend Hana on the other hand, has more of a personality I’d say – she’s more confident with herself, adventurous and rebellious. I think Hana would have made a good protagonist.
We meet Alex Sheathes later on into the story and there are some sweet moments between her and Alex, but the problem is that their relationship was underdeveloped. It was just like...BAM! Suddenly Lena can’t live without him, that she’d rather die than have the procedure and that she’s in love with him. Whoa, hold on there. How did they exactly fall in love? And also why? That part - I did not get. I go on about it time after time that I’m being repetitive in my reviews. I’m not going to believe in a love story without good character development. I wanted to know why Lena fell in love with Alex. I wanted to understand how she feels when he’s around her, but I couldn’t because the author didn’t explain why. It lacked chemistry and it didn’t feel real.
Alex sounds like a kind of replica of Edward Cullen to me. Apart from the caramel skin he is described as having, he has ‘golden brown’ hair and amber eyes. If I’m being realistic, who has amber eyes? *coughs* unless he is a vampire of course. What is up with the phrase “crooked smile”?! It reminds me too much of Twilight. I wonder if the author got this from Meyer. I did like Alex but I just didn’t quite understand why he was in love with Lena. At no lengths, did this book explained why, which was the problem.
Lauren Oliver is an amazing writer, no doubt about that. She has a talent for using descriptive words and imagery language to communicate her story with. That was probably the one thing that really struck me, the beautiful writing. It’s very poetic in the way she describes scenes, it’s clear that she’s put a lot of thought into writing in a poetic content.
The pacing of this book was unfortunately very slow and quite boring in the beginning. It’s okay to start the pacing slow in the beginning, but this pacing should have picked up in the middle, which leads towards the ending. As the author spent so much time describing the atmosphere in such intricate detail, such as something small as Lena going for a run *yawns* she didn’t build the suspense, until right at the very end of the book! Literally when the pace finally begins to pick up, it’s nearly the end of the story (just a couple of pages off). So that was a big anti-climax just waiting to happen, by that time I was already bored. I’ve read a lot of reviews on this book and people were saying that they couldn’t believe what happened in the end, as if something really ‘big’ happened. I was anticipating for something exciting, so imagine my disappointment. The ending really did not surprise me. I expected it but it did leave me a cliffhanger and now I feel like I’m tempted to read book 2, just to read on to find out what happens next.
When Lena finally realizes she doesn’t want the procedure since she met Alex and that she can love whomever she wants, I thought “Good. I’m glad you finally realized that before you did go through with the procedure.” There should have been more of an explanation as to why the Government made it official that love is a disease, there should be more depth because it felt very unrealistic and far-fetched. I was finding it hard to buy into that idea.
Delirium has got to be the most bizarre, baffling and oddest book I have ever come across. The plot put me off but for some reason I wanted to read it. After finishing this book, I think the idea of how ‘love is a disease’ is a scary prospect and quite a ridiculous storyline at that. When I think of dystopian novels, I think of the future – something incredibly exciting and out of this world and advanced technology. Delirium, on the contrary is about how being in love is an infectious disease. You’d think why would the Government care if you fell in love, why’d they bother creating a cure and having curfews to prevent teenagers meeting the opposite sex. Love is not an infection; it’s a powerful emotion. In Lena’s loveless society, everyone lives in a very robotic and docile lifestyle. In other words, they would be living a lie. They’re not happy; they’re expressionless. Getting married to their selected partner (even if you don’t like him/her) and having kids and taking care of them, this wouldn’t be done out love nor happiness because it’s done out of duty. What’s the point of that? People get married because they love each other and they have kids out of love, to say that love is a disease makes the overall book ironic. No one would have any compassion, emotion or empathy. They’d just have this solemn look feeling no pain, hurt or guilt. In the book, it says that it’s a better world without love. Complete BS I say.
Maybe dystopian stories are not Lauren Oliver’s forte, but I do admire her taking upon a challenge and trying something different. I thought the storyline was quite bland to be honest. I thought Delirium had a potential to be an exciting story and I did really wanted to like it, but unfortunately it didn’t live up to my expectations. But, hey that’s just me :) books are like my marmite.