Delirium by Lauren Oliver (Delirium #1)

4 Stars

I know that life isn’t life if you just float through it. I know that the whole point—the only point—is to find the things that matter, and hold on to them, and fight for them, and refuse to let them go.

I reviewed this February 2013 but I forgot to blog about it so I’m posting it now.

A dystopian love story. My first thoughts were, “Hmm, this seems interesting.” I’m used to reading dystopian fiction, but mostly concerning larger plots, so this was a fairly fresh approach for me.


Love: It will kill you and save you, both.

Amor Deliria Nervosa, Love, is a disease. Honestly, comparing to most dystopian novels, Delirium has a far simpler no-nonsense plot. To be blunt, it’s simply a love story set in a dystopian society. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t any good. It was quite nice, actually.

  • Delirium has most of the Dystopian staples:
  • Controlled environment
  • Contained settlements/country
  • Predetermined matches/scientifically arranged marriages
  • Strict system and Science-based government

What was new was the theme regarding love. Basically, Lena, the main protagonist, used to be a firm believer of the system. She believed in order, uniformity, and the cure. She believed that a world without love was a better one. That Love was indeed a disease. Until she fell in love.

Most things, even the greatest movements on earth, have their beginnings in something small. An earthquake that shatters a city might begin with a tremor, a tremble, a breath.

The plot was really simple, so simple that it could’ve been written as a short story. What filled the pages was the descriptions, narrations and the storytelling. I honestly didn’t mind because Lauren Oliver can write pretty well despite the simplicity of the story. There was no major conflict, by major I meant larger than life problems. Like I said, Delirium was a love story. (Note: This review was written before I read Pandemonium and Requiem)

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.

That’s when you realize that most of it—life, the relentless mechanism of existing—isn’t about you. It doesn’t include you at all. It will thrust onward even after you’ve jumped the edge. Even after you’re dead.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this. Probably not the “unputdownable” type but it’s still worth the read. My favorite part was probably the last three paragraphs of the last chapter. It felt powerful, almost a declaration. Just read the book if you wanna know what it said.

“I love you. Remember. They cannot take it.”



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