Thursday, October 27, 2011
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
“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.”
I am afraid I don’t possess the vocabulary to accurately describe this book. Beautiful, yes, but that does not do it justice. I was mesmerized from the beginning. This book tugged at my heart and left me breathless. The ending left me speechless. I could fill this entire page with quotes from Delirium due to Lauren Oliver’s lovely poetic writing.
“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.”
A dystopian world that believes love, or as it has come to be called ‘amor deliria nervosa’, is a dangerous deadly disease. There is, however, a cure for the disease. Scientists have found a way to render the part of the brain that makes you feel love inactive. Of course, it also takes away the ability to feel compassion, sympathy, sensitivity, and at times, I felt, humanity. Not only does this affect young people who may have fallen in love, but the way one would feel about a friend, family member… even your own child. These are disregarded simply as side affects - a much better alternative than falling prey to the disease. When the youth of Portland turn 18, the procedure can be administered. Some embrace it…. Others don’t. What happens if you are one who doesn’t?
"I'd rather die my way than live yours."
The story follows 17 year old Lena, who lives in fear of the disease and cannot wait to have her procedure administered so that she may be cured. She can feel the disease in her blood, and for her it is unbearable. She is counting down the days until she can be cleansed and free from the worry of ever contracting the deliria.
Then she meets Alex. "As soon as I look up, his eyes click onto my face. The breath whooshes out of my body and everything freezes for a second, as though I am looking at him through my camera lens, zoomed in all the way, the world pausing for that tiny span of time between the opening and closing of the shutter."
Alex is a beautiful soul with an intriguing and heartbreaking story. Not only is he strong, confident, and brave, but he is gentle and tender. He quotes poetry. Mind you not just any poetry… Elizabeth Barrett Browning, my personal favorite.
While this is a wonderful, tumultuous, and exciting love story, for me this book was about sacrifice - Ultimate sacrifice. Lena’s relationship with her mother and her mother’s story was poignant, at times heart wrenching, and enormously gripping.
"I love you. Remember. They cannot take it".
While I love YA books, especially dystopian futures, some can leave me with a bit of a let down. Sure, there is romance, or more like of a hint of romance, and that leaves me feeling frustrated. Delirium is an exception. This was one of the most romantic YA books I have read to date.
"I hate skin; I hate bones and bodies. I want to curl up inside of him and be carried there forever."
And the ending? A cliffhanger of epic proportions. It will definitely be a book to treasure and savor for quite some time. Delirium is easily one of my top five favorites. I am more than ready for the next book in this trilogy.
“Love. It kills you both when you have it, and when you don’t.”