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.
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.
Sarah Drew has such a lovely voice, infused with just the right amount of innocence of a young girl on the cusp of the rest of her life. I had just finished listening to Drew perform (and it really is a performance rather than a narration) Before I Fall, and I was impressed with how she was able to differentiate the voice of Samantha and Lena. She brings the characters alive.
This is a fun and interesting approach to the inevitable discovery of young love. We all know how powerful and insane love can be. Imagine living in a world where there is a cure for this insanity? What would life look like? What will happen when; and if, a young couple can overcome the strong pull of an overwhelming societal norm. Is it worth the risk, ridicule, and ultimate isolation that will result if these young people explore one of our most basic and powerful human endeavors?
This is a short but interesting tale that takes a new approach to one of the oldest stories of human kind.
These three books have reminded me why I read (or listen to) books. Excellent story line. You are so quickly caught up in the story that you can't stop reading or listening to the story to find out what happens next. I highly suggest all three in the series. You will not be disapointed.
Sarah Drew is an excellent story teller. I absolutely could not put these down. She had me following along with her as if I was in the story myself. Would listen to her anytime, anywhere and anyday.
Ok, yes, I confess. I'm another paranormal geek.
You know you're a Grey's Anatomy fan when you recognize the voice of Dr April Kepner in less than a minute of this story (especially when you had no clue she was the narrator)... but, that is not necessary for the review. :D
I am somewhat tired of the dystopian theme in novels, but I am glad I gave this one a try. I really, really enjoyed this. It was very different from others dystopian novels out there, and I'm very curious where the story is going to go from here. I thought Lauren Oliver wrote this very well. The plot was well thought out, as were the characters, and she wrote Lena exactly like a 17 year old, in her thoughts and actions. I thought the sub-characters were just as important as the main characters. Hana and Carol helped form Lena's personality just as much as Lena did. I am looking forward to learning more about Alex in the coming books though. There is still so much mystery there. Aside from the story and the characters, I really appreciated the bits of flash fiction mixed in with the story. It didn't feel out of place, and actually helped bring out the stress of the moments. I enjoyed it.
Lastly, this story was brought to life perfectly by Sarah Drew. Sarah captured the emotions of the story very well. She knew when to read quickly (stress, anxiety), when to slow down or pause (hesitation, nervousness), and what tone to use to express the emotions as well. It was very well done.
The two of them, Lauren Oliver and Sarah Drew, have created a unique and nearly perfect pair for an audio book. So much so that, I find myself on my computer writing a review and downloading the sequel within minutes of finishing the first book... that's rare for me! Kudos to the two talented ladies!
It's an interesting concept, and one of the better-written dystopian romances out there, though I felt the story really dragged and there was not much to the plot in the end.
Definitely to teenagers. As an adult I found it trying and even cloying at times, way too many descriptions of every single thought and movement, metaphors out the whazoo.
The reader sounds like a teenager and reads with a lot of expression and enthusiasm, but that constant teenager-y voice gets on my nerves, so I can only listen for short bursts.
My kids would drag me.
It's a teen read but Lauren Oliver knows how to suck you in at any age. Sometimes the protagonist can get on your nerves, but then again she IS a teen about to undergo a traumatic and life-altering procedure. Will she risk it all and choose her boyfriend, or play it safe and give up love? I dunno, better listen to find out, duh!
Smoke me a kipper; I'll be back for breakfast.
I previously read this author’s book “Before I Fall” and found I really enjoyed her writing style but was disappointed in the book’s lack of interesting turns. The author has a skill that you rarely see in YA authors. She uses quite a few metaphors and similes, which I felt built mood and ambiance without being distracting. I was much happier with the Delirium series as it’s a dystopia and thus delves into more interesting content.
Of course, one must note that there are many many YA dystopias out there with a brave young woman and her love interest. But I felt the focus of the book wasn't so much on this relationship but all relationships the heroine has. How does the love cure affect how others interact with you? How do parents treat their children and spouses? You start to see the domino affect in a society with no affection and the author contrasts this with uncured children and the rare uncured adult.
One of the things I enjoyed about the world of this dystopia is that it felt like a very believable near future. I can absolutely see our society going down a path like this “for the greater good.” With domestic drones and brain research in the news this week it felt very close.
I also enjoyed what I considered a nod to Huxley’s “Brave New World” by making Shakespeare and other works of literature banned (or used as cautionary tale) and also the limiting of music. Another world-building concept I felt worked well was how each chapter begins with excerpts from their manual for society rules and new religion.
About a third of the book focuses partially on building your affection for the main characters then about the last third is very action-packed. I found in general, though, the book pulls you forward plot-wise as you know the main character is quickly approaching a procedure that will make her into a socially-approved drone. This series does delve into some violence when people don’t toe the line, but it won’t be as shocking as Mazerunner or Divergent so expect a more believable version of the future.
Reads a lot like a young adult version of the Handmaid's Tale, unravels in a predictable but moves along at a clip, and its unique dystopia gives a tired doomed romance a new set of parameters. Sarah Drew's narration is charming, but her voice grated on my passenger.
This series was creative, suspenseful and had some nice twists. Very entertaining listen and I couldn't stop listening till I finished all 3 books. It definitely feels more young adult than other books in the YA category but I still really enjoyed it, even being in my 30's. The story was creative, fun and very entertaining. I only wish the ending of the last book had been more elaborate. It felt rushed and concluded too quickly.
I felt that the narrator was way over the top with her energy level, and was over-acting and overly dramatic/enthusiastic but I think she did a pretty good job other than that. It didn't help that the author was way over descriptive and used analogies for almost everything, which got on my nerves.
Overall, I really enjoyed this series and may read it again in the future.
This is the most descriptive narrative that I have ever read/listened to! The way that the author described the feeling and situations that Lena gets into....it's almost breathtaking! I can see it without trying. I can't imagine reading this book either without hearing Sarah Drew's voice and the way that she reads this book; she makes everything that Lauren Oliver describes come to life! It is amazing and I give both the author and the narrative props for the way that they present this book...I couldn't have imagined it any better. Thank you! I am actively looking for other books that Lauren Oliver has written and other books that Sarah Drew as narrated. Either way, I will be happy!!!