Despite having nearly everything going for it, Delirium rarely engaged me as a reader. And yet, I am going to rate this a strong 4 stars because I can see why this series has appealed to so many. Author Oliver has a unique ability to write about common people, giving them personality and life. For once, a story about love isn't soppy or cheesy. And the reader really does want to root for the characters and see them together in the end.
Story: Lena lives in a part of America where emotions, specifically love, have been controlled through a surgical procedure. It was done to keep society peaceful and placid and stop the 'delirium' - the love 'disease'. But when she meets Alex, a boy supposedly 'cured', everything changes. Suddenly, Lena doesn't want to get the procedure done on her 18th birthday. But in this America, choice isn't an option and she will lose all she feels for Alex forever if she goes in on her birthday.
Delirium is a slow burn story with most of the action near the end. It's a girl-meets-boy story, a little Romeo and Juliet in a world that doesn't allow romance. But the angst of forbidden love isn't the story so much as Lena awakening from torpidity into emotion. Since the story is all first person POV, we see Lena's change unfold organically through her interactions with Alex.
Side characters aren't left bereft and given as much personality as our protagonists. From best friend Hana to Lena's adopted family (her mother committed suicide due to the love 'disease'), each person is distinct and doesn't fall into the cardboard character cliche. All the same, Alex was a bit too good for my taste, lacking in nuance and enough quirks to distinguish him beyond idealized love interest.
So why did Delirium fail to engage me personally? I think it has to do with having read the Shatter Me series first. Both series deal with angsty emotion but I preferred the more full on emotion of Shatter Me rather than the slow burn of Delirium. It seems a shame to even compare the two books; honestly, as much as I loved Shatter me, it definitely was not as well written as Delirium. The strength of Delirium is Oliver's writing and characters.
As with most YA dystopian, the premise is pretty bonkers and doesn't hold up to close scrutiny (I felt the same way about Oliver's Panic setting). But Delirium is all about the awakening of a normal girl and a sweet love story.
I listened to the Audible version of this story and the narrator was one of the best I've heard. She lives and breaths the story, not just reads it.
Yes, I would recommend this book. The story is cool and original. You'll find yourself hooked and excited that there are more books to read!
My favorite is the main character of course, because she is a good person and not annoying.
Yes, very well done.
i really disliked the narrators voice, I found it nasally and very irritating. I also didnt care much for the story. The ending was slightly better than anticipated, but just the overall plot was lacking.
I like dystopians and like to explore their plausibility; however I found this world hard to buy into
I really disliked her nasally sounding voice. She spoke clearly enough, but there was just something very unappealing about the sound of it.
It was left on a sort of cliffhanger so yes. I might would listen to it if I ran out of other options,
The writing is excellent, but Sarah Drew, wow, she is an amazing talent
It was written so that the pictures unfolded in my mind like a detailed movie, but with me forming them in my head.
She has the ability to make you feel the character's mind race, to feel the energy as a character bounces on her feet, the lethargic, the negativity. She is a rare gift to the audio world
I did, both actually. This has to be one of the most well written YA books I've come across so far. I could visualize this society as it had become, so strange, and my heart hurt for Lana as she realized the reality of it. Almost as if being drawn into the lies and then triumphant when she starts breaking through them.
I look forward to this series and most likely listening to it again, which is not common for me.
Wow, after listening to some books with horrible narration, I come across this gem. This is a great story but in all honesty I think Sarah Drew made it better. The way she spoke and animated everything, I could truly picture every single part of the book. The story itself is great. I'll admit that when I read the description I thought that a book about love being a disease was silly and I kept passing it. I'm so glad I finally gave it a chance.
From Lauren Oliver? Maybe. She writes very well but the story got very weak at the end.
Sarah Drew? Definitely. She's amazing in this.
The story got incredibly predictable coming down to the end. The romance in it felt very forced and it was too sappy for words. Some of the cheesiest things are done and said, most of them are cliches and it was very upsetting considering the start of the story.
At the beginning the concept is fresh. Love outlawed? Tell me more! The story sort of devolved though into a parade of young adult fiction tropes and it was just hard to listen to. I think Oliver is a good writer though she just needs to be unpredictable. If she took the story to a place I didn't expect this becomes a 5 star story.
She does emotions very well. Hope, anguish, and love are all represented convincingly.
Not even for free. Too predictable.
I love the genre. Storyline was intriguing.
The unexpected ending!
Too many to list!
Yes...can't wait to continue the series!
there is good YA and there is bad YA. this is pretty bad. the prose was overblown, the central idea that love is outlawed by the government and why it was so needed never made sense and the plot just prodded along so slowly. i found the heroine super annoying and kept wanting hanna to be the lead. narrator was fine, didn't add anything to help the story but didn't make anything worse. so not worth the credit.
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.