5bat! Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

January 23, 2011 Review 10

*This title will be released on February 1st*

Delirium (Delirium, #1) Title: Delirium
AuthorLauren Oliver
Series: Delirium #1
Cover Art: N/A | ExcerptGenre: Dystopian
SourceNetGalley | Reviewer

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (February 1, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0061726826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061726828
The Book Depository

Sexual Content: 

Kissing. References to sex.

My Rating:

5/5 Near Perfect
Buy two copies: one for you and one for a friend.

Book Description

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love – the deliria – blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.


The hook for DELIRIUM is brilliant. Amor Deliria Nervosa.  Every single man, woman, and child lives in fear of contracting this deadly disease.  Every aspect of society has been restructured around this idea.  The government’s authority and control is total including gender segregation, media censorship, and brainwashing indoctrination.  Basically the US is under a kind of Sharia Law.

It has been sixty-four years since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty-three since the scientists perfected a cure. Everyone else in my family has had the procedure already. My older sister, Rachel, has been disease-free for nine years now. She’s been safe from love for so long, she says she can’t even remember its symptoms. I’m scheduled to have my procedure in exactly ninety-five days, on September 3rd. My birthday.- Opening from DELIRIUM

We experience this world through the eyes of seventeen year old Lena.  Her fear and nervousness about the procedure are only trumped by her eagerness to be cured before the disease inevitably infects her the way it did her mother.  She observes her neighbors home vandalized because they are suspected of being sympathizers to rumored ‘Invalids’ who reject the cure, the detached parents who never bond with their children and appear not to care when their child is hurt right in front of them, the sister who was dragged screaming from a secret boyfriend to the clinic to be ‘cured’ and return later serene and calm with the telltale triangular scar behind her ear.

The most horrifying thing about this society is that no one fights back. Even Lena who witnesses some of the atrocities firsthand has been so indoctrinated by the government that she accepts this is the only way to stay safe.  She does not come easily to the other side, and it’s that painful, heartbreaking, utterly real journey that has so engrained DELIRIUM into my mind.

This amazing story doesn’t end in DELIRIUM.  This is the first in a planned trilogy.  The ending, while not a true ending, is complete and satisfying in a bittersweet way.  Completely unexpected, but in hindsight completely perfect too.  If you liked the world of THE HUNGER GAMES, you’ll want to read DELIRIUM.  Lena starts out as sort of an anti-Katniss, but by the end, she was a true fighter.  I loved this book so much I already went out and pre-ordered a copy for my sister.  Take my advice and buy two copies from the get-go.  You won’t be disappointed.

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10 Responses to “5bat! Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver”

  1. Miss Page-Turner

    I LOVED Delirium so much, so I can just agree on your review. I really like to see how the Delirium love spreads around the blogosphere. Of course I gave this novel aswell 5/5:)

  2. Smash Attack!

    This book really did end with a bang. It did not start out great for me but got better and better. Great, smooth, climax of plot. Great review.

  3. Abigail [All Things Urban Fantasy]

    Miss Page-Turner – It's getting a lot of well deserved 5/5 ratings around the web.

    Tasha – I hope you love it too!

    The Slowest Bookworm – Me too. I should have bought two copies to share 🙂

    Emily – Good call. I've had her first book on my shelf and just bumped it up too.

    Smash Attack – I enjoyed the slow build up of the beginning where we learn just how much the world has been affected. But I understand what you mean and the ending was a big BANG…can't wait for the next book.

  4. Tea and Tomes

    I read Delirium not that long ago, and, at the risk of presenting a spoiler, the ending of it just about broke my heart. I'm anxious to see how the series progresses!

  5. knigoman

    Generally I try to read all 5-bat books from this blog, but I think I'm gonna skip this one.
    It sound pretty much like rerun of the movie Equilibrium and most of the dystopian books I've read, but adapted to fit in YA genre.