Thursday, February 17, 2011

"Delirium" by Lauren Oliver

From Goodreads: "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."

It's been a number of years since I read I last read Scott Westerfield's "Uglies" series and over time I have obviously forgotten details here and there, but after reading "Delirium" I feel like a lot of what I forgot about the "Uglies" series is coming back to me. Now you may be thinking, "Huh? How in the world would that happen?" Well because "Delirium" is extremely similar to the "Uglies" series.

Both stories revolve around a Dystopian world where the government is trying to control its people in crazy ways. In the "Uglies" trilogy when someone hits the age of 16 they become "pretty" through ridiculous amounts of plastic surgery and whatnot (and they  unknowingly become somewhat dumber/ have their thinking dimmed down in order to keep them like sheep, unable to think for themselves/ unable to rebel against the government). In "Delirium" when someone hits the age of 18 they are "cured", a procedure which makes them unable to contract amor deliria nervosa, better known as love. Their government has entirely convinced then that love is the root of all evil, from love comes jealously, hate, and the likes of and such emotions lead to unrest, death, pretty much everything but the apocalypse (or who knows, they probably do think that love will led to the apocalypse).

And then there is the characters. In the "Uglies" series Shay starts to question the world around her and brings to the attention of the main character Tally that all is not as what it appears to be. She begins to opens Tally's eyes up to a whole new world around her and encourages her to partake in illegal activities in which the both of them couple get in major trouble for. In "Delirium" Hana also starts to question the world around her and shows main character Lena that their life has so much more to offer them- like Shay, Hana encourages Lena to partake in illegal activities. Both Tally and Lena cannot wait until the day that they can have their procedures... That is, until they meet a boy...

The boys...? Both boys are rebels, they live outside of the world that the government has created, they are "wild', "dangerous" and totally "off-limits". In "Uglies" David in born in the Smoke, the world outside of the government created world, from rebel parents- those who fled from the controlled world. He has is still an "ugly" as he never had the procedure to make him "pretty". Alex in "Delirium" was also born in the world outside of the government created one- the Wild, to parents who had fled from said government created world. He also has never underwent his procedure- the procedure to cure him from love. Both boys stand for everything that the governments hate and fear.

When all is said and done, I do think that many people will enjoy "Delirium"- though I am sure that there are some hardcore "Uglies" fans out there who will be shaking their fists at Lauren yelling "You completely copied Scott's book!" Thankfully, I am not one of those people. I can read countless vampire/ werewolf/ witch/ whatever stories whose plot lines have been overplayed again and again and never get sick of them. I must say that overall I prefer the characters of "Delirium's" over "Uglies". I feel like Alex's personality was a gazillion more-there than David's was. And I couldn't stand Shay whatsoever in the "Uglies" trilogy (I'd say that if I had to pick one turn-off from that series, it'd be her), but I really liked Hana. I think that "Delirium" is a lot softer of a book and that those who love romance will love this book...

Rating: 9.5/10

PS. Don’t forget to enter my giveaway of Sean Beaudoin’s “Going Nowhere Faster”! 


  1. Nice review Avery! I haven't read the Uglies series but it does seem to have a similar premise! I'm like you though, I can read the stories that follow a similar arc or feature similar characters again and again and never really tire of them if they tell a good story and get me involved. Glad you enjoyed this one, I really loved it and can't wait for book 2!

  2. I wasn't an Uglies fan and in fact it was a DNF for me. So, I'm glad you liked this one much better. I'll have to check out this series. I haven't yet. Great review!

  3. I haven't read the Uglies series, so I don't know about the similarities there. For me, this one and Matched were quite similar, but I liked this one more because of the ending!

  4. Great review!!! I have yet to read the Uglies series, but interesting comparison! =)

  5. Hmm, never read the Uglies series myself so I can't speak to whether they are similar or not, but it was interesting reading your thoughts. Glad you loved this one too!


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