Sunday, January 26, 2014

Delirium

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Publication Date: February 3, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 441
Keywords: love, rebellion, dystopia


Lena Haloway is content in her safe, government-managed society. She feels (mostly) relaxed about the future in which her husband and career will be decided, and looks forward to turning 18, when she’ll be cured of deliria, a.k.a. love. She tries not to think about her mother’s suicide (her last words to Lena were a forbidden “I love you”) or the supposed “Invalid” community made up of the uncured just beyond her Portland, Maine, border. There’s no real point—she believes her government knows how to best protect its people, and should do so at any cost. But 95 days before her cure, Lena meets Alex, a confident and mysterious young man who makes her heart flutter and her skin turn red-hot. As their romance blossoms, Lena begins to doubt the intentions of those in power, and fears that her world will turn gray should she submit to the procedure.

*hangs head in shame*
I got an ARC of this BEFORE IT WAS PUBLISHED. Yep, in 2011. So I probably received this around 2010. And I JUST NOW read it.

I know. Scold me later, please. Moving on.

THIS BOOK.

I was mildly intrigued at the beginning, starting another dystopian novel where the MC (teenage girl hero) rebells against the government. It started a bit slow for my taste for dystopian, but Oliver did a really amazing job of world-building and really immersing the reader into the society and how the whole of the country was set up. That was extremely helpful for what would happen later on.

Now onto Lena. She was a refreshing YA MC. And here's why: she was confused. She wasn't innately rebellious. She believed the cure was a good thing and would help her. She tried to talk her best friend out of second-guessing the government's choices, and I liked that. Most of us aren't naturally going to shout and protest. Instead, we'll be quieter, wondering if this is truly the right thing or not. So she was a great change of pace from the traditional dystopian heroine we usually see.

As far as the rest of the book went, once the issues started to escalate, things got interesting and moved a lot faster. The ending is KILLING me as I don't have the next one yet, so I'm desperate to know what happens.

But, this book brought up really important issues of censorship, and what the government should and should not be allowed to do with things like music and the internet. It was so intriguing reading about a society where the MC only knew that the Internet was censored and there were only certain sites she could access. She hears "unregulated" music for the first time and is blown away by the emotion it brings her. These are things that are hugely relevant today, and censorship is consistently a topic brought up in Congress, so I loved seeing those issues in YA.

Let's discuss in comments! Do you think the government should have access to censor anything? If so, what? What of Lena? You think she'll make it? (No spoilers please! I hate when things are spoiled!)

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